Home > Research and expertise > RAE 2008 > European Studies


European Studies

Unit of Assessment
Research Assessment Exercise 2008




By percentage of research activity in the submission judged to reach quality standard

UOA 50 European Studies

FTE Cat A Staff submitted for assessment






London School of Economics and Political Science







 "What is Europe?" "How does it work?" "Why does it work in the way it does?" These questions are at the core of the research agenda of LSE's European Institute.

The Institute is intensely interdisciplinary, drawing its academics from the fields of economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, politics, political economy, social policy, political sociology and international relations. Its research is organised around three socially and intellectually significant interdisciplinary themes, with the aim of providing a panoramic vision of contemporary Europe within these under-researched areas: European political economy; EU governance; and European ideas and identities.

The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008| has classified 20 per cent of the Institute's research as 'world leading' and 45 per cent as 'internationally excellent'. This gives the Institute the top ranking of all UK institutions that submitted European Studies research to the RAE when research is looked at on a grade point average basis. 

Professor Damian Chalmers, head of the European Institute, said: "Europe is a distinctive laboratory which gives us a unique opportunity to study political communities, whether presented as new forms or as existing models which are being revised, challenged or entrenched. It is a region in which there is intense globalisation – in terms of transnational investment, migration and trade – despite the vastly different state models of political economy and welfare which both compete intensively and copy each other extensively." 

In the field of European political economy, the Institute has undertaken considerable work on market dynamics and governance of economic and monetary union. This work considers the effects of the euro on the new member states and the impact of social policy and structural reform, including the ramifications of an emerging distinctive European social policy and the effect of European integration on national and regional health and education policies.  

The group's research also examines new forms of institutional politics. This work has considered the emergence of new European regulatory agencies, including the European Food Safety Authority and the Human Rights Agency. European redistributive politics have also been analysed, particularly the field of asylum policy, and the workings of the Stability and Growth Pact and the Lisbon agenda. Other research has looked at new ways in which the European Union affects domestic processes and institutions beyond those of the central member state authorities. This work has focused on the impact of Europeanisation on states outside the European Union and regions with strong sub-national identities, such as Catalonia.

The Institute's work on European Ideas and Identities includes an investigation of how ideas of Christianity and of the Ancient Greeks have influenced the idea of Europe, or how Europe is perceived by, and affects the daily lives of, European citizens, and how this is used as a basis for intervention in the Western Balkans.

The European Institute has a strong public profile which is reflected in its prestigious academic visitors and its links and collaborations with foreign universities and other distinguished public institutions. The Institute runs a number of high profile lecture series, and held a total of 139 events in 2008 alone. Recent speakers have included eight European Heads of State, including the Czech and Swedish Prime Ministers and the President of Kosovo; seven European Commissioners; and the Presidents of both the European Commission and the European Parliament.

See Definitions of Quality| 4*, 3*, 2*, 1* and u/c

See RAE 2008 Analysis of Results| in the RPDD website for more detailed information.