Research

The purpose of the CBE is to provide high-quality, research-based analysis to a wide range of stakeholders on the most salient issues affecting the UK, Europe, and their various relationships.

Research strategy

We understand the European integration as a matrix of overlapping layers of governance, institutions and processes that shape how people of this continent live their lives and are governed, as well as how Europe engages the rest of the world. The integration process has produced a novel Euro-polity in which many policy areas are governed jointly by member states, but in which persistent diversity remains at national and sub-national level. Citizens thus experience European integration differently in the various member states of the EU. Moreover, the EU is best considered as the core of this governance matrix, but not its entirety: other organisations and processes exert a significant influence over the evolution and impact of European integration.

Our overall objective is to understand how European integration shapes daily life. Our research work is dedicated to this purpose, and we want to use our expertise to help those in the community to whom it could be beneficial. Our aim for this outreach work is to help people in Surrey understand the processes of European integration more deeply, so that it becomes possible to know how they shape the daily life of people in our region – and what can be done to encourage or prevent this. We are building links with local civil society groups, schools and colleges, local politicians and the media. Over time, we hope these links will turn into a community of informed and active citizens.

Our research strategy expresses an identifiable and distinctive approach to European studies:

  • A focus on the lived experience of European integration i.e. how integration is shaped by, and shapes our lives as European citizens.
  • Academic-practitioner cooperation.
  • An evaluative epistemology, which focuses on critique and proposals for improvement of EU policy and institutions as appropriate.
  • An understanding of European integration as a complex constellation of processes, institutions and actors including, but not limited to, the EU.
  • Openness to how EU studies and European studies are understood in different disciplines and outside the Anglo-sphere.
  • Openness to multidisciplinarity and intradisciplinarity.

Research themes

Research projects and outreach

Unintended Gender Consequences: EU Politics and Politics in Practice 2012 -2014

Summary

This project is a partnership between leading gender scholars. The aim of the network is to support critical work in the field of gender and EU politics. Specifically, it seeks to: 

  • Develop a theoretical framework for feminist European Union studies
  • Understand the unintended gender consequences of mainstream EU policies
  • Integrate a gender perspective to the study of EU politics and policies.

Several recent studies have examined how, and to what extent EU policy contributes to shifts in national gender regimes, gender policy and gender relations. These studies consider the changes in national policy and the manner in which these may have been precipitated by European policy shifts and/or activism in other member states or at the EU level. This network will contribute to ongoing discussions about the value and impact of gender mainstreaming as a policy tool. It will establish contact with key practitioners and seek to raise awareness of institutional drivers that limit the impact of gender policies at the European and national level. 

The network will engage both in a theoretical exploration of intended and unintended consequences, therefore establishing an analytical framework for the comparison of different policy areas. Increasing attention is being paid to unintended consequences or outcomes of key policies. An example of this new focus is the Fawcett Society's case against the UK Coalition Government in 2010. The work conducted in this area highlights the need for a paradigm shift in policy analysis looking at the constraints and opportunities available to practitioners to explore and take account of all the possible repercussion of a particular policy approach. Equally the work to be undertaken by the network will draw attention to the measures that can be utilised in order to minimise the gendered impact of key policy areas such as economic and fiscal policy as well as external relations. The work to be undertaken by our network is a critical assessment of the 'unintended' or indirect consequences of European policy on domestic gender regimes and gender relations. We examine this in policy areas which are generally believed to fall outside 'women's policy'. This critical evaluation will thus enable knowledge transfer in the area of gender mainstreaming and the development of empirical projects exploring the implementation of these principles in a variety of other policy areas.

Key outputs of the project to date are:

  • Special issue of Women Studies International Forum on unintended gender consequences of EU policies;
  • Two panels at European Conference for Politics and Gender 2013
  • Year 1 workshop at CRonEM conference 2013
  • Panels at UACES Annual Conference 2012 and 2013

Principal investigator

Dr Roberta Guerrina, University of Surrey

Co-investigators

  • Gill Allwood, Nottingham Trent University
  • Nicole Busby, Strathclyde University, UK
  • Yvonne Gallighan, Queens Belfast
  • Grace James, Reading University, UK
  • Emanuela Lombardo, Madrid University, Spain
  • Heather McRae, York University, Canada
  • Elaine Weiner, McGill University, Canada

Summary

Ou members have participated since 2013 in the TEMPUS-funded Innovating Teaching and Learning of European Studies (INOTLES), with partners in five European countries. The project sought to develop the practice of teaching European studies in universities in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, through the creation of new resources on substantive areas and training in the use of new pedagogies, including simulations, blended learning and problem-based learning techniques.

