I am Distinguished Faculty Professor of Public Policy and Governance Emeritus in the Department of Political Science and the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences (FMG) at the University of Amsterdam. I am also a member of the Political Economy and Transnational Governance (PETGOV) research programme of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), and Founding Academic Director Emeritus of the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES), a Research Priority Area of the University of Amsterdam and the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences. During the academic year 2022-2023, I am also Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) of the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence.
Before joining the UvA in January 2010, I taught for 18 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I was Professor of Sociology, Public Policy, Political Science, Industrial Relations, and History, as well as Director of the European Union Center of Excellence and the Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE). Prior to that, I was Lecturer in Modern Economic and Social History at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a Research Fellow at King's College, Cambridge. I hold a PhD from the University of Warwick (1981), an MA from the University of Cambridge (1983), and a BA from Harvard College (1977). I became emeritus at the UvA in July 2022.
I have received fellowships, awards, and grants from the European Commission, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the European University Institute, the Guggenheim Foundation, the German Marshall Fund of the US, the Swedish Council for the Coordination and Initiation of Research (FRN), the UK Economic and Social Research Council, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. I have held visiting appointments at the École des Hautes Études, Paris; the European University Institute, Florence; the University of New South Wales; Copenhagen Business School; and the University of Tokyo. I served as President of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), 2009-2011. From 2011 to 2014, I held a Jean Monnet Chair in European and Transnational Governance from the European Commission. I am currently a Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute in Florence (September 2022-August 2023).
My current research focuses on new forms of 'experimentalist' governance within and beyond the European Union, which diverge in various respects from standard hierarchical or 'command and control' models. Defined in general terms, experimentalist governance is a recursive process of provisional goal-setting and revision based on learning from the comparison of alternative approaches to advancing them in different contexts, often organized as a multi-level architecture. Experimentalist governance architectures of this type have become pervasively institutionalized across the EU, covering a broad array of policy domains including energy and telecommunications regulation, financial services, competition, food and drug safety, data privacy, environmental protection, employment promotion, social inclusion, justice and security, crisis management, anti-discrimination, and fundamental rights. But governance architectures with similar properties can also be found in the US and other developed democracies, both in the provision of public services like education and child welfare, and in the regulation of health and safety risks, such as nuclear power, food processing, and environmental pollution. Transnational experimentalist regimes have likewise emerged across a number of major issue-areas, such as environmental sustainability, food safety, data privacy, and human rights.
For the past two decades, I have studied the coordination of EU social, economic, and employment policies, through the Open Method of Coordination, the European Employment Strategy, the Lisbon Strategy, the Europe 2020 Strategy, the European Semester, and the Next Generation EU Recovery and Resilience Facility. I have published extensively on these issues, and has frequently served as a speaker, advisor, and evaluator for EU institutions, including the Commission, the Parliament, rotating Council Presidencies, the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Employment and Social Protection Committees, and the Platform of European Social NGOs (Social Platform).
In addition to my current work on European and transnational governance, I have published extensively on international and comparative business organization (with a particular focus on multinational companies and global supply chains); local and regional economic development and industrial policy; comparative labour and employment relations; and business, labour, and technological history. I have also served as a policy advisor and research consultant to the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Program (WMEP), the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the Greater London Council (GLC).
Jonathan Zeitlin and Bernardo Rangoni, “EU Regulation Between Uniformity, Differentiation, and Experimentalism: Electricity and Banking Compared”, in Frank Schimmelfennig, Catherine De Vries, and Dirk Leuffen (eds.), “Differentiated Integration in the European Union”, special issue of European Union Politics 24:1 (2023).
Jonathan Zeitlin, David van der Duin, Theresa Kuhn, Maria Weimer, and Martin Dybahl Jensen, “Governance Reform and Decision Acceptance: Cross-National Evidence from Linked Survey Experiments on Pesticides Authorization in the EU”, Regulation & Governance, Early View, https://doi.org/10.1111/rego.12483.
