I am currently working on two projects that build on and extend my research on informal governance and the domestic politics of international cooperation.
Prisoners of the Past? Historical narratives and international cooperation
Not least since the emergence of populist forces in Western liberal democracies, narratives about international cooperation and European integration are changing, with negative stories about past harm against one’s country and distant international elites gaining in prominence. Drawing on literatures in conflict studies, political psychology and behavioral economics, this project explores if narratives about a country’s role in history matter as heuristics in decision-making. Using survey experiments on samples of EU citizens and EU elites, the project evaluates whether or not exposure to historical narratives of victimhood reduce people’s willingness to engage in reciprocal behavior, by reducing trust vis-à-vis the cooperating partners. This project benefits from funding from the LSE European Institute and the Mercator Foundation.
The unintended consequences of transparency
This project asks whether or not stricter transparency requirements in international organizations have perverse consequences, by pushing deliberations to more obscure venues. It hypothesizes that when new transparency regulations open negotiations up to public scrutiny, governments with an incentive for discretion will seek alternative venues that are potentially even more difficult to monitor. The argument is tested using the case of negotiations in the Council of the EU. Motivated by anecdotal evidence and previous research, I investigate whether or not the introduction of stricter transparency regulations in the Council have prompted an increase in informal gatherings. This project benefits from funding from the Hertie School of Governance.