The INOTLES Centre for European Studies is an institutionalisation of the network built up by the project, offering an evolving programme of continued interaction and activities.

Affiliated members

Summary

We host the Jean Monnet module ‘current trends in European integration studies: beyond the Eurocrisis’, coordinated by Dr Cristiano Bee and supported by the European Commission – Lifelong Learning Programme.

The module aims to foster and promote knowledge on the present and future state of the European Integration through a variety of teaching methodologies (lectures, roundtables, summer school) and dissemination activities, such as podcasts and bulletins in the Department of Politics newsletters.

More specifically, the module provides theoretical and empirical insights to understand the EU’s policy making and the development and analysis of EU’s social policies, the emergence of forms of euro-scepticism, the implications of the process of europeanisation in the current state of crisis, the modalities through which the civil society mobilise and engage in the development of the European Public Sphere. All these topics have long been debated in the academic literature. The aim is to foster a timely academic reflection on the various dynamics that are currently shaping the European Integration process in the context of the Eurocrisis and to offer a range of opportunities for different target groups to engage with the development of different themes covered by the module.

The module adopts an interdisciplinary approach, and draws on policy studies, political sociology, political science and social policy. It is organised around three primary activities: summer schools, seminars and roundtable discussions.

Summer school

This takes place each year, as an opening to our annual conference. The summer school targets postgraduate students and furnishes an overview on current debates by focusing on how the EU is responding to the economic, social and political consequences of the recession, and is aimed principally at those who wish to undertake advanced study of the EU, or for whom the chance to update their knowledge of EU affairs would be professionally useful. In 2014 the first edition of the summer school was organised around the theme protest, resistance and social change in the EU. The event took place between 23 -28 June and attracted a number of research students from different European countries. Keynote speakers at included experts in the area of EU studies, such as Dr Oliver Daddow, Prof Paul Statham, Dr Johanna Kantola and Dr Amandine Crespy.

Seminars

These bring to Surrey a range of experts in EU issues to present their work on different hot topics. During the academic year 2013/2014 a number of seminars were delivered by key scholars such as Dr Sofia Vasillopoulou, Dr Paul Copeland, Mrs Anastasia Karatzia and Prof David Coen.

Roundtables

These offer updated reflections and debates by key experts (stakeholders, academics, civil society activists, politicians), on different issues regarding current developments at the EU level. During the academic year 2013/14 the module organised a roundtable on gender in the EU coordinated by Dr Roberta Guerrina, a seminar on the engagement of the civil society in the European Union chaired by Mr.Richard Wassell of the Centre for Europe, and a Hustings event with candidates at the 2014 European Parliament elections.

Summary

This part of our work is aimed at helping local people find out about what the EU does and how it, along with other European integration institutions, shapes their lives. We want to undertake a stock-taking exercise with local citizens, civil society groups and media representatives so that we can establish how people in Surrey find out about EU events, and what the strengths and weaknesses of these channels of communication are. We also want to establish whether and how local people and groups seek to influence European-level decisions.

Through this mapping exercise, we will develop a strategy for more effective communication in both directions: from Surrey citizens to the EU, and from the EU to Surrey citizens.

Summary

The Surrey EuroForum is a means to bring together teachers in EU studies and the general public for a series of training and information events.

There are two strands of activities that together create the Forum:

  1. Strand one is a series of events for teachers in local school and colleges. These half-day events will focus on understanding current EU events, as well as exchanging ideas on how the EU can most effectively be taught and studied in pre-University settings.
  2. Strand two is a series of themed roundtable discussions. These will involve expert panellists, but will be aimed at a non-expert audience. Designed to be accessible to the general public, these events will take place in the early evening, and address key EU issues of the moment.

Contact us

Find us

Address
Department of Politics
Duke of Kent Building (DK)
University of Surrey
Guildford
Surrey
GU2 7XH