Our seminar series 

The Europe@LSE research seminar intends to provide a forum for research on Europe - both on the European Union and beyond its borders, and in all disciplines. Papers are given by external speakers, by staff and by research students. It is open to the academic public but it is hoped in particular that LSE staff and doctoral students become regular attendants so as to create a scholarly community.

For more information, please contact Professor Simon Glendinning and Angelos Angelou.

Seminars take place on Tuesdays, starting with sandwich lunch at 12:30 and continuing with presentations between 13:00-14:00 in COW 1.11 (unless announced otherwise). Please confirm your attendance with Florence Samuels.

Michaelmas term 2017

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Ulrika Carlsson: The Perennial Thirty Years’ War

Ulrika Carlsson argues that conflict that arose in Europe as a result of the Reformation and culminated in the Thirty Years’ War persists to this day, as the two spirits corresponding respectively to Protestantism and Catholicism continue to divide us. Analyzing phenomena such as the Pepsi Challenge and the French resistance to headscarves, she argues that this culture war is a war between an aesthetic and a moralistic worldview. Ulrika defends one of these as life-affirming and condemns the other as life-denying.  

Ulrika Carlsson received her PhD from Yale in 2013 on a dissertation titled ‘Kierkegaard and Philosophical Eros’. She continues to draw on 19th Century philosophy in her current work, which concerns non-moral spheres of value and the way they clash with morality. Her paper ‘Tragedy and Resentment’ (forthcoming in Mind), explores a type of suffering persons cause each other without thereby being morally blameworthy, the paradigmatic example being unrequited love. Since 2016 she is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Moscow’s National Research University Higher School of Economics. 

Tuesday 24 October 

James Scott: Brexit, the City and the Contingent Power of Finance

Brexit poses a profound challenge to the economic fortunes of the City of London because it threatens to sever its access to the EU single market. Recognising this, the UK financial sector campaigned for a Remain vote in the June 2016 EU referendum, and has subsequently lobbied for a ‘soft’ Brexit policy in order to preserve lucrative passporting rights. Despite this, the government led by Theresa May has pursued a ‘hard’ Brexit policy which will leave the UK outside the single market. How can we explain the City’s apparent failure to influence the UK’s Brexit policy? We argue that while the UK financial sector continues to wield formidable latent structural power, its capacity to translate this into instrumental influence in the policy process is constrained by three factors: the political statecraft of Brexit, leading the government to downgrade the concerns of the financial industry; the reconfiguration of institutional structures, which has undermined the City’s voice within government; and constraints on business organisation, caused by collective action problems and heterogeneous preferences. We argue that these three factors constitute important scope conditions which highlight the contingent power of finance in liberal market economies.

Dr Scott James is a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy in the Department of Political Economy, King's College London. During 2017 he held a visiting position at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. From 2012-2014, Dr James was Principal Investigator on the ESRC 'Voices in the City' Project, and is now part of the UK research team for the Horizon 2020 Project 'EMU Choices: The Choice for Europe since Maastricht'. His work has been published in the European Journal of Political Research, Journal of European Public Policy, New Political Economy, Public Administration, and Political Studies.

Tuesday 7 November 

Turkuler Isiksel, James P. Shenton Assistant Professor of the Core Curriculum at Columbia Universtiy 

Tuesday 5 December 

Helen Louri Dendrinou, Department of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business



2016 - 2017

Lent term

31 January 2017

Clemens Kaupa

European economic law, neoliberal hegemony, the legal method and the role of critical legal scholarship

European economic law, neoliberal hegemony, the legal method and the role of critical legal scholarship (or: If the European Treaties unambiguously and systematically prescribed policies which area liable to threaten liberal democracy, why should I feel bound by them?) Last year I published a book titled The Pluralist Character of the European Economic Constitution. Put in negative terms, its main claim is that the Treaties do not require European policies to follow any specific socio-economic paradigm. This implies, put in positive terms, that (European and national) legislators, administrators and judges frequently have the option to pursue a broad spectrum of socio-economic policies; the currently observable neoliberal bias of the Union therefore constitutes a political choice, and not a legal requirement.

