Projects

  • A Centralisation of Rulemaking in Europe? The Legal and Political Governance of the Financial Market

This project is conducted jointly by the Uppsala University Law Department (UULD) and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. Funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrádet) and hosted by UULD, it started in Spring 2017 and proceeds for three years, until the end of 2020. The project leaders are Carl Fredrik Bergström, Adrienne Héritier and Dominique Ritleng.

During recent years there have been striking changes in the patterns of rulemaking within the EU internal market. That can be seen, most obviously, in a shift of instruments for rulemaking; from directives which ‘leave to the national authorities the choice of form and methods’ to regulations which are ‘directly applicable’ and uniformly implemented across all member states. But the changes extend also to procedures for rulemaking and actors involved . Typically, today, extensive ‘regulatory frameworks’ are established by the EU legislature within which delegation is made of normative and executive powers to the European Commission and a new breed of EU regulatory agencies. Even if such changes can be observed throughout the internal market, the most prominent development has taken place in the area of ‘banking and finances’ where EU rulemaking has been intense in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The functioning of the financial market is a central concern of the modern society and the development offers rich opportunities for legal and political science with their complementary views on legal institutions and political processes unfolding within these institutions.

This project examines if, why and how the patterns of the procedures and instruments used for EU rulemaking in the financial market indicate an increasing centralisation, and what the implications are for the EU system of legal and political governance, focusing on the preconditions for accountability.

 

  • Data Portal on Political Conflict in Europe

The main aim of the project is to implement an interactive observatory on political conflict in Europe in both the electoral and the protest arena. This project is jointly conducted by the Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies and the Center for Civil Society Research at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB). It is coordinated by Hanspeter Kriesi, Edgar Grande, and Swen Hutter.

The objective is to provide the scientific and non-scientific community with continuously updated data on the main issues and actors structuring electoral and protest politics in Europe. More specifically, the observatory will host original mass media data on election campaigns in 15 European countries and on protest events in 30 European countries. Both datasets are based on earlier large-scale projects of the coordinators of the data portal (in particular, the ERC project ‘Political Conflict in Europe in the Shadow of the Great Recession’ POLCON). The election campaign data relies on a relational content analysis of party statements as reported in two national newspapers in the run-up to national parliamentary elections. Currently, the dataset covers seven countries from Northwestern Europe (Austria, Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Switzerland), four from Southern Europe (Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain), and four from Central-Eastern Europe (Hungary, Latvia, Poland, and Romania). The protest data relies on a semi-automated protest event analysis of English-language news agencies and covers all EU member states (except Croatia) as well as Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland. Apart from providing the coded protest data, a main goal of the project is the further development and evaluation of the NLP (natural language processing) pipeline used to produce the data so that the tools can also be used and further improved by other teams.

 

  • REDO – Referendums & European Democracy Observatory

The debate about whether the EU’s representative institutions have a democratic deficit is now matched by national political systems having a democratic surplus. European citizens are voting on EU issues in national referendums as well as for national representatives in the multi-national European Parliament. Since 2014 absolute majorities of voters have been rejecting policies approved by their national government as well as by EU institutions.

REDO’s purpose is to further the understanding of challenges to European democracy by undertaking scientific research into what’s causing the demand for referendums; public opinion and voting in referendums; and how the EU is responding to referendum demands and outcomes. We do this by monitoring what’s happening in EU member and associated states; public opinion polls and social media; and scientific and political debates about whether and how referendums ought to affect European public policy. REDO’s webpage can be found here. REDO combines the knowledge and experience of three leading referendum scholars – Richard Rose; Centre for the Study of Public Policy, Fernando Mendez, C2D Zurich; and Laurence Morel, Sciences Po Paris – and their associates. The programme is based at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and through partner institutions and our European network of social scientists.

The general intellectual framework of REDO is explained and discussed in the article “Referendum Challenges to the EU’s policy Legitimacy – and how the EU responds” by Richard Rose, forthcoming in the Journal of European Public Policy. An open access, proof only version of the article can be found here. A selection of proceedings from the workshop “The Referendum Challenge to the European Union”, organized jointly by REDO and EGPP in January 2018, can be found here:

  1. Types of Democratic Elections in Europe by Richard Rose
  2. Referendum Outcomes as an Input to European Decisions by Richard Rose
  3. Testing Theories of Who Supports Referendums by Richard Rose
  4. Would a Second Brexit Referendum be Legitimate – and if so, When? by Richard Bellamy
  5. Brexit and Competing Visions of Europe: Searching for an answer to Dean Acheson’s Question? by Tim Oliver
  6. Saying what voters want to hear about the EU? by Konstantin Vössing
  7. The Economic Consequences of Brexit by Paul Whiteley, Harold D. Clarke and Matthew Goodwin

 

  • SPACEU2019 – Helping mobile EU citizens to exercise their political rights in EU Parliamentary Elections 2019

The project, funded by an EC Action Grant under the Programme ‘Rights, Equality and Citizenship 2014-2020’, is based at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and coordinated by Lorenzo Cicchi, EGPP’s coordinator. The project co-managers are EGPP’s Programme Associates Alexander H. Trechsel and Diego Garzia (University of Lucerne).

SPACEU2019 is an online tool for the 2019 European Parliamentary (EP) Elections, specifically tailored for mobile EU citizens voting either in their country of citizenship or residence. It comes in a moment where the European transnational voting space will become ever more important. The project builds upon the applicant’s previous projects EU Profiler (2009) and euandi (2014), and consists of two main pillars:

  1. an online Voting Advice Application that will allow millions of users to match their policy preferences with the positions of the political parties running for EP elections in all 27 Member States. This pillar focuses on the electoral contexts in which voters exercise their voting rights;
  2. an interactive database informing users on their electoral rights and to allow them to compare the conditions and requirements for participating in the political process of their country of residence and/or citizenship.

The main objective is to create a more aware European-wide, politically active citizenry, in view of making EP elections more relevant and trans-national. This may also help getting citizens out to vote in EP elections, traditionally prone to particularly low levels of turnout. The project’s activities consist of data collection, processing and integration of existing data (national legislations on electoral rights) prior to the 2019 EP elections; the implementation of the online tool, and a series of dissemination activities. The main target group are mobile as well as dual citizens, but also European citizens at large as the device will be open to all.

 

  • When Pollsters are Wrong and Lobbyists Win: Economic Sociology and Political Economy

This project, managed by David Levine, and Andrea Mattozzi of the EUI and Salvatore Modica of Palermo University, is sponsored by the Robert Schuman Centre, the EUI Research Council, the ADEMU project and the Fondazione i Cinquecento.

The objective is to understand how and why lobbying undermines voting, what the implications are for populist political movements and what can be done about it. We employ methods of economic sociology: the study of self-organizing groups make collective decisions to provide public goods – such as votes or lobbying effort – using peer monitoring and punishments such as ostracism to provide individual incentives. It is based on standard economic theory including mechanism design and auction theory.

The project has yielded many new theoretical insights including the discovery that making lobbying more costly may disadvantage larger groups more than smaller groups and so serve against the common interest rather promoting it. We have explored implications for lobbying effort, voter turnout, uncertainty over outcomes and the relative strength of small and large groups. We are now advancing to the empirical stage examining expressive voting and analyzing voting data to determine whether – as the theory predicts – if we see substantial bimodality in voter turnout. The scientific output of the project together with essays designed to bring our results to a broader audience can be found at the project website.

While the focus of the project is not specifically European the implications are important in a European setting and we will be writing essays and commentary discussing implications for European political movements and policy making.