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Political Economy in Europe

Our research themes 

Research in Political Economy in Europe concentrates on the interaction between political and economic processes in Europe. We study these interactions in different areas.

In the monetary field there is the interaction between the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone, the political responses to the crisis and the institutional reforms that the evolving crisis have imposed on the Eurozone. We study how different social models affect the workings of capitalism and how the different varieties of capitalism in turn influence social models. Another area of research relates to the interaction between the labour market institutions and the economic governance of the EU and the Eurozone.


The Limits of the Market: The Pendulum Between Government and Market

by Paul de Grauwe

limits of the markets

The old discussion of 'Market or State' is obsolete. There will always have to be a mix of market and state. The only relevant question is what that mix should look like. How far do we have to let the market go its own way in order to create as much welfare as possible for everyone? What is the responsibility of the government in creating welfare? These are difficult questions. But they are also interesting questions and Paul De Grauwe analyses them in this book.

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The Political Economy of Monetary Solidarity: Understanding the Euro Experiment

by Waltraud Schelkle

schelkle book cover

Creating the European monetary union between diverse and unequal nation states is arguably one of the biggest social experiments in history. This book offers an explanation of how the euro experiment came about and was sustained despite a severe crisis, and provides a comparison with the monetary-financial history of the US.

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Economics of the Monetary Union

by Paul de Grauwe 

Economics of Monetary Union

The tenth edition of Economics of Monetary Union provides a concise analysis of the theories and policies relating to monetary union. Paul De Grauwe analyses both the costs and benefits associated with exiting the eurozone, as well as presenting a discussion of the banking union, the current issues surrounding the TARGET2 payment system, and the role of the European Central Bank. In Part One, Paul De Grauwe examines the implications of adopting a common currency, assessing each country's benefit from being a member of the eurozone, while also questioning whether other parts of the world would gain from monetary unification. Part Two of the book looks at the problems of running a monetary union by analysing Europe's experience and the issues faced by the European Central Bank.

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Governance and the European Monetary Union

edited by Erik Jones and Francisco Torres 

Governance and the European Monetary Union

The crisis in the euro area is a defining moment in the history of European integration. It has revealed major flaws in the architecture of the European Union; it has challenged European institutions to shape an appropriate response; and it has tested the patience of a European public that is eager to see their economic prospects improve again. This volume brings together some of the world’s top economists and policymakers to explain how this crisis came about and what is to be done. The policy agenda these chapters establish is going to be difficult to implement, not least because of popular misunderstanding and political opposition. This book argues, that it is essential that European policymakers push forward this agenda or they run the risk of seeing Europe’s economies fall back into crisis. This book was previously published as a special issue of the Journal of European Integration.

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Key Research Themes

  • Rethinking EMU and economic governanceEuropean capitalism(s) and European social model(s)
  • Economic migration, labour markets and population dynamics
  • Welfare including pension reform
  • Fiscal austerity and new sources of economic growth
  • Employment relations, labour market performance and institutional reform
  • Regional policy, industrial structure and economic development
  • East-west international division of labour

Selected publications 

Barr, Nicholas, ‘Funding post-compulsory education’ in Johnes, Geraint, Johnes, Jill, Agasisti, Tommaso and Lopez-Torres, Laura (eds) (2017), Handbook on the Economics of Education, Edward Elgar Publishing.

Barr, Nicholas, ‘Milton Friedman and the finance of higher education’ in Cord, Robert and Hammond, Daniel J. (eds) (2016), Milton Friedman: Contributions to Economics and Public Policy, Oxford University Press.

Begg, Iain (2017) ‘Fiscal and Other Rules in EU Economic Governance: helpful, largely irrelevant or unenforceable?National Institute Economic Review, 239 (1).

Begg, Iain (2017) ‘Fiscal rules and the scope for risk sharing’ Intereconomics, 52 (3).

