European studies research
Explore our work in European studies, one of our 5 areas of expertise in Area Studies
We're studying transnational processes of integration and disintegration in Europe and the European Union (EU). Building on our strong track record in this area of expertise, we take an interdisciplinary approach to researching changes in European society and societies, as well as institutional and legal dynamics within the EU and its member states, and Europe’s role in global politics.
The growing contestation of Europe and the EU has led to new forms of social mobilisation across borders. Our research helps to understand such forms of mobilisation and to support citizens in forming connections and understanding and securing their rights.
The changing institutional and legal dynamics in the EU also provide new access routes for shaping politics and policy trajectories. We're seeking to understand what drives these changes and how citizens and organised political actors can exert influence.
Our Centre of European and International Studies Research has a strong tradition of research on Europe and the EU. Within it, the Transnational Politics and Society Research Group focuses on transnational political and social processes that cross borders, especially in Europe.
European Studies research is also fostered by the EU-funded Jean Monnet Centre for the Study of Transnational Europe and the Transnational Civil Society strategic project in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities.
Our research focuses on the following key topics
- Transnational mobilisation of EU citizens, especially students and migrant workers
- Transnational and European collaboration among organised political actors, especially political parties and interest groups
- Institutional and legal dynamics in the EU, both from a current and a contemporary historical perspective
Within our research, we use quantitative research methods–statistical analysis, questionnaires and social network analysis–and qualitative techniques including ethnographic observation, visual analysis, interviews, and archival research.
Partnerships and funders
We're engaged with a number of public institutions and external research centres, as well as several schools and departments in our University.
We have collaborated with the European Parliament Research Service to enhance research about the institution’s history and improve its knowledge-based policy-making. We have also cooperated with the Centre for Global Cooperation Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen in a programme to better understand pathways of global cooperation.
As part of a new research project on European circular migration and implications for wellbeing, citizenship and family life, we have cooperated with Central European University and Hungarian Science of Academy, as well as the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). These exchanges help us build a collaborative and international empirical research project and share data with Hungarian and Norwegian research centres. This allows us to expand the scope and application of our findings.
Our recent funders have included the British Academy, EU, German Science Foundation, Hungarian Academy of Science; Norwegian Research Council, and the Dutch Foundation of Technology. We have wide-ranging professional experience in political institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). We have advised public institutions like the European Parliament on ways to enhance their self-reflexivity regarding their institutional practices and how to improve their knowledge-based policy-making.
We have also worked with NGOs and citizen groups–like New Europeans, European Citizens Action Service and the European Movement–to help citizens exercise their legal rights and engage in democratic political processes. And our collaboration with EU legal experts will contribute to understanding the manifold repercussions of Brexit and the UK leaving the EU’s single market.
We publish regularly in journals including Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Public Policy, Politique Européenne, Journal of European Integration History, Contemporary European History, plus many others.
Interested in a PhD in Area Studies & International Development?
Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Area Studies & International Development postgraduate research degrees page.