Current projects

Prisoners of the Past? Historical narratives and international cooperation

Drawing on bodies of literature in conflict studies, political psychology and behavioral economics, this project explores whether or not narratives about a country’s past serve as heuristics in the formation of attitudes and decisions on international cooperation. Using survey experiments on samples of EU citizens and elites, the project evaluates if exposure to narratives of victimhood reduce people’s willingness to engage in reciprocal behavior, by reducing trust vis-à-vis cooperating partners. This project benefits from funding from LSE’s European Institute and Stiftung Mercator.

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 and LSE’s European Institute.

National democratic representation and decision-making in the European Union (with Robert Thomson and Javier Arregui)

This special issue concerns the impact of national democratic representation on decision-making in the European Union. It addresses questions at the center of alleged crises that involve the interplay between national democracy and international cooperation. Under what conditions and in what ways are international cooperation and policy-making responsive to the outcomes of national democratic processes? To what extent do increasing levels of politicization and the rise of populist parties stymie the prospects for political compromise at the international level? In what ways are the politics within and interactions between the EU’s main institutions – the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament – affected by national politics? These questions are of concern to a broad range of academics and practitioners, including those who are primarily interested in European Union politics and those who focus mainly on other democratic political systems. The special issue is edited in collaboration with the Journal of European Public Policy.