Research team

Politics & Public Governance

Expertise

Training for public authorities: European and International Decision-making, negotiations.

Trust and distrust in multi-level governance: causes, dynamics, and effects (GOVTRUST). 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2025

Abstract

Contemporary governance of society is complex, as public authorities at different levels of government (EU, national, subnational) cooperate with non-state actors in multi-layered decision-making arenas when designing and implementing regulation. This complexity of governance is reflected in the concept of 'multi-level governance'. For a multi-level governance system to perform well, trust is a fundamental condition. While a certain degree of organised distrust between actors may be functional, the recurring reports of declining trust between citizens, private sector organizations, and public authorities at different governmental levels raise severe challenges for society. When trust declines, cooperation between citizens, private organizations, and government, but also between public authorities at the different levels of government is compromised. And without cooperation, effective governance is not possible. However, scientific knowledge about the dynamics, causes and effect of trust and distrust in multilevel governance is underdeveloped. Encompassing research teams from political science and public administration, law, communication sciences and behavioural economics, the research excellence consortium GOVTRUST will study in an interdisciplinary way the dynamics, causes and effects of trust and distrust between the actors involved in multi-level governance. To that end, the consortium will apply mixed research designs with diverse research methodologies, including legal studies, large-N surveys, different kinds of experiments, content analysis, social network analysis as well as small-N controlled case comparisons. With its research program, collaborations and activities the consortium will contribute to scientific knowledge at an international level of excellence, while increasing the international reputation of the University of Antwerp and aiming for a substantial impact on the governance of society.

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Trust in Governance and Regulation in Europe (TiGRE). 01/01/2020 - 30/06/2023

Abstract

TiGRE provides an encompassing and coherent analytical framework for the study of trust relationships in governance. It studies trust among actors of regulatory regimes, such as regulators, political, administrative and judicial bodies, the regulated industries, service providers and their interest organisations, consumers and other societal interests, as well as citizens at large. TiGRE opens thereby new research directions within the tradition of studies of trust relationships between citizens and public authorities. TiGRE's aim is to reveal the role of trust and distrust in European regulatory governance and the ways trust can be maintained, enhanced, repaired and nurtured via administrative practices and reforms. It takes a multilevel governance approach, which includes the EU level as well as the national and regional ones. Trust – both as a pre-condition and a consequence of well-functioning regulatory regimes – is a key factor to be considered in order to capture how these regimes are able to produce effective and legitimate governance. The in-depth investigation of the complex interplay between trust configurations and regulation in different regulatory regimes (finance, food safety, communication and data protection) across levels of governance and in several countries requires the joint effort of experts with wide-ranging experience. TiGRE is run by a tightly integrated multidisciplinary consortium of top-level scholars, who bring together a very broad range of theoretical, substantial, and methodological skills. A cutting-edge mixed-method approach is applied to provide a comprehensive understanding of such multi-faceted trust-related processes. To bridge research with policy and practice, TiGRE provides criteria, indicators and early warning mechanisms for detecting decreasing trust, and scenarios on consequences thereof. They will be validated through interaction with stakeholders and compared with evidence from outside the EU.

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Jean Monnet Chair 'Skills in EU Studies' 01/09/2019 - 31/08/2022

Abstract

The main aim of the project is to strengthen teaching on the EU in political science programs. In addition, activities in all three additional categories will be deployed: serving other academic disciplines, supervising research on active learning and organizing teaching and other events for the general public and targeted groups such as secondary school pupils. The chair's academic teaching load is almost entirely focused on European Integration, yet very diverse in terms of content, teaching methods and curricula. The courses are mainly taught in English, organized by the department of Political Science and serve bachelor and master students in Political Science, Political Communication, and International Relations and Diplomacy. In addition, courses are offered in the Faculty of Sciences and the Antwerp Management School. The Jean Monnet support will enable to further develop the courses, in particular regarding skills teaching. The implementation of simulations and other skills teaching is increasingly underpinned by interdisciplinary research. The chair is senior member of the research group Politics and Public Governance (PPG). PPG studies political and public governance institutions, their evolution and how institutional mechanisms shape actors' scope of action, positions, decisions and behaviour, more in particular in a European multi-layered and multi-actor context. One research agenda to be further developed within PPG is the interdisciplinary track on assessing the impact of skills teaching on student's learning outcomes. Finally, the chair will organise EU related events through which a variety of audiences will be targeted.

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Trust, legitimacy and intended compliance with COVID-19 exit strategy measures. 01/06/2020 - 31/05/2021

Abstract

Hoewel ingrijpende Covid-19 lockdownmaatregelen legitiem waren in de eerste maanden van de crisis, begint de roep om strenge maatregelen geleidelijk aan af te nemen. Burgers eisen dat exit-strategieën ontwikkeld worden met voldoende aandacht voor hun sociaaleconomische belangen, terwijl potentiële inbreuken op grondrechten zoals bewegingsvrijheid, privacy en eerlijke mededinging, en rechtsbeginselen zoals gelijkheid en proportionaliteit, leiden tot kritiek en zelfs rechtszaken tegen overheidsmaatregelen. De huidige overheidsstrategieën zijn hoofdzakelijk gebaseerd zijn op epidemiologisch en medisch onderzoek. De toenemende relevantie van sociale en juridische factoren voor exit-strategieën impliceert echter dat nieuwe data en kennis dringend nodig zijn. In het bijzonder is er behoefte aan inzicht in de voorwaarden waaronder Covid-19 overheidsmaatregelen sociaal legitiem en wettig zijn en burgers stimuleren tot naleving. Ons project verhelpt het gebrek aan wetenschappelijke en beleidsrelevante kennis van sociale en juridische factoren van belang bij Covid- 19 exit-strategieën, door middel van een dubbele onderzoekaanpak: 1) drie vignette surveys bestuderen hoe de nalevingsbereidheid en legitimiteit van combinaties van nieuwe Belgische Covid-19 maatregelen worden beïnvloed door framing op onderliggende volksgezondheids-, sociale en juridische belangen, en 2) een systematische juridische analyse genereert inzicht in de wettigheid van nieuwe maatregelen, en dient tevens als essentiële input voor het ontwerp van voornoemde vignette surveys. Door middel van continue communicatie aan overheden van resultaten uit zowel de vignette survey als de juridische analyse, kunnen we reeds gedurende het project beleidsrelevante input leveren voor concrete maatregelen. Daarmee helpen we overheden om geïnformeerde en gebalanceerde beslissingen te nemen over hun exit-strategieën en helpen we gebrekkige naleving van of rechtszaken tegen Covid-19 maatregelen te voorkomen.

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Stakeholder involvement as legitimation strategy: an illustration of EU financial agencies. 01/05/2020 - 30/04/2021

Abstract

This SEP-grant constitutes an additional year of the PhD-trajectory of Bas Redert. It is subsequent to a three year EU grant in the framework of the Innovative Training Network PLATO on the Post-crisis Legitimacy of the European Union. The grant has four significant benefits to the research already conducted by PhD-researcher Bas Redert and to future academic endeavors at the University of Antwerp. First, the prolongation of the PhD-trajectory makes it possible to analyze the topic at hand in more depth. Also, it means that previous research can be extended, and novel methodologies can be applied to the study of EU interest groups. As a result, the SEP-grant opens new (methodological) avenues for research in this specific field. Besides, the grant also serves to make the PhD-dissertation more coherent and well-rounded. Second, and related to this, the prolongation makes it possible to publish various articles in top-journals. During the three year ITN-scholarship, a single-authored article in the highly ranked Journal of Common Market Studies has been accepted for publication, and a co-authored book chapter in an edited volume (edited by Chris Lord, Dirk De Bièvre, Ramses Wessels and Peter Bursens) is awaited to be published by ECPR Press. The SEP-grant will provide time to prepare and submit other articles for publication in top journals. Third, the SEP grant makes it possible to write an FWO junior postdoctoral grant proposal. As the timeframe of a three-year PhD-trajectory is extremely tight, it would have been difficult to write an up-to-par FWO proposal. Receiving the SEP grant provides the time needed to prepare and submit an outstanding post-doc proposal for the Politics and Public Governance research group at the University of Antwerp. The proposal will be submitted for the call of December 2020 and would be awarded in June 2021. Fourth, the additional year of funding will be used to write and submit grant and research project proposals together with my current supervisors and other UAntwerp faculty. Recently, the Politics and Public Governance research group became part of one the Centres of Excellence with a focus on 'Trust and Distrust in Multi-level Governance'. GOVTRUST will perform cutting-edge and cross-disciplinary research at international frontier domains. Research expertise on stakeholder involvement in relation to EU legitimacy and legitimation strategies fits perfectly within the aims and scopes of the Centre. Hence, close cooperation with the Centre of Excellence will be highly stimulating and beneficial for both sides. More specifically, GOVTRUST will provide the context to apply for larger scale collaborative European research programs. Indeed, prolongation generates benefits for the University of Antwerp as it allows for submitting grant proposals to be executed in Antwerp. In short, the SEP grant makes it possible to stimulate ongoing research endeavors and creates lasting initiatives for new research at the university.

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Who or what do Members of the European Parliament (MEP) represent? Explaining the variation in foci of representation amongst MEPs in their legislative behaviour. 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

It is often argued that the European Union (EU) suffers from a 'democratic deficit' and that its representative democracy is not functioning well. Generally, it is expected that the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) should represent the 'citizens' voice in the EU' (see European Parliament's website). Yet, we know little about the representative behaviour of MEPs. Who or what do MEPs actually represent? And how can we explain differences in their so-called 'foci of representation'? Is this just a matter of differences between MEPs or can an MEP represent someone or something different in different contexts? These are the questions guiding this research project. Empirically, we focus on one of the key tasks of MEPs: to legislate. More specifically, the amendments MEPs introduce to legislation proposed by the European Commission (EC) will be analysed. The project will look into whether the amendments refer to, for example, a specific business or industry, to a more general interest like global warming, or to the MEPs member state or local constituency. The innovative contribution is that we start from the assumption that MEPs do not express just one of these foci, but that they can combine multiple foci in one amendment and shift between foci according to policy issue or moment in the electoral cycle. Theoretically, the aim is to explain variation in the focus of representation using a model that integrates EU-level, individual level and country level factors.

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The Post-crisis Legitimacy of the European Union European Training Network (PLATO). 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

Is there a crisis in the legitimacy of the European Union? That research question is timely and important. Investigating it is also an ideal way of training research leaders of tomorrow to rethink our assumptions about the study of legitimate political order. Whilst, however, the financial crisis has raised new questions about the legitimacy of the EU, existing theories of legitimacy crises are largely based on single-state political systems. New theory is, therefore, needed to understand what would count as legitimacy crises in the case of a non-state political system such as the EU. PLATO's (The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU) ESRs will work together as a team to build new theory from 15 investigations into different standards and actors with whom the EU may need to be legitimate. ESRs will go well beyond the state-of-the-art by building a theory of legitimacy crisis in the EU from a uniquely interdisciplinary understanding of how democracy, power, law, economies and societies all fit together with institutions within and beyond the state to affect the legitimacy of contemporary political order. By developing the analytical tools needed to understand a core predicament in which the EU may both need to develop legitimate forms of political power beyond the state and find those forms of power hard to achieve, PLATO will train ESRs with the conceptual clarity needed to define new research questions at the very frontiers of their disciplines and the methodological skills needed to research those questions. They will also be prepared for careers in the non-academic sector (policy-advice, consulting, civil society, European institutions and expert bodies). PLATO's ambitious cross-university, crosscountry and cross-sectoral programme of research training, supervision and secondments will pool resources from a unique network of 9 research-intensive universities and 11 non-academic partners who are themselves key users of state-of-the-art social science research. https://www.plato.uio.no/

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Project website

Antwerp Consortium on the Organization of Rulemaking and Multilevel Governance in Europe (ACTORE). 01/09/2016 - 31/08/2019

Abstract

The core research revolves around the theme of multilevel governance in the EU. The consortium examines how EU multilevel governance impacts upon public policymaking processes in relation to rule-making and rule-implementation, both at the European and the domestic level. Its research program is centered around three interrelated research lines focusing on the complex multilevel governance system of the EU, changing domestic and EU rule-making processes and the legitimacy of the EU multilevel political system. Multilevel governance in the EU has made the organizational and institutional architecture of government and governance institutions much more interdependent and complex, affecting the way national and European societal interests organize themselves, how they secure representation and provide input in order to influence policy outcomes. These developments interact with changing domestic and European processes and outcomes of rule-making. All this ultimately raises questions concerning the legitimacy of how the EU multilevel political system operates and involves citizens and societal groups.

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The effect of active learning environments on students' situational interest. A quasi-experimental study of simulations in political science curricula. 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2019

Abstract

Academic teaching in political science has been increasingly changing from more teacher-centered towards more student-centered teaching. This trend entails the increasing use of active learning environments such as simulations which challenge students to deal critically with various aspects of decision-making, the content of policies, and the interactions between multiple actors and levels. Advocates of active teaching methods make a number of claims about the effects on learning results and dimensions of affective learning. However, substantive evidence of the effects is up to now rather anecdotal and methodologically poor, sometimes even contradictory. Hence, the main aim of this project is to investigate the effect of simulations of decision-making on one of the most important affective components of student learning: student's situational interest. The latter has been shown to be triggered by factors in the learning environment and an important predictor of academic performance. We start from the assumption that variation in active-learning environments will have an impact on students' situational interest. The research questions in this project therefore deal with how simulations influence situational interest of students. Do simulations of decision-making enhance student's situational interest? How does situational interest develop during a simulation of decision-making? Which conditions make simulations of decision-making more or less effective? What are the prohibiting and stimulating factors? Methodologically the project uses a quasi-experimental study in an ecological valid setting combining repeated measurement survey data with qualitative data from interviews and focus groups with students. We will collect unique data in a treatment condition as well as in a control condition. The intervention condition comprises several samples that are readily available as the main promotor of the team is involved in several national and international simulation projects. The design allows for innovation in terms of methods (quasi-experimental setting), empirics (unique data), multi-disciplinary approach (nexus between political sciences and educational sciences) and implementation (improving the effectiveness of simulations as a teaching tool).

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Political aspects of the formation and development of the EU migration policy. 16/10/2013 - 15/08/2014

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand Erasmus Mundus. UA provides Erasmus Mundus research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Imag(in)ing Europe: How do political cartoons (de) construct a European public sphere in times of crisis? 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2014

Abstract

To determine what impact the Eurocrisis has on the legitimacy of the EU, research on mechanisms that shape attitudes, perceptions and identities becomes paramount. Within this research agenda, I will turn to visual utterances of media coverage. By executing a comparative analysis of political cartoons, I intend to examine whether the political, economic and financial split in Europe is accompanied with a communicational or ideational split.

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Comparative regionalism: issues of European integration compared to other regional integration projects. 22/09/2013 - 14/07/2016

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the client. UA provides the client research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Teaching attitudes and skills towards Europe. 01/09/2013 - 31/08/2016

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the client. UA provides the client research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Policy Research Centre Foreign Policy, International Business and Development (VISION) (2012-2015). 01/01/2012 - 30/04/2016

Abstract

The consortium is composed of the Antwerp Centre for Institutions and Multilevel Politics, the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School and the H.U.Brussel. Within the KU Leuven, colleagues from the Faculty of Business and Economics, the HIVA - Research Institute for Work and Society, the Institute for International and European Policy, the Research Unit International and Foreign Law, the Institute for International Law, and the Institute for European Law are also involved in the project. Research is structured in four thematic pillars: (i) International and European Law; (ii) International and European Policy; (iii) International Entrepreneurship; and (iv)Development Cooperation. The University of Antwerp takes the lead in the second pillar. Project 1: Explaining variation of regional authorities' influence in EU legislation European policy has an impact on competences held by regions. Moreover oftentimes regions have to implement directives coming from the European Union. Therefore it is relevant for them to gather information about incoming European legislation as well as try to be heard during the policymaking process. With this in mind the regional representations were set up in Brussels. The influence of these regional representations varies. The goal of this research is to explain the variation in influence of regional representations on the EU policymaking process. The first step is to quantify influence using expert interviews and preference attainