European studies

The European Studies Research Group exists to facilitate discussion and collaboration between researchers focusing on the institutions and policies of the European Union, one or several European countries, and/or the European region and identity.

We meet on a regular basis, both as a discussion group that focuses on recent and relevant publications, and on an ad hoc basis to present work-in-progress.

Recent Activities and Forthcoming Events

POLSIS European Studies workshop: Broadening Approaches to the European Crisis. On Tuesday 11 February the POLSIS European Studies Research Group hosted a day-long workshop titled, 'Broadening Approaches to the European Crisis: History, Theory, Responses'. The workshop aimed to bring together scholars currently working on the European/Eurozone crisis – based both within and outside of the University of Birmingham.

01 May 2013. European Politics During the Crisis: Developing Research Agendas. This one day workshop aims to facilitate the process of developing research agendas in the light of both the global economic crisis and Eurozone crisis. The nature of studying European politics - both national and supranational - has and is changing rapidly as a result of both the ongoing global economic crisis and Eurozone crisis. In the light of these developments, therefore, there is a need to re-assess, re-think, re-design, re-evaluate and re-invogorate existing research agendas, which will form the subject of discussion for the workshop.

11 January 2012.  Europe after the Eurozone crisis? A panel discussion to consider these and related questions: What next for European integration? How will the Euro-zone be managed? What are the socio-economic implications of the ‘fiscal compact’? Is the UK leaving the European Union? Panel members: Michelle Pace, Charlotte Galpin, Felix Heiduk, Dave Toke, David Bailey.

24 November 2011. Social Democratic Parties and the European Union. Papers delivered by Isabelle Hertner (It's up to the leadership: European policy-making in the Labour Party, the Parti Socialiste and the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands) and David Bailey ('Faith-retention and blame-displacement in the Great Recession: Palliating terminal social democratic decline at the EU-level?).

6 April 2011. Oscar Pardo. The European Union has progressively established a complex and multi-layered system of governance in its relations with neighbours. Beyond candidate and potential candidate countries, the EU has reached an institutional equilibrium in its relations towards the neighbourhood with the Eastern and Southern dimensions of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The presentation aims to make sense of the different EU modes of governance towards its neighbourhood, illustrated with the case of the Southern Caucasus countries.

22 March 2011. Monica Rossi and David Toke. EU, French and Italian policy on the Roma. In the summer of 2010 the French Government implemented a policy of expelling Roma, an initiative that provoked sharp controversy within and outside France. The European Commission took a unique position of rebuking one of the founder members of the EU. How did this come about, considering that in countries like Italy there are arguably just as bad cases of Roma expulsions? What does this case study say about the nature and development of the theory and practice of citizenship in the EU, France and Italy and the tradition of French Republicanism?

24 November 2009. Invited speaker, Professor Kurt Huebner, University of British Columbia, 'The International Role of the Euro'.

23-24 June 2009. The Group is co-hosting a conference titled 'Bridging the Local/Global Divide: Transnational Advocacy in Theory and Practice' convened by Dr. Julie Gilson in association with the Open University.

14-15 May 2009. In cooperation with the European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom and Advantage West Midlands, several members of POLSIS were involved in organising and hosting ‘Bringing the Policy Back In: A Substantive Agenda for the New Union’

6 May 2009. ‘Differential Voting Patterns in Multilevel Systems: The Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia’, lecture by visiting fellow, Santiago Pérez-Nievas. ERI Building G51, 4-6pm

6 March 2009. co-hosted conference: Europe and Progressive Islamist Movements: Perceptions of Democratisation in the Middle East, convened by Dr. Michelle Pace.

October 2008. Discussion of Andrew Moravcsik (2005) ‘The European Constitutional Compromise and the Neofunctionalist Legacy’, Journal of European Public Policy 12(3).


David Bailey
My research seeks to map, compare, and explain the problems faced by, and caused by, institutions of representative democracy in European capitalism. So far this has focused on west European social democratic parties and the European Union - both separately and the relation between the two.

Derek Averre
Research interests: Russian foreign and security policy, Russia-Europe relations, Arms control / non-proliferation issues in the USSR successor states

Tim Haughton
Research interests: sources of stability and instability of party politics in Central and Eastern Europe; domestic Czech, Slovak and Slovene politics; the role of the past in the politics of the present; the interaction between domestic and European sources of change; Britain and the European Union; the political development of Central and Eastern Europe since the 1989 revolutions.

Isabelle Hertner
Research interests: The future of Social Democracy in Europe; The Europeanisation of party politics; German, British and French European policy; The development of party federations at European level (Europarties); European elections; The politics of party membership; Lobbying the EU institutions

Sara Jones
Sara Jones is currently completing the project ‘Reconstructing the Stasi: Remembering Secret Police Repression in the United Germany’, funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2009-2012). This has included a series of journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers that consider the representation of the Stasi in different media forms (literature, film, autobiography and museums). In the context of this work, she is completing a monograph with the provisional title: The Media of Testimony: Remembering the East German Stasi in the Berlin Republic. Dr Jones’s research takes an interdisciplinary approach to the processes of remembering dictatorship, combining cultural, media and memory studies with sociology and political science.

Huw Macartney
Research interests: International Political Economy; Banking and financial governance; Historical materialism

David White
Research interests: Power and opposition in (semi) authoritarian systems; Democratisation; Russian party politics; The role of political opposition in Russia; The relationship between political and civil society; The 'lived experience' of electoral authoritarianism; Humour and social protest; Popular music and protest

Kataryna Wolczuk
Research interests: Relations between the EU and the post-Soviet states in Europe in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership; Impact of the EU on domestic change in the eastern partner countries; Eurasian integration in the post-Soviet space (with particular reference to the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and the proposed Eurasian Economic Union; Institutional framework, constitutional politics and executive-legislative relations in the post-Soviet states; Nationalism, nation-building and national identity in the post-communist countries

PhD research students:

Corina Filipescu
Postcolonialism in EU enlargement policies seen from a Critical Discourse Analysis perspective

Charlotte Galpin

For further information about the research group contact:
David Bailey Tel: +44 (0) 121 414 2991 Email: