European Political Economy

New article: Societal Foundations of the Euro Crisis

Stefan A. Schirm: Societal foundations of governmental preference formation in the Eurozone crisis, in: European Politics and Society, 19 (2018) 1: 63-78 (published online 15 June 2017) [available at]

Lecture: Ulrich Krotz (EUI) on Europe in World Politics

Professor Ulrich Krotz, Chair of International Relations at the European University Institute, will give a presentation on 'Divided We Stand: Europe's New Ways of Projecting Power and Influence in 21st Century World Politics' at RUB's Chair of International Politics on Tue July 17, 2018 at 4pm. Please register with [more information at]

Europa und die USA unter Trump

Am 27.9.2017 um 19:00 referierte Stefan Schirm über 'Europa und die USA unter Trump: Rivalen statt Partner?' an der Bayerischen Amerika-Akademie (BAA) München [link BAA]

New article: Domestic Politics in EU Financial Supervision

Aukje van Loon: Domestic Politics and national differences in restructuring EU financial supervision, in: European Politics and Society, December 2017 [available at]

New article: TTIP and Governmental Preferences

Aukje van Loon: Diverging German and British governmental trade policy preferences in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, in: Journal of Contemporary European Studies, August 2017 [available at]

Societal Foundations of European Policy Divergence

Stefan A. Schirm's EUI working paper 'Societal Foundations of European Policy Divergence in Financial Governance', Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) 2015/21, GGP 162, is now available online [SSRN][EUI]

Abstract: EU member states frequently disagree over the management of financial crises, both regionally in the Eurozone and globally in the G20 despite decades of European integration, institution-building, and commitments to joint action. Mainstream integration theories of neofunctional institutionalism and liberal intergovernmentalism cannot sufficiently explain this puzzle of persistent European policy divergence on financial governance. I argue that the policy divergences can only be understood by analysing the societal foundations of governmental positions with the societal approach to governmental preference formation. The societal approach focusses on domestic societal ideas and material interests as explanatory variables for governmental positions. Regarding European policy divergence, I argue that both the coordination problems in the Eurozone and the European policy divergence in the G20 reflect the heterogeneity of domestic societal influences on member state governments. These arguments are empirically evidenced in case studies on the management of the Eurozone crisis and on Europe’s role in the governance of the global financial crisis in the G20.

Lecture on EU's Foreign Trade Policy

Katharina Meissner from the European University Institute (EUI) gave a lecture on 'Living in a Material World: Comparing the EU’s Foreign Trade Policy towards South America and Southeast Asia' on Oct 22 at 15:00 in GC 04/45 (Dekanatssitzungssaal)

Panel at the ECPR/EISA Conference in Warsaw

On September 20, 2013, Stefan Schirm chaired a panel at the ECPR/EISA conference in Warsaw on "Ideas, Institutions, and Interests: Domestic Sources of European Economic Policy Divergences" including papers from Aukje van Loon, Laura Mahrenbach, Michael Franke, Jerzy Kacala, Stefan Schirm and Hubert Zimmermann [panel program and paper givers]

EU External Trade Policy

Aukje van Loon’s research interest is situated at the interface of European and International Political Economy, where she specifically focuses on issues relating to EU external trade policy, such as the EU’s shift from interregionalism to bilateralism,
US-EU trade competition/cooperation and EU FTA negotiations. In contrast to most EU trade policy studies, her approach emphasises the role of domestic level variables and investigates the discordant trade policy preferences of member governments
in EU FTA negotiations. Research has led to the following publications:

"Diverging German and British Governmental Trade Policy Preferences in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Negotiations". Aukje van Loon's journal article is published in the Journal of Contemporary European Studies (CJEA), online
since 11 August 2017. Available [here]

Abstract: In EU trade policy literature it is common knowledge that EU member states can initiate, postpone and even block trade negotiations. Their importance therefore is of great significance but knowledge on member governments’ trade policy preferences is very limited. Main aim of this article is to close this research gap by calling for a stronger focus on the domestic politics towards EU trade policy-making by examining member governments’ trade policy preferences. Numerous trade negotiations have illustrated that these preferences can considerably diverge in cross-country comparison. The most recent example are the EU-U.S. trade negotiations. Why did governmental trade policy preferences towards the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) differ? Novel here is the application of the societal approach to governmental preference formation which primarily focuses on domestic-level variables, sectoral interests and value-based ideas, in shaping governmental trade positions. The relationship between these independent variables is examined in order to illustrate which of these was more dominant and under which conditions, in shaping British and German governmental trade policy preferences during TTIP negotiations.

"From Interregionalism to Bilateralism: Power and Interests in EU-Brazil Trade Cooperation"
Aukje van Loon’s chapter is published in Rewizorski, M. (ed.) “The European Union and the BRICS: Complex Relations in the Era of Global Goverance”, Heidelberg: Springer 2015, p. 141-159. Available [here]

Abstract: This chapter will focus, within the context of its relations with Latin America and more specifically Mercosur (Mercado Común del Sur), on the EU relations with Brazil. Bilateral cooperation, in this case group-to-country cooperation between the EU and Brazil was institutionalised at the Lisbon Summit of July 2007 culminating in the EU-Brazil strategic partnership. This partnership is an indication of the EU’s recognition of the position Brazil today occupies in the international system. On the other hand, it lays bare the EU’s limited success with Mercosur. This shift from an interregional approach with Mercosur to one of bilateral engagement with Brazil leads to the question why after so many years of efforts made to develop group-to-group relations with Mercosur, has the EU shifted to direct bilateral relations with Brazil? In answering this question, a dual-causal framework highlighting basic characteristics of two theoretical paradigms in international relations, neorealism and liberalism, will be applied.

"Domestic Politics in EU External Economic Relations: US-EU Competition in Trade"
Aukje van Loon’s chapter is published in Boening, A., Kremer, J-F. and Van Loon, A. (eds.) “Global Power Europe - Vol. 1: Theoretical and Institutional Approaches to the EU's External Relations”, Heidelberg: Springer 2013, p. 219-234. Available [here]

Abstract: The European Union (EU) is a key player in international trade relations with its foreign trade policy having a great influence on shaping the international political economy. EU trade policy, however, is equally shaped in response to the trade policies of other actors. Especially EU-United States (US) trade relations are crucial to analysing the EU as a global power in the making. Since the mid-1990s, the EU has concluded free trade agreements (FTAs) with several emerging markets. The first FTA accomplished was with Mexico; its latest FTA concluded was with the Republic of Korea. What drives the EU to accomplish FTAs with some emerging markets and not others? To explain this puzzle a liberal-societal approach will be proposed including two explanatory variables. The first variable draws attention to the global economic context within which EU foreign trade policy is rooted thereby highlighting in particular US-EU competition in trade. The second variable focusses on economic interests dominant in the domestic politics of EU member states. This will be illustrated by a short analysis of the EU-Mexico FTA.