Jonathan Zeitlin and Christine Overdevest, “Experimentalist Interactions: Joining Up the Transnational Timber Legality Regime”, Regulation & Governance 15:3 (2021): 686-708.
The European Union beyond the Polycrisis? Integration and Politicization in an Age of Shifting Cleavages (lead co-editor with Francesco Nicoli), special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 26, no. 7 (2019).
"Introduction: The European Union beyond the Polycrisis? Integration and Politicization in an Age of Shifting Cleavages" (lead co-author with Francesco Nicoli and Brigid Laffan), Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 26, no. 7 (2019).
“Experimentalism in Transnational Forest Governance: Implementing EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreements in Indonesia and Ghana” (equal co-author with Christine Overdevest), Regulation & Governance, vol. 12, no. 1 (2018): 64-87
“EU Socio-Economic Governance since the Crisis: The European Semester in Theory and Practice” (lead co-editor with Amy Verdun), special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 25, no. 2, 2018.
"The European Semester as a New Architecture of EU Socio-Economic Governance in Theory and Practice” (equal co-author with Amy Verdun), Journal of European Public Policy, vo;. 25, no. 2: 137-48.
“Socializing the European Semester: EU Social and Economic Policy Coordination in Crisis and Beyond” (lead co-author with Bart Vanhercke), Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 25, no. 2, 2018: 149-74.
“Capacitating Services and the Bottom-Up Approach to Social Investment” (co-authored with Charles Sabel and Sigrid Quack), in Anton Hemerijck (ed.), The Uses of Social Investment, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, pp. 140-9.
“EU Experimentalist Governance in Times of Crisis”, in Brigid Laffan (ed.), ‘Europe’s Union in Crisis: Tested and Contested’, special issue of West European Politics, vol. 39, no. 5 (2016): 1073-94.
“Assembling an Experimentalist Regime: Transnational Governance Interactions in the Forest Sector Revisited” (co-authored with Christine Overdevest), in Laszlo Bruszt and Gerald A. McDermott (eds), Leveling the Playing Field: Transnational Regulatory Integration and Development, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 235-70.
"Experimentalism in the EU: Common Ground and Persistent Differences" (co-authored with Charles Sabel), response to symposium on "Experimentalist Governance in the European Union", Regulation and Governance 6(3), September 2012, pp. 410-26.
"Experimentalist Governance" (co-authored with Charles Sabel), in David Levi-Faur (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Governance, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 169-83.
Transnational Transformations of Governance: The European Union and Beyond, inaugural lecture delivered upon accession to the office of Professor of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Amsterdam on 11 November 2010, Oratiereeks 388, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Jonathan Zeitlin and Francesco Nicoli (eds.), The European Union beyond the Polycrisis? Integration and Politicization in an Era of Shifting Cleavages, London: Routledge, 2020.
EU Socio-Economic Governance since the Crisis
EU Socio-Economic Governance since the Crisis: The European Semester in Theory and Practice (lead co-editor with Amy Verdun), London, Routledge, 2018.
Extending Experimentalist Governance? The European Union and Transnational Regulation, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
Assessing the Open Method of Coordination: Institutional Design and National Influence of EU Social Policy Coordination (co-edited with Egidijus Barcevičius and J. Timo Weishaupt), “Work and Welfare in Europe” series, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
Experimentalist Governance in the European Union: Towards a New Architecture (co-edited with Charles Sabel), Oxford University Press, 2010; paperback edition, 2012
Changing European Employment and Welfare Regimes: The Influence of the Open Method of Coordination on National Reforms (co-edited with Martin Heidenreich), Routledge/EUI Studies in the Political Economy of Welfare, 2009.
