Professor Alison Harcourt

Professor Alison Harcourt

Visiting Professor

Department of Media and Communications

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French, German, Italian
Key Expertise
Media and communications regulation, Internet governance

About me

Professor Harcourt specialises regulatory change in digital markets and interested in solutions to regulatory problems based around the citizen/consumer and civil society voice. Alison has written on the regulation of traditional and new media markets and internet governance at EU and international levels contributing to the literature on agenda setting, regulatory competition, soft governance, Europeanisation and policy convergence. Her recent research derives from her ESRC project International Professional Fora: a study in civil society participation in internet governance' and Senior Fellowship on the UK in a Changing Europe programme project the impact of a proposed UK Brexit from the UK communications industries.

Originally from Chicago, Alison Harcourt gained a BA (Magna Cum Laude) in Politics and International Relations from Northern Illinois University, before completing an MA in International Political Economy at the University of Warwick (Department of Politics) and a PhD at the University of Manchester (Department of Government). Prior to Exeter, Alison held posts at the University of Warwick, University of Manchester and University of Oxford. She twice received Jean Monnet Fellowships at the European University Institute and has held visiting positions at the Max Planck Institute in Bonn, University of Bordeaux and VIU in Venice. She has acted as consultant for and participated in working groups of the Council of Europe, European Commission, and national governments and is participant to a wide number of political science and communications associations. Alison was a member of REF panel 27, conferred as Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2018 and seconded to the Venice International University in 2021 on Exeter's global partnership programme. She is on sabbatical in 2022 while Visiting Professor at the Department of Media and Communications at LSE.

Expertise Details

Media and communications regulation; Internet governance; Press and broadcasting policy


  • Harcourt, A. (2023) Brexit and the Digital Single Market Oxford: Oxford University Press (under contract).

  • Harcourt, A. (2023) ‘The global internet standard setting and legitimacy mechanisms in the EU’ EU Law – Challenges for European Administrative Law Global Standards eds Mariolina Eliantonio, Annalisa Volpato and Sabrina Roettger-Wirtz. London: Edward Elgar.

  • Harcourt, A., Radaelli, C. (2022) ‘The Single Market’ Elgar Companion to the European Union eds Samuel B.H. Faure and Christian Lequesne (eds.) London: Edward Elgar.

  • Harcourt, A. (2023) “Deregulation and the global shift from stakeholder to private sector governance” Global Communications at a Crossroad. (section II: Actors and Processes). Eds Arne Hintz, Cluadia Padovani, Gerard Goggin, Petros Isofides and Veronique Wavre. Routledge.

  • Harcourt, A. (2023) ‘Lobbying in the Technology Industry’ Handbook on Lobbying and Public Policy eds David Coen and Alexander Kataitis. London: Edward Elgar (in progress).

