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European Institute

LSE European Institute ranked top in the UK for Area Studies

The LSE European Institute (EI) was ranked first in Area Studies in the latest national Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).

In the previous Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 2008, the European Institute was also ranked first in its sector.

The Institute was established in 1991 to develop LSE’s multi-disciplinary study of the politics, economies and societies of Europe. Now a world-leading centre for research in these fields, it retains its strong focus on multi-disciplinary work drawing on politics, law, economics, international relations, anthropology, geography, history, philosophy, and social policy.

These diverse perspectives inform work on European society (ideas, ideologies and identities), governance and democracy in the EU, and European political economy -  themes chosen because of their central importance to understanding what Europe is, what Europe does and how Europe works. The Institute has also more recently developed its interests in Europe beyond the EU.

An impressive 55 per cent of the Institute’s work across these areas was awarded the highest possible (4 star) grade in REF 2014, indicating that it was considered ‘world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour’. A further 30 per cent was deemed ‘internationally excellent’ (3 star). This result saw the Institute ranked first among all UK Area Studies submissions, retaining its position as the country’s leading centre for European Studies.

The Institute’s ‘impact’ case studies were also all awarded the highest possible 4 star grade in the REF 2014: the highest ranking of any Area Studies submission in the country.

The results demonstrate the success of the Institute in producing research that makes a real difference beyond academia, including through its use to promote and inform UK and European public debate and policy development.  Professor Paul De Grauwe’s  research on financial markets, for example, had an important bearing on the 2012 decision to combat financial panic by effectively making the European Central Bank a lender of last resort in Eurozone government bond markets.

Professor Kevin Featherstone, Director of the Institute’s Hellenic Observatory and an expert on the problems of reform within Greece, has likewise made a major contribution to the discussion on enhancing the operational coordination and effectiveness of the government. In particular, his work contributed to the reorganisation of the Greek Prime Minister's Office, with a view to strengthening its ability to manage the reform programme attached to its bailout loan. 

Closer to home, research by Professor Nick Barr profoundly influenced the development of reforms to England’s Higher Education finance system, designed to improve social mobility and support the country’s economic growth by ensuring the continuing supply of higher level skills.

The Institute’s influence derives, in part, from its commitment to sharing research findings as widely as possible, including by hosting first-class researchers from around the world. Visiting Professors include: Fabrizio Saccomanni, former Minister of Economy and Finance in Italy; Joaquin Almunia, former Vice-President of the European Commission;  Anthony Teasdale, Director General for Research Services  in the European Parliament; and Martin Westlake, former Secretary-General of the European Economic and Social Committee.

The EI also runs a very successful public events programme, with speakers including serving Presidents of the European Council, European Parliament and European Commission, and EU Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers and Finance Ministers.

Departmental results: Area Studies|

Department homepage:  http://www.lse.ac.uk/europeaninstitute/home.aspx|  

LSE Impact: www.lse.ac.uk/researchImpact|

See also:

Impact Case Study Summaries