The Oxford Handbook of Business History (co-edited with Geoffrey Jones), Oxford University Press, 2008
The Open Method of Coordination in Action: The European Employment and Social Inclusion Strategies (co-edited with Philippe Pochet and Lars Magnusson), P.I.E. Peter Lang, 2005
Local Players in Global Games: The Strategic Constitution of a Multinational Corporation (co-authored with Peer Hull Kristensen), Oxford University Press, 2005
Governing Work and Welfare in a New Economy: European and American Experiments (co-edited with David Trubek), Oxford University Press, 2003
Americanization and Its Limits: Reworking US Technology and Management in Postwar Europe and Japan (co-edited with Gary Herrigel), Oxford University Press, 2000
World of Possibilities: Flexibility and Mass Production in Western Industrialization (co-edited with Charles Sabel), Cambridge University Press/Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, 1997
The Power to Manage? Employers and Industrial Relations in Comparative-Historical Perspective (co-edited with Steven Tolliday), London and New York: Routledge, 1991
Between Fordism and Flexibility: The Automobile Industry and Its Workers , (co-edited with Steven Tolliday), Oxford: Berg Publishers/New York: St. Martins, 1992, originally published as The Automobile Industry and Its Workers: Between Fordism and Flexibility, Cambridge: Polity Press/New York: St. Martins, 1986
Reversing Industrial Decline? Industrial Structure and Policy in Britain and Her Competitors (co-edited with Paul Hirst), Oxford: Berg Publishers/New York: St. Martins, 1989
Shop Floor Bargaining and the State: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (co-edited with Steven Tolliday), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985
Divisions of Labour: Skilled Workers and Technological Change in Nineteenth Century Britain (co-edited with Royden Harrison), Brighton/Champaign-Urbana; Harvester/University of Illinois Press, 1985.
EU Regulation between Uniformity, Differentiation, and Experimentalism: Electricity and Banking Compared (co-authored with Bernardo Rangoni), ACES SSRN Research Paper No. 2022/03.
United in Diversity? EU Regulation Between Uniformity, Differentiation, and Experimentalism, ACES/InDivEU Policy Brief, December 2021.
Alternatives to Differentiated Integration (co-authored with Sebastiaan Princen), Robert Schuman Centre Policy Brief 2021/65, November 2021
Reforming EU Pesticides Regulation, Rebuilding Public Support: Evidence from Survey Experiments in Six Member States (co-authored with Maria Weimer, David van der Duin, Theresa Kuhn, and Martin Dybdahl Jensen), ACES Policy Report (June 8, 2021).
The Single Supervisory Mechanism for Banking Union: Uniformity, Differentiation, and Experimentalism in EU Financial Regulation, ACES/InDivEU Policy Brief, July 2021.
Uniformity, Differentiation, and Experimentalism in EU Financial Regulation: The Single Supervisory Mechanism in Action, ACES SSRN Research Paper No. 2021/04.
SSM and the SRB Accountability at European Level: Room for Improvements? (co-authored with Filipe Brito Bastos), Briefing Paper for the European Parliament, May 2020.
, Learning from Casework: An Analysis of Institutional Innovations and Development Opportunities in the Utrecht Youth Care System (co-authored with Jan-Kees Helderman and Charles Sabel), Institute for Management Research, Radboud University Nijmegen, and Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES), 30 January 2020Jan-Kees Helderman, Jonathan Zeitlin, and Charles Sabel
“Experimentalism in Transnational Forest Governance: Implementing EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreements in Indonesia and Ghana” ( co-authored with Christine Overdevest), ACCESS EUROPE Research Paper No. 2016/02
Further Socializing the European Semester: Moving Forward for the Social Triple A? (co-authored with Bart Vanhercke and Astrid Zwinkels), report commissioned by the Luxembourg Parliament and Presidency of the European Union, Brussels: European Social Observatory, December 2015.
Socializing the European Semester? Economic Governance and Social Policy Coordination in Europe 2020 (co-authored with Bart Vanhercke), Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies (SIEPS) Report 2014: 7, December 2014.
"The EU and Transnational Regulation: Extending Experimentalist Governance?", GR:EEN Policy Brief No. 40, November 2014.
"Experimentalism in Transnational Governance: Emergent Pathways and Diffusion Mechanisms" (co-authored with Charles Sabel), GR:EEN Working Paper No. 3 (2011).