  •  Harcourt, A. (2023) “The EU’s Digital Services Act and changes to US antitrust law” Global Communications at a Crossroad. (section II: Actors and Processes). eds Petros Isofides and Veronique Wavre. Routledge.
  • Harcourt, A. (2021) “Legal/Regulatory responses to misinformation”. In Tumber H, Waisbord S (Eds.) Routledge Companion to Media Misinformation and Populism. London: Routledge.
  • Harcourt, A. (2021) “European Media Communications Policy, Development, and Governance” In Nussbaum J (Ed) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication, Oxford: Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  • Harcourt A., George Christou, George and Simpson (2020) Global Standard Setting in Internet Governance. Oxford University Press. Oxford University Press.
  • Harcourt, A. (2019) ‘Regulating financial technology’ Risk and Regulation. Summer. View here.
  • Harcourt, A. (2017) ‘Communications policy in the EU: the UK as a policy entrepreneur’, in Zahariadis N (eds) Handbook on Public Policy Agenda Setting., Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Harcourt, A. (2016) ‘European Media Policy’, in Nussbaum J, Simpson S (eds) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Harcourt, A. (2016) ‘Institutionalizing Soft Governance in the Information Society.’ in Ward D (eds) European Union & the Culture Industries: Regulation and the Public Interest., London: Routledge, pp. 7-31.
  • Harcourt, A. (2015) ‘Media plurality: what can the European Union do?’ in Barnett, S. and Townend, J. (eds). Media Power and Plurality: From Hyperlocal to High-level Policy London: Palgrave.
  • Harcourt, A. (2014) ‘Observations on the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications Report on Plurality’, The Journal of Media Law, vol. 6, Hart, 2014, 1-7.
  • Harcourt, A. (2013) ‘Participatory gains and policy effectiveness; the OMC Information Society’, Journal of Common Market Studies. vol. 51, no. 4. 667-683.
  • Harcourt, A. (2012) ‘‘Cultural Coalitions’ and International Regulatory Co-operation’, Journal of Common Market Studies, vol. 50, no. 5, 2012, 709-725. 709-725.
  • Harcourt, A. (2012) ‘Transnational Regulation in Central and Eastern Europe’, in Downey J, Mihelj S (eds) Central and Eastern European Media in Comparative Perspective: Politics, Economy and Culture, Aldershot: Ashgate, 137-157.
  • Harcourt, A. (2012) ‘The role of the European institutions in national media regulation’, in Papathanassopoulos S,Negrine R (eds) Communication Policy: theories and issues, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 116-132.
  • Harcourt, A., and Picard, R. (2009) ‘Policy, Economic, and Business Challenges of Media Ownership Regulation’, Journal of Media Business Studies, no. 3, 2009, 1-17.
  • Harcourt, A., and Weatherill, S. (2008) ‘The Consumer, the European Union, and Media Law’ Journal of Consumer Policy, March 2008, Volume 31, Issue 1.
  • Harcourt, A. (2008) ‘Introduction to European media governance’, in Terzis G (eds) European Media Governance: the Brussels Dimension, Bristol: Intellect Books, 13-25.
  • Harcourt, A. (2008) ‘Institutionalizing Soft Governance in the Information Society’, in Ward D (eds) European Union & the Culture Industries: Regulation and the Public Interest., London: Ashgate, 7-31.
  • Harcourt, A. (2007)Institution-driven Competition: The Regulation of Cross-Border Broadcasting in the EU’, Journal of Public Policy, vol. 27, 2007, 293-317.
  • Harcourt, A. (2006) European Union Institutions and the Regulation of Media Markets Manchester University Press.
  • Harcourt, A. (2004) ‘The collapse of digital platforms in EU Member States’ IRIS Special Issue: Vertical Limits: New Challenges for Media Regulation. March, 81 – 93.
  • Harcourt, A. (2003) ‘The regulation of media markets in Central and Eastern Europe: competing policy models’ European Law Journal vol. 9, no. 3, 2003, 316-340.
  • Harcourt, A. (2003) ‘Europeanisation as convergence: the regulation of media markets in the European Union’, in Featherstone K, Radaelli C (eds) The Politics of Europeanization, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 179-203.
  • Harcourt, A. (2003) ‘The state of media ownership in accession states’ Special issue edited by Alison Harcourt and John Horgan Central European Political Science Review. Number 11 (3).
  • Harcourt, A., and Horgan, J. (2003) ‘Exordium to the special issue on Governance, Enlargement and the Media’ Central European Political Science Review. Number 11 (3).
  • Harcourt, A. (2002) ‘Engineering Europeanisation: the role of the European institutions in shaping national broadcasting regulation’ Journal of European Public Policy Volume 9, No 5, 736-755.
  • Harcourt, A. (2002) ‘The European Commission and regulation of the media industry’, in Miller T (eds) Television: Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies, London: Routledge, 2002, 322-337.
  • Harcourt, A., and Radaelli, C. (1999) ‘Limits to technocratic regulation? Single-market policy-making in the EU’ European Journal of Political Research Vol 35, Issue 1, January. 107 - 122.
  • Harcourt, A. (1999) ‘Limits to technocratic policy-making: the case of media policy’, in Radaelli C (eds) Technocracy in the European Union, London: Longman, 1999, 107-122.
  • Harcourt, A. (1998) ‘EU media ownnership regulation: conflict over the definition of alternatives’ Journal of Common Market Studies Vol 36, No 3, September. pp. 369-389.
  • Harcourt, A. and Stefaan Verhulst (1999) ‘Support for regulation and transparency of media ownership and concentration - Russia’ Report for the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
  • Harcourt, A. (1998) ‘Regulation of European media markets. Approaches of the European Court of Justice and the Commission’s Merger Task Force’, Utilities Law Review, vol. 8, no. 9, 276-290.
  • Harcourt, A. (1998) ‘The European Commission and regulation of the media industry’, Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, vol. 2, no. 16, 425-449.
  • Harcourt, A. (1996) ‘Regulating for Media Concentration: the Emerging Policy of the European Union’, Utilities Law Review, vol. 7, no. 5, 202-210.