Publications

Below you can find a list of the most important publications by members of our research team. A full list of publications of each member features on their individual member profiles.

Multi-Level Governance

  • OBERTHüR, Sebastian (2016) "Where to go from Paris? The European Union in climate geopolitics," Global Affairs, 2(2), 119-130.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    The EU’s strategic re-orientation to coalition and bridge building after the failed Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009 paved the way for its success in securing the Paris Agreement on climate change in December 2015. This orientation will largely remain relevant in climate geopolitics characterized by multipolarity and a diversification of interests away from a North–South divide, both headed towards growing support for decarbonization. Various fora beyond the multilateral UN negotiations deserve systematic attention as climate governance has become “polycentric”, requiring careful prioritization as well as further enhanced coordination of climate diplomacy across the EU. The EU’s position in climate geopolitics will not least depend on the development of its internal climate and energy policy framework for 2030 and beyond. Advancing decarbonization and fostering low-carbon innovation towards the new climate economy in the EU will help enhance the EU’s power base and role in future climate geopolitics.
  • TRAUNER, Florian & Ariadna Ripoll Servent (2016) "The communitarisation of the area of freedom, security and justice: why institutional change does not translate into policy change," Journal of Common Market Studies, 54(6), 1417-1432.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    This article proposes an explanation as to why institutional change – understood as more competences for the European Union's supranational institutions – has rarely led to policy change in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ). It draws attention to the constraints that newly empowered actors have faced in the wake of introducing the co-decision procedure. If the key principles of a given AFSJ sub-policy – its ‘policy core’ – were defined before institutional change occurred, the Council (as the dominant actor of the early intergovernmental co-operation) has found it easier to prevail in the altered structural environment and to co-opt or sideline actors with competing rationales. The article compares the importance of the new decision-making procedure with two alternative pathways potentially leading to policy change, namely, the power of litigation and the impact of unexpected external events.
  • Jérémy Dodeigne, Pierre Gramme, Min Reuchamps & SINARDET, Dave (2016) "Beyond linguistic and party homogeneity: determinants of Belgian MPs' preferences on federalism and state reform," Party Politics, 22(4), 427-439.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    Political parties are often thought of as unitary actors that have consistent preferences. This ‘hidden assumption’ means that heterogeneity within parties, and therefore intra-party dynamics, are overlooked in explaining attitudes. When it comes to devolution and federalisation, parties or MPs belonging to the same region are also often implicitly considered to have homogeneous viewpoints and attitudes. Relying on an original survey of MPs carried out during the Belgian political gridlock of 2010–2011, this article uncovers some of the key dimensions of the intra-party dynamics through analysis of MPs’ preferences towards institutional reform in Belgium. Far from being explained along party or community lines, our results demonstrate how MPs’ political and sociological background, national/regional identity, political career, and intercommunity relations strongly shape their preferences.
  • OBERTHüR, Sebastian & GROEN, Lisanne (2015) "The effectiveness dimension of the EU's performance in international institutions: toward a more comprehensive assessment framework," Journal of Common Market Studies, 53(6), 1319-1335.
    category: Other Article (without peer-review system)
    In this article, we develop a comprehensive framework for assessing the effectiveness dimension of the EU's performance in international institutions, consisting of three elements: (1) the quality of the EU's policy objectives; (2) EU engagement in the negotiations, including its fit with the international constellation of power and interests; and (3) goal achievement. We apply this assessment framework to two cases with two phases each: (1) the negotiations on the 2010 Nagoya Protocol on genetic resources to the Convention on Biological Diversity and (2) the negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change toward the 2009 Copenhagen and 2011 Durban climate summits. The analysis demonstrates that the assessment framework (1) facilitates a more complete and richer appreciation of EU effectiveness in international institutions than the established understanding of effectiveness as goal achievement and (2) allows us to start to systematically explore the interaction between the framework's three components.
  • TRAUNER, Florian & Ariadna Ripoll Servent (2015) (Eds.) Policy Change in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice: How EU Institutions Matter. London: Routledge.
    category: Edited Book
    The EU plays an increasingly important role in issues such as the fight against organised crime and the management of migration flows, transforming the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) into a priority of the EU’s political and legislative agenda. This book investigates whether institutional change - the gradual communitarisation of the AFSJ - has triggered policy change, and in doing so, explores the nature and direction of this policy change. By analysing the role of the EU’s institutions in a systematic, theory-informed and comparative way, it provides rich insights into the dynamics of EU decision-making in areas involving high stakes for human rights and civil liberties. Each chapter contains three sections examining: - the degree of policy change in the different AFSJ fields, ranging from immigration and counter-terrorism to data protection - the role of EU institutions in this process of change - a case study determining the mechanisms of change. The book will be of interest to practitioners, students and scholars of European politics and law, EU policy-making, security and migration studies, as well as institutional change.
  • ADAM, Ilke & DESCHOUWER, Kris (2015) "Nationalist parties and immigration in Flanders: From Volksunie to Spirit and N-VA," Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 42(8), 1290-1303.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    This article contributes to the literature on the sub-state nationalist and regionalist parties (SNRPs) by investigating the policy positions in the immigration ambit taken by the Flemish nationalist party Volksunie, and by its successors after the party fell apart in 2001. We do so by analysing the party manifestos for all elections between 1978 and 2014. Beyond providing a detailed case study, the article has broader ambitions. The paper bridges the gap between the party literature and the literature on immigration and integration policies. It does so in two ways. First, it relies on a more nuanced categorisation of policy positions proposed by the immigration policy literature, which is absent in the party literature. Second, it draws explicit attention to the nation-building strategy of SNRPs as an intervening explanatory variable, mediating the influence of party competition and ideology.
  • D'AGOSTINO, Serena (2015) "Consolidated criteria for assessing intersectionality operationalisation in European equality policies: The case of Roma women," Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies, 2(3-4), 95-110.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    no abstract available
  • Sanjay Jeram & ADAM, Ilke (2014) "Diversity and nationalism in the Basque Country and Flanders: Understanding immigrants as fellow minorities," National Identities, 17(3), 241-257.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    Why have immigrant integration policies in the Basque Country and Flanders been framed according to multicultural principles? This paper offers an addendum to rationalist and institutionalist approaches, arguing that we cannot make sense of multicultural policies in these two cases without considering the interplay between historical narratives that undergird the nation and elite decision-making. Narratives of cultural oppression have been essential for nationalist mobilization in the Basque Country and Flanders. In turn, the choice of multiculturalism over assimilation by sub-state elites made sense because it fits with their understanding of the nation as an oppressed group.
  • OBERTHüR, Sebastian & Florian Rabitz (2014) "On the performance and leaderschip of the European Union in global environmental governance: the case of the Nagoya protocol," Journal of European Public Policy, 21(1), 39-57.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    Analysing the European Union's (EU) role in the negotiations of the 2010 Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing regarding genetic resources, this article argues for the integration of (1) the EU's policy objectives and (2) their achievement in the analysis of the EU's performance and leadership in international (environmental) negotiations. We first develop a conceptual and explanatory framework that highlights the inter-relationship between both aspects. We then establish that the EU pursued conservative policy objectives in the Nagoya process (becoming more moderate in 2006/2007) but was highly successful in achieving its goals. The explanatory analysis provides illustrative evidence of how the degree of ambition of the EU's policy objectives directly affects and indirectly frames goal achievement: while conservative objectives are easier to realize than ambitious ones, factors such as domestic legislation, internal interest homogeneity, universal norms and external policy making procedures may be especially important for achieving ambitious goals.
  • CALUWAERTS, Didier & DESCHOUWER, Kris (2014) Building bridges across political divides: experiments on deliberative democracy in deeply divided Belgium, European Political Science Review, Vol. 6, no. 3, p 427 - 450
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    No Abstract.
  • Thomas Gehring, OBERTHüR, Sebastian & Marc Mühleck (2013) "EU actorness in international institutions: why the EU is recognised as an actor in some international institutions, but not in others," Journal of Common Market Studies, 51, 849-865.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    This article examines why the European Union (EU) is recognized as a relevant actor in some international institutions, but not in others. Drawing on theories of international institutions and corporate action, it develops a theoretical approach toward EU actorness that demonstrates under which conditions third parties gain an interest in recognizing this actor as a relevant party to international institutions and how the EU can become an actor in its own right. The EU is expected to be recognized as a relevant actor in an international institution if it has acquired action capability in the relevant governance area, while formal status plays an inferior role. This hypothesis is subsequently assessed for six international institutions that vary regarding the degree of EU action capability and the EU's formal status, including the WTO and IMF, FAO and WHO as well as two international environmental regimes. Empirical results confirm the fruitfulness of the theoretical approach.
  • OBERTHüR, Sebastian, Knud Erik Jorgensen & SHAHIN, Jamal (2013) (Eds.) The Performance of the EU in International Institutions, London: Routledge, 176 p.
    category: Edited Book
    The Performance of the EU in International Institutions marks one of the first attempts to systematically analyse the subject. It focuses on the role of the EU in decision-making within international organizations and regimes as a major locus of global governance. The book unpacks the concept of EU performance into four core elements: effectiveness (goal achievement); efficiency (ratio between outputs accomplished and costs incurred); relevance (of the EU for its priority stakeholders); and financial/resource viability (the ability of the performing organization to raise the funds required). Based on the case studies herein, the findings presented in this book relate to the identified core elements of performance with a particular emphasis on the dimensions of 'effectiveness' and 'relevance'. Most notably, the EU appears, on balance and over the past two decades, to have become much more relevant for its member states when acting within international institutions. The book highlights four particular factors explaining EU performance in international institutions: the status of relevant EU legislation and policies, the legal framework conditions including the relevant changes that the Lisbon Treaty has brought about, domestic EU politics, and the international context.
  • ADAM, Ilke (2013) Les entités fédérées belges et l'intégration des immigrés. Politiques publiques comparées. Bruxelles: Editions de l'Université de Bruxelles.
    category: Book
    No Abstract.
  • ADAM, Ilke (2013) "Immigrant integration policies in the Belgian regions: Subs-state nationalism and policy divergence after Devolution," Regional and Federal Studies, 23(5), 547-569.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    For almost a decade now, there has been a debate among scholars of regional and federal studies about how to explain policy evolution after devolution. Surprisingly, this literature has attached little importance to the policy impact of sub-state nationalism. This article assesses existent institutionalist and societal hypotheses in the case of immigrant integration policy divergence in Belgium after devolution. This empirical test shows that although several of these hypotheses yield valuable insights in explaining integration policy divergence in Belgium, they have difficulties in accounting for a striking feature of this policy divergence, i.e. the different interventionism regarding the cultural dimension of the integration process. This article argues that sub-state nationalism, and in particular the differing degrees of regional government involvement in sub-state nation building, provides explanatory insight into how policy frames diverge.