The book’s claim is based on a historical, functional/teleological and textual interpretation of the Treaties; the claim as to the Treaties’ pluralist character is developed in two historical chapters (on the Treaty of Rome and the “1992” project), an economic chapter (showing that different, conflicting economic views exist on how to achieve the Union’s regulatory objectives) and two doctrinal studies (on internal market law as well as on the SGP and the post-crisis reforms). In this talk, I want to look at the methodical dimension of the claim and discuss its political implications, as well as the role of critical legal scholarship. Finally, it will be argued that the “pluralism” claim can be developed in other areas of economic law as well, which will be illustrated by reference to climate change.

Clemens Kaupa studied history and law at the University of Vienna and at Harvard Law School. Since 2013 he is assistant professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He published two books: the textbook EU Internal Market Law (with Friedl Weiss, CUP 2014) and the monograph The Pluralist Character of the European Economic Constitution (Hart 2016).

7 February 2017

Urška Šadl 

The central claim of the article is that the Court of Justice changes European law by observing the rules of principled incrementalism: it minimizes political conflict and maximizes legal coherence. Namely, the Court can establish a new legal principle, which alters legal reality (sets a strong precedent) but impose a remedy that requires little practical adaptation and thereby minimizes potential conflict. Or, it can pair a remedy that effectively disturbs the social reality while seemingly sticking to the established principles, familiar rhetoric and existing precedents. To test these claims empirically the paper traces the evolution and mutual interaction of linguistic routines, argumentation patterns, and remedies in fifty landmark cases over fifty years. It argues that principled incrementalism enables the Court to strike a workable balance between the demands of the individual case and the demands of the whole body of law, in particular legal coherence and consistency, and preserve its authority to interpret the law over time. The theory explains how the Court, albeit at times lacking popularity and approval, continues to retain sizeable political power and judicial authority.   

Urška Šadl comes from Slovenia, and holds a BA degree in law from the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana, a LLM degree in European legal studies from the College of Europe, Bruges, and a PhD in law from the Faculty of Law in Copenhagen. She is currently a professor of law at the European University Institute in Florence, and a Global research fellow at iCourts centre of excellence in Copenhagen. Her research examines various tools and techniques that enable courts to make and change law via case-law and maintain their interpretive authority in the long run. Her main focus is the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

21 February 2017

Joan Costa-Font, Brexit means: ‘Hectic’? Uncertainty in Post-Brexit National Health Service

Can Brexit influence policies in health care where European Union (EU) intervention has been traditionally limited?  This article argues – consistently with the ‘Brexit means Hectic’ hypothesis - that Brexit will bring uncertainty to the continuation of the post-Brexit National Health Service as we have known it, increase health care costs, and especially the transaction costs to attract new health technology and high quality staff. The health care systems in the UK will have to adopt tighter budgets on both medical research and health services. This paper discusses on the impact on human resources, both on health and social care workers, as well as those working on Medical research. Such effects in addition to higher costs of Medicines procurement are expected to increase health care expenditures to the point that the National Health Service (NHS) will require some major reforms defying the traditional ‘NHS ring fencing’. Part of the latter, depends on the slowdown of the economy, and the fact that Britain is highly dependent on the medical innovation which is funded by large European funds.

Joan Costa-Font works at LSE as an Associate Professor of (‘Reader’ in) Political Economy, in the Departments of Social Policy and the European Institute. Joan is a CESifo network research fellow, and has been Harkness fellow at Harvard University and visiting fellow at UCL Economics department, Boston College (CRR), Oxford University (IA) and the University of Munich (CES).

7 March 2017

Vassilis Monastiriotis: Revisiting the ‘working of conditionality’: an economic model and a policy interpretation

The literature on EU conditionality has travelled a long way since the early contributions in the late 1990s / early 2000s. Starting from ideas about the ‘transformative power’ of EU conditionality, the literature has moved on to identify a range of facilitating/blocking factors that condition the effectiveness of conditionality and the successful implementation of domestic reforms under the EU leverage. This includes both standard supply-side ‘problems of conditionality’ (moving target; differentiation; problems of consistency, clarity, coherence, commitment and credibility) and wider issues concerning policy mis-fit, adjustment costs, domestic capacities/support, etc. In part owing to the disciplinary origins of this literature, almost invariably conditionality has been farmed in this literature under one (or both) of the following processes: coercion (enforcement, incentives, rewards) and socialisation (learning, lesson-drawing, Europeanisation). This paper argues that, despite its important analytical and policy insights, the literature on EU conditionality has been in some respects limiting, because by focusing on the ‘supply’ of conditionality and the processes of coercion and socialisation it has paid less attention on seeking to understand the ‘technology’ underpinning processes of ‘transformation by means of conditionality’. This is because the literature has lacked a particular focus on two categories which are central in ‘economics’ analyses, namely preferences and technology (production possibilities). To demonstrate this – and, hopefully, to take the debate forward – this paper proceeds in two ways. First, it develops a simple (and, at this stage, diagrammatic) economic model of reforms in the presence of an external leverage, which incorporates explicitly the preferences of policy-makers and the available technologies of reform. The model demonstrates how a sub-optimal equilibrium can emerge endogenously, owing to a double commitment deficit, with the countries under conditionality experiencing a credibility gap by the EU and the EU observing an implementation gap in the countries under conditionality. Second, the paper moves on to examine how the insights of the model relate to policy considerations and developments more recently, across four areas where EU conditionality is applied: the EU’s external relations (ENP), the EU’s pre-accession process (SAA), the EU’s internal conditionality (CVM, Greece, Hungary) and the EU’s funding conditionality (Cohesion Policy).

Vassilis Monastiriotis 

Vassilis Monastiriotis is an economist and economic geographer by training. He holds a PhD in Economic Geography (2002, London School of Economics, UK) an MSc in Economics (1996, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece) and a BSc in Economics (1994, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece). Before joining the European Institute in 2004 he was Lecturer in the Department of Economics at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has previously worked as Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and the University of Reading and as a Course Lecturer in the Department of Geography at LSE.

23 March 2017

Helen Thompson: Contingency and inevitability: the political economy of Brexit

Placing Britain’s vote on 23 June 2016 to leave the European Union in historical time raises an immediate analytical problem. What was clearly the result of a number of contingencies, starting with the 2015 general election where we can see how events could readily have turned out otherwise and was a shock to the British government that had not prepared for this outcome might also represent the inevitable end of Britain’s membership of the EU seen from the distant future. This paper seeks to take both temporal perspectives seriously. It aims to provide an explanation of the vote for Brexit that recognises the referendum result as politically contingent and also argue that the political economy of Britain generated by Britain’s position as non-euro member of the EU whilst possessing the offshore financial centre of the euro zone and Britain’s eschewal in 2004 of transition arrangements on freedom of movement for A8 accession states made Brexit an eventual inevitability, saving a prior collapse of the euro zone.

Helen Thompson 

Helen Thompson is Professor of Political Economy at the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University. She has published articles on the economic and political fallout of the 2008 financial crash and the euro zone crisis in New Political Economy and the British Journal of Politics and International Relations. Her most recent book, Oil and the western economic crisis, will be published by Palgrave later this year.

Michaelmas term

4th October 2016 (week 2)
Speaker: Abby Innes, Assistant Professor of Political Economy, European Institute, LSE
Title: The Hybrid State in Advanced Capitalism: Making the Case for a New Research Agenda

18th October 2016 (week 4)
Speaker: Helder De Schutter, Associate Professor of Social and Political Philosophy, KU Leuven 
Title: Cosmopolitan ownership of English

25th October 2016 (week 5)
Speaker: Orkun Saka, Senior PhD candidate in finance, Cass Business School, City University London
Title: Domestic banks as lightning rods? Home bias during Eurozone crisis

8th November 2016 (week 7)
Speaker: Christoph Mollers, Professor of Public Law and Jurisprudence, Faculty of Law, Humboldt University, Berlin 
Title: The Court v the Bank: A retrospective view of the German ECB case 

