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Cross-disciplinary theme: Europe and the European Union

Europe as a political and institutional space is the backdrop to all CEE’s research work, which aims to shed light on changes in contemporary European societies. These include ecological and digital transformations, the financialisation of the economy, increased mobility, urbanisation, rising inequalities, the crisis of representative democracy, and so on.

The study of the European Union as a standard-setting, regulation-producing institutional system, together with research on Europe as a diverse political and societal space, are fundamental aspects of CEE’s scientific identity. As such, Europe and the EU are addressed across all key research themes, in the same way as ecological crises and comparative studies.

CEE members may adopt a comparative perspective involving several different European countries, or Europe and other regions of the world.

Section #europe-research

Europe and the European Union in our research

From a thematic point of view, CEE researchers study EU institutions, particularly the European Central Bank (Matthias Thiemann, Jérôme Deyris), and European Investment Bank (Matthias Thiemann); the relationship between citizens and the EU (Florence Haegel, Caterina Froio; Colin Hay and Florence Faucher on Brexit and its consequences; Chiao Li ’s PhD on European elections); Europe in international relations (Richard Balme with China, Patrick Le Galès with Latin America).

Other research looks at European integration through environmental policy (Charlotte Halpern, Richard Balme), economic policy (Colin Hay, Thomas Laffitte’s PhD), industrial policy (Ulrike Lepont), migration policy (Virginie Guiraudon, Viviane Spitzhofer’s PhD), social policy (Bruno Palier, Nathalie Morel, Angeliki Konstantinidou ’s PhD at the intersection of social and migration policies), regulation policy (Cyril Benoît, Takuya Onoda ) urban and regional policy (Carlo Colombo, Marco Cremaschi , Charlotte Halpern , Patrick Le Galès , Tommaso Vitale ), or through financial rules (Matthias Thiemann) and budgetary rules (Patrick Le Lidec).

CEE research addresses the consequences of European integration on national politics (Isabelle Guinaudeau, Emiliano Grossman, Lennard Alke’s PhD research on speeches about the EU in national parliaments), its impact on territories (Charlotte Halpern, Patrick Le Galès, Tommaso Vitale; Patrick Le Lidec on local public finances), and on European societies (Virginie Guiraudon).

CEE members also examine the challenges facing the EU and the continent as a whole: exclusion and inclusion (Laura Morales, Tommaso Vitale, Florence Haegel), issues surrounding political representation and the (loss of) confidence in politics and politicians (Florence Faucher, Isabelle Guinaudeau, Colin Hay, Laura Morales , Brenda Van Coppenolle , Claire Vincent-Mory , Jens Carstens’s PhD), the polarisation of debates (Florence Haegel, Caterina Froio, Jan Rovny), the rise in extremism, particularly right-wing extremism (Caterina Froio, Nonna Mayer, Pietro Castelli Gattinara, Catarina Leão ), democratic backsliding (Jan Rovny, Caterina Froio , Elena Cossu), the relationship between political and ecological crises (Pierre Charbonnier), and the climate crisis and decarbonisation (Charlotte Halpern).

Europe is also central to the work of a number of researchers associated with the Centre: Natasha Wunsch focuses on EU enlargement to the East (in particular to the Balkan countries); Camille Hamidi specialises in migration issues in Europe; Tatiana Coutto focuses on EU foreign policy and communication; Mirjam Dageförde studies value conflicts in Europe, inter alia; Luis Ramiro studies the radical left in Europe and public attitudes to experts, inter alia; Tiago Moreira Ramalho and Andreas Eisl specialise in EU economic governance issues.

Section #projects

Research Projects

A number of current and recently completed funded projects focus on Europe:

