Centre for Research on the European Matrix (CRonEM)

Research agenda 2012-17

CRonEM – the Centre for Research on the European Matrix – understands 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.

The CRonEM research agenda expresses an identifiable and distinctive  ‘Surrey Approach’ to European Studies. The Surrey Approach has the following characteristics:

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

Our core research themes for CRonEM’s initial period have been identified as follows:

  • Researching European Integration: Beyond Methodological Nationalism and Disciplinary Silos
  • Opposing  European Integration: Euroscepticism and Legitimacy
  • European Union Foreign Policy: Effective Europeanization through National Reform?
  • Developing and sharing innovative practice in the pedagogy of European Studies
  • Political participation, identity and citizenship: Cosmopolitan Europe?
  • Learning About Europe: Public Opinion Formation and Media Representations of the EU
  • Rethinking European Integration: Towards Social, Gender and Environmental Justice?
  • Europe in Context: Global and Regional Governance