22 November 2016 (week 9)
Speaker: Bojan Bugaric, Visiting Researcher, Centre for European Studies, Harvard University and Professor of Law at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Title: Post-Communist Europe, Neo-liberalism and Authoritarian Populism 

29th November 2016 (week 10)
Speaker: Christopher Wratil, PhD student, European Institute, LSE 
Title: TBC

6th December 2016 (week 11)
Speaker: Gabriel Siles-Brugge, Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick 
Title: Taking back control?  The discursive constraint on post-Brexit British trade policy 

2015 - 2016

Lent term

Tuesday 19 January 2016
Waltraud Schelklse (London School of Economics)

Tuesday 26 January 2016 
Klaus Armingeon & Anna Fill (Universität Bern)

Tuesday 9 February 2016
Anna Kyriazi (European University Institute)

Tuesday 23 February 2016
Fabio Wolkenstein (London School of Economics)

Tuesday 8 March 2016
Anna Burger (Central European University) 

Tuesday 15 March 2016
Bela Greskovits (Central European University)

Michaelmas term

Tuesday 13 October 2015
Sergio Fabrini
Book Launch: Which European Union? Europe after the Euro crisis (CUP 2015), with comments by Mark Thatcher

Tuesday 20 October 2015
Angelo Martelli
What matters for an (un)successful adjustment process: the case of Italy (Joint work with Alessandro Giovanni)  

Tuesday 27 October 2015
Cigdem Borke Tunali
Labor Market effects of EU immigration to the UK 

Tuesday 17 November (week 8) 
Marco Dani
The subjectification of the citizen in European Public Law

Tuesday 1 December (week 10) 
Marina Cino-Pagliarello
(Re) Framing European Education Policy 

Tuesday 8 December (week 11) 
Christopher Wratil
The Opinion-policy link in the European Union 

2014 - 2015

Lent term 

Tuesday 27th January 2015, 12.30 - 14.00
Canada Blanch Room (COW1.11), First Floor, Cowdray House, LSE
Opting Out of the European Union
Rebecca Adler-Nissen, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen

Tuesday 10th February 2015, 12.30 - 14.00
Canada Blanch Room (COW1.11), First Floor, Cowdray House, LSE
The Struggle for EU Legitimacy: Public Contestation, 1950 - 2005
Claudia Schrag Sternberg, Career Development (Early Career) Fellow in Politics at St Hugh's College and the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford.

Michaelmas term 

Tuesday 4th November 2014, 12.30 - 14.00
Canada Blanch Room (COW 1.11), First Floor, Cowdray House, LSE
'The Crisis of the Crisis of Capitalism'
Dr Albena Azmanova, Reader in Political and Social Thought at the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies.

Tuesday 11th November 2014, 12.30 - 14.00
Canada Blanch Room (COW 1.11), First Floor, Cowdray House, LSE
'Communism, Federalism and Ethnic Minorities: Explaining Party Competition Patterns in Eastern Europe'
Dr. Jan Rovny, Assistant Professor at the Centre d'etudes europeennes and LIEPP, Sciences Po, Paris.

Tuesday 9th December 2014, 12.30 - 14.00
Canada Blanch Room (COW 1.11), First Floor, Cowdray House, LSE
'Can the EU Survive Without a Counter-Cyclical Policy Framework?'
Fabrizio Saccomanni, Visiting Professor in Practice, European Institute, LSE, and former Minister of Economy and Finance of Italy.

2013 - 2014 

Lent term 

Thursday 13 March, 12.30-14.00, 32L.B.01
Arthur Dyevre (University of Leuven)
The German Federal Constitutional Court and European Judicial Politics (title tbc)

Thursday 6 March, 12.30-14.00, 32L.B.07
Madalina Busuioc (LSE, CARR & Department of Government) 
'Friend or Foe? Inter-agency Co-operation, Organisational Reputation, and Turf'

Thursday 30 January, 12.30-14.00, 32L.B.11
David Woodruff (LSE, Department of Government)
A Polanyian view of the Eurozone Crisis: Advantages and Limits

Michaelmas term

Thursday 05 December, 12.30-14.00, CLM.7.03
Claudio Radaelli (University of Exeter)
The cost of controlling bureaucracy: Policy instruments, trade-offs and cross-country patterns in Europe

Thursday 07 November, 12.30-14.00, CLM.7.03
Maja Rasmussen (LSE, Department of Government)
Business influence in the European Parliament - Who tips the scales?