Bongardt, Annette and Torres, Francisco (2017) 'Comprehensive Trade Agreements: conditioning globalisation or eroding the European Model?' Intereconomics, 52 (3).

Bongardt, Annette and Torres, Francisco, 'A Qualitative Change in the Process of European Integration?' in da Costa Cabral, N., Goncalves, J. R. and Rodrigues, N. C. (eds) (2017), After Brexit: Consequences for the European Union. Palgrave Macmillan.

Costa-i-Font, Joan (2017) 'The National Health Service at a Critical Moment: when Brexit means hectic' Journal of Social Policy, 46 (4).

Costa-i-Font, Joan, Norton, Edward C. and Siciliani, Luigi (2017) 'The Challenges of Public Financing and Organisation of Long-Term CareFiscal Studies, 38 (3).

Coulter, Steve (2017) Everyday Economics: a user's guide to the new economy Agenda Publishing.

Coulter, Steve (2017) 'Skill Formation, Immigration and European Integration: the politics of the UK growth model' New Political Economy, 23 (2).

Coulter, Steve and Hancke, Bob (2016) 'A Bonfire of the Regulations or Business as Usual? The UK labour market and the political economy of Brexit' Political Quarterly, 87 (2).

de Grauwe, Paul and Ji, Yuemei, 'Booms, Busts and the Governance of the Eurozone' in Vandenbroucke, Frank, Barnard, Catherine and de Baere, Geert (eds) (2017), A European Social Union After the Crisis. Cambridge University Press.

de Grauwe, Paul and Gerba, Eddie (2018) 'The Role of Cognitive Limitations and Heterogeneous Expectations for Aggregate Production and Credit Cycle' Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Featherstone, Kevin and Papadimitriou, Dimitris, 'Greece: a crisis in two-level governance', in Dinan, Desmond, Nugent, Neil and Paterson, William E. (eds) (2017), The European Union in Crisis. Palgrave Macmillan.

Featherstone, Kevin (2016) 'Conditionality, Democracy and Institutional Weakness: the Euro-crisis trilemma' JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 54.

Foresti, Pasquale and Napolitano, Oreste (2017) 'On the Stock Market Reactions to Fiscal Policies' International Journal of Finance & Economics, 22 (4).

Innes, Abby (2017) 'Draining the Swamp: understanding the crisis in mainstream politics as a crisis of the state' Slavic Review, 76 (S1).

Macchiarelli, Corrado and Koutroumpis, Panagiotis (2016) 'The Current State of Financial (Dis)Integration in the Euro Area: in-depth analysis', IP/A/ECON/2016-03, European Parliament, Policy Department A: Economic and Scientific Policy, Brussels: Belgium.

Monastiriotis, Vassilis, Kallioras, Dimistris and Petrakos, George (2017) 'The Regional Impact of EU Association Agreements: an event analysis approach to the case of Central and Eastern Europe', Regional Studies, 51 (10).

Monastiriotis, Vassilis (2016) 'Institutional Proximity and the Size and Geography of FDI Spillovers: do European firms generate more favourable productivity spillovers in the EU neighbourhood?' Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 34 (4).

Schelkle, Waltraud (2017) 'Listening to the Experts on European Monetary Integration: comment on Noah Carl' Political Quarterly, 88 (4).

Schelkle, Waltraud, 'Unity in Diversity: the unfulfilled promise of the Euro' in Dur, Andreas and Zimmerman, Hubert (eds) (2016), Key Controversies in European Integration, Palgrave Macmillan.

Academic Staff working in this area 


Academics in the "Political Economy in Europe" stream provide expertise on numerous issues: welfare state design (pensions, social protection, higher education and long-term care); Brexit; European integration and the Eurozone crisis; and labour markets.

Our academic staff are interviewed in media outlets including the BBC, ITV, China Global TV, Bild, The Financial Times and The Economist. They are invited as guest speakers in numerous national and international universities, organisations and governments, from Harvard and the House of Lords to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. They disseminate their research in conferences in the UK, Europe and the United States.