  • ActEU - Towards a New Era of Representative Democracy - Activating European Citizens’ Trust in Times of Crises and Polarization, for which the Sciences Po team is led by Laura Morales. This European project looks at the decline in political trust and legitimacy in several European countries and the polarisation of European societies.
  • AUTHLIB - Neo-authoritarianisms in Europe and the liberal democratic response. This European project focuses on threats to liberal democracy. The Sciences Po team led by Jan Rovny is mapping illiberal and neo-authoritarian ideologies in Europe.
  • BRIDGES - Assessing the production and impact of migration narratives, for which the French team is led by Virginie Guiraudon. This European project studies political and media narratives on immigration in Europe, and the impact of these narratives on public policy.
  • CHES - Chapel Hill Expert Survey on the positioning of political parties in Europe (including on EU issues), for which Jan Rovny is one of the principal investigators.
  • Empowering Consumers for the Green Economy Transition, a collaborative project between LIEPP’s Environmental Policy team and the Center for International Law (Singapore) co-led by Charlotte Halpern, on public policies in the EU and ASEAN designed to strengthen the role of consumers (ecological choices and protection against greenwashing).
  • EvalEU, a European project (CIVICA Research) co-led by Matthias Thiemann, which aims to assess the EU’s capacity to effectively implement ambitious environmental policies.
  • EvalEU 2 - Evaluating Blended Finance in the EU, a Sciences Po-funded project led by Matthias Thiemann focused on evaluating blended finance instruments used by development banks to green the economy.
  • FARMEC - Far-Right Mobilization and the European Crises: Electoral and Protest politics, an MSCA-funded project conducted by Pietro Castelli Gattinara . It seeks to explain the success of far-right populists in Europe by studying how far-right mobilisation evolved during the financial, refugee, and terrorism-related security crises.
  • FARPE - Far-Right Protest in Europe after the Great Recession, a Sciences Po-funded project led by Caterina Froio, looks at the links between the 2008 crisis and far-right mobilisations in Europe.
  • GUD EU Law - Governing the Urban Dimension of European Law, an MSCA-funded project conducted by Carlo Colombo . It examines the way in which EU legislation shapes and influences urban spaces and social life in cities, in a context of ecological transition.
  • KNOWLEGPO - Central banking in hard times: Knowledge, legitimacy, and politics. This Franco-German project, co-led by Matthias Thiemann, looks at how central banks (including the ECB) seek to deal with the major challenges of the 21st century.
  • POLLOT - Political Lotteries in European Democratisation, a project funded by an ERC grant to Brenda Van Coppenolle. It aims to understand whether and how the use of lotteries (among citizens or legislators) to make political decisions enables wider access to the political system, in European history and today.
  • REPCHANCE - led by Laura Morales and funded by the Bosch Foundation, this project compares the trajectories of access to national political representation for citizens from migrant backgrounds in Europe.
  • SUMP-PLUS - Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning: Pathways and Links to Urban Systems, a recently completed project on the sustainable mobility transition in European cities in which Charlotte Halpern participated.
  • The PopuList, a project co-led by Caterina Froio, proposes a methodology for categorising populist parties and their evolution in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • UNEQUALMAND - Unequal mandate responsiveness? How electoral promises and their realizations target groups in France and Germany. This Franco-German project, co-led by Isabelle Guinaudeau, addresses the following questions: Are different social groups equal when it comes to election promises and their fulfilment? How do citizens react to this targeting? Does it affect their feeling of being well represented?
  • What Do ‘the People’ Want? Analysing Online Populist Challenges to Europe is a recently completed project led by Caterina Froio and funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. It examined the links between online populist expression and electoral results in Europe and the United States.
Section #field
Section #teaching

Our teaching on Europe and the EU

The EU and Europe are also present in the courses taught by CEE members. At Sciences Po, Virginie Guiraudon taught an introductory course in European Studies at the Undergraduate College. Colin Hay teaches a course on Europe and globalisation open to students from the School of Public Affairs and the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA). Jan Rovny teaches major contemporary European issues at Summer Schools. Ulrike Lepont teaches European economic policy (School of Public Affairs). Bruno Palier teaches European health and social policy (Undergraduate College and School of Public Affairs). Caterina Froio teaches courses on populism (School of Public Affairs) and on the impact of digital technology on politics (School of Research and Urban School). Nathalie Morel teaches the comparative political economy of social protection systems in Europe, public policy responses to social inequalities, and social innovation and welfare state reforms in Europe (Undergraduate College, PSIA, School of Public Affairs). Patrick Le Galès teaches the governance of European cities (Urban School). Matthias Thiemann and Cyril Benoit jointly teach the political economy of financial regulation (School of Research). Matthias Thiemann also teaches a course on the rise of development banks in the post-crisis EU (School of Public Affairs). Florence Faucher teaches a seminar on Politics and Governance in Europe as part of the LSE-Sciences Po double degree in European Studies at the School of Public Affairs, and a course on democracy in crises at the School of Public Affairs. Finally, CEE researchers run the Europe Workshop, a seminar for Master’s students at the School of Research. The Europe Workshop is coordinated by Caterina Froio and Joost de Moor, who have followed on from Nonna Mayer, Florence Haegel, Virginie Guiraudon, and Nicolas Sauger.

Section #conferences-seminars

Conferences and seminars

2023-2024 Conferences

Previous conferences (selected)

To coincide with the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (January-June 2022), CEE organised a conference with TEPSA (December 2021) and a joint monthly seminar with CERI, Cevipof, and the Pacte laboratory.

In June 2018, CEE hosted the conference of the ECPR Standing Group on the EU . Read two interviews conducted during the event: in French with organiser Virginie Guiraudon and in English with Florence Haegel , CEE director at the time.

Other conferences to (re)discover:


The CEE general seminar regularly focuses on European issues. Notable sessions include:

The key themes seminars also address the European dimension during topical sessions with outside speakers and discussions of CEE members’ research.

Section #articles

Articles and interviews for a general audience

CEE’s research on Europe is regularly featured in articles and interviews for a general audience. A few recent examples:

For more, check out the “Research news” and “CEE Media Contribution” sections.

Contact us

Address: 1 place Saint-Thomas d'Aquin, 75007 Paris

Ph.: +33 (0)1 45 49 83 52

Email: contact.cee@sciencespo.fr

Directory and Research Support Staff