Thursday 24 October, 12.30-14.00, CLM.7.03
Mareike Kleine (LSE, European Institute)
Informal Governance: a new research agenda in EU studies

Thursday 17 October, 12.30-14.00, 32L.LG.06
Herman Schwartz (University of Virginia)
Babies, Bonds, and Buildings: Policy Implications of the Links among Fertility Rates, Pensions, and Housing Finance Systems.

2012 - 2013

Lent term 2013

Thursday 24th January 2013, Room KSW2.13, 12.30 - 14.00
Professor Sandra Lavenex (University of Lucerne):
'Functionalist Power EU'

Thursday 7th February 2013, Room NAB1.19, 12.30 - 14.00
Petr Blizkovsky (Director Economic and Regional Affairs, General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union)
'EU Financial Diplomacy'

Thursday 7th March 2013, Room NAB1.19, 12.30 - 14.00
Dr Claire Marzo (Universite Paris Est, LSE):
'EU and surrogacy: a way forward?'

Michaelmas term 

Thursday 1st November 2012, Room TW1.1.03, 12.30 - 14.00
Dr. Alex Herzog (LSE)
'Intra-Party Conflict over Fiscal Austerity Measures' 

Thursday 8th November 2012, Room OLD 2.2, 12.30 - 14.00
Professor Donna Lee (University of Birmingham)
'EU - Sub-Saharan African Economic Policy Agreements' (tbc)

Thursday 29th November 2012, Room TW2 1.03, 12.30 - 14.00
Dr. Christopher Bickerton (SciencesPo)
European Integration: From National State to Member State

2011 - 2012

Summer term

Thursday 17 May, COW1.11, 12.30 - 14.00
Christine Reh (UCL)
'The Informal Politics of Co-Decision'

Lent term  

Thursday 12 January, COW1.11, 12.30 - 14.00
Jiri Priban (Cardiff University)
'EU Governance and Depoliticisation: A Critical Assessment of Political Deficits and Systemic Crises'

Thursday 23 February, COW1.11, 12.30 - 14.00
Hartmut Lenz (LSE)
'The Role of Public Commitment in EU Treaty Negotiations'

Michaelmas term 

Thursday 27 October, KSW.1.04, 12.30 - 14.00
Waltraud Schelkle (LSE) and Deborah Mabbet (Birkbeck, University of London)
'Hegemony without stability: The fiscal vulnerabilities of monetary union'

Thursday 10 November, NAB.2.08, 12.30 - 14.00
Graham Smith (University of Southampton)
'(Early) Transnational Democratic Innovation in the EU: Flirting with Deliberative and Plebiscitary Design'

Thursday 1 December, NAB.2.13, 13.00 - 14.00
Simon Glendinning 
'Blows to the amour-propre of European Man'

2010 - 2011

Summer term 

Thursday 5 May, 12.30-2pm, room CON H.103
Carina Sprungk, FU Berlin
"Ever more or ever better scrutiny? Analysing the conditions of effective national parliamentary involvement in EU affairs."

Thursday, 26 May, 12.30-2pm, room CON H. 103
Federica Bicchi, LSE
"The EU as a community of practice: flows of communications among EU member states in foreign policy"

Lent term 

Thursday 3 February, 12.30-2pm, room COW J116
Andrew Geddes, Sheffield
"Are European immigration policies converging? Ideas and agency in the making of a new policy field"

Thursday 17 February, 12.30-2pm, room COW J116
Andrea Sangiovanni, Kings College
"Solidarity in the European Union"

Thursday 10 March, 12.30-2pm, room COW J116
Will Barlett / Claire Gordon, LSE
"Evaluating policies towards Roma inclusion -- Can there be a European solution?"

Michaelmas term

Thursday 28 October, 12.30-2pm, room COW J116
Anand Menon (Birmingham)
"Power, Institutions and the CSDP: The Promise of Institutionalist Theory"

Thursday 25 November, 12.30-2pm, room COW J116
Mareike Kleine (LSE)
"Making cooperation work: Informal governance in the EU and beyond"

Thursday 9 December, 12.30-2pm, room NAB Thai Theatre
Amy Verdun (Victoria)
"Euro adoption in the new member states: A Tale of Domestic Politics"

2009 - 2010

Lent term

Thursday 4 February 2010, J116, Cowdray House, 12:30pm
Berthold Rittberger (University of Mannheim)
Democracy or Efficiency? The Powers of the European Parliament Revisited

Thursday 25 February 2010, J116, Cowdray House, 12:30pm
Frank Schimmelfennig  (ETH Zurich)
Democratising the European Union: An exploration of the 'third transformation' of democracy

Thursday 11 March 2010, J116, Cowdray House, 12:30pm
David Coen (UCL)
Business Lobbying in the EU

Thursday 29 April 2010, J116, Cowdray House, 12:30pm
Reforming Lobbying Regulation in the European Union
Michelle Cini (Bristol University)

Michaelmas term

Thursday 29 October 2009, J116, Cowdray House, 12:30pm
Fortress Europe? Does European Cooperation Undermine Global Human Rights Standards?
Eiko Thielemann (LSE), Nadine El-Enany (EUI)

Thursday 19 November 2009, J116, Cowdray House, 12:30pm
Christoph Meyer (King's College London)
(Early) Warning and European Preventive Policy

Thursday 3 December 2009, J116, Cowdray House, 12:30pm
Sara Hagemann (LSE)
A Council of Consensus? How changes in decision rules in the Council of the European Union affect negotiations

2008 - 2009

Lent term 

Thursday 22 January 2009, 12.00-13.30, Room J116
Spyros Economides (LSE) 
'The EU and state-building in the Balkans'

Thursday 12 February 2009, 12.00-13.30, Room J116
Michael Bruter (LSE)
'Mapping the European Extreme Right'

Thursday 12 March 2009, 12.00-13.30, Room S75
Cornelia Woll (Sciences Po)
'Firm interests. How governments shape business lobbying on global trade'

Thursday 7 May 2009, 12.00-13.30, Room J116
Jonathan White  (LSE)
'Citizenship through partisanship?  Political conflict and the EU polity'

Michaelmas term

Thursday 16 October 2008, 12.00-13.30, Room J116
Christopher Hill (Cambridge)
'The meaning of Europeanisation in the context of foreign policy'

Thursday 6 November 2008, 12.00-13.30, Room J116
Miriam Hartlapp (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin)
'The Commission as a unitary actor? Position formation and internal dynamics'

Thursday 11 December 2008, 12.00-13.30, Room J116
Erik Jones (Johns Hopkins University Bologna)
'The political economy of optimum currency areas -- lessons from the euro's first decade?'

2007 - 2008

Michaelmas term

Wednesday 24 October 2007, 18:00-19.30, Room H104
Helen Wallace (LSE)
Negotiations in the Council

Monday 5 November 2007, 18.00-19.30, Room Z129 
Radek Zubek (LSE)
'Conditional Compliance? Executives and EU Rule Adoption in Central Europe'

Wednesday 5 December 2007, 18.00-19.30, Room H104
Thomas Risse (Free University, Berlin)
'We the European Peoples? Identity, Public Sphere, and European Democracy'

Lent term

Wednesday 16 January 2008, 18.00-19.30, Room Z229
Simon Hix (LSE)
'What's Wrong with the EU and how to fix it'

Wednesday 6 February 2008, 17.00-18.30, Z332
Virginie Guiraudon (European University Institute)
'Agenda for an empirical sociology of European integration'

Wednesday 27 February 2008, 18.00-19.30, Room Z332
Christa van Wijnbergen (LSE)
'Policy-Learning Across Borders: What Does the EU's Open Method of Coordination Teach Us?'

Summer term

Wednesday 14 May 2008, 18:00-19:30, Room H104
Speaking with One Voice but Having Little Impact: the EU at the UNs Human Rights Council'
Speaker: Karen Smith (LSE)