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FMG Research Priority Area

European Political Economy and Governance (EPEG)

Theme Leaders

prof. dr. J.H. (Jonathan) Zeitlin

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group: Political Economy and Transnational Governance

Prof. B.M. (Brian) Burgoon

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group: Political Economy and Transnational Governance

Ashley Fuggle

Theme

European Political Economy and Governance (EPEG)

The development of European economic and political integration over the past six decades poses fundamental challenges to the governance of the European Union and its member states. These challenges are visible at multiple levels from local neighbourhoods and national capitals to the Brussels institutional complex and Europe’s engagement with the wider world.

One key set of challenges concerns the balance between functional pressures for uniform rules and standards in integrated markets on the one hand and diversity across member states in policy preferences, institutional structures, and socio-economic conditions on the other. How far can such national diversity be accommodated by means of new or ‘experimentalist’ forms of governance, for example through adapting common framework goals and rules to different local contexts and regularly revising them in response to comparative review of implementation experience? How far is divergence of national preferences and conditions leading instead to the development of differentiated forms of integration, in which some member states push ahead while others opt out, or to unresolvable deadlocks which may block or even reverse the integration process itself? And what are the implications of each of these scenarios for the problem-solving effectiveness and democratic legitimacy of European governance?

A second set of key challenges concerns the reciprocal interplay between broad political-economic developments and European multi-level governance. How are evolving patterns of governance and policy-making at EU, national, and local levels shaping economic and institutional developments across key domains, such as trade, investment, finance, employment relations, and the welfare state? How, in turn, are changing economic and social developments within and beyond Europe, such as transformed production processes, employment patterns, household and family structures, and cross-border migration impacting on established policies and institutions? And what kinds of policies and institutional reforms may be required at different levels of governance to respond to these challenges?

To tackle these questions, the European Political Economy and Governance Theme (EPEG) will mobilize scholars and practitioners across a wide range of academic disciplines and policy domains. Core affiliates will be drawn from a broad swath of research groups within the FMG Social Science domain (especially Political Science, Sociology, and Geography). In addition, the EPEG community will continue its already extensive engagement with disciplines, centres, and scholars outside the FMG – for instance in the Faculty of Law, with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS), the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG), and the Centre for the Study of European Contract Law (CSECL); and in the Faculty of Economics, with the Amsterdam Centre for Law and Economics (ACLE), and scholars working on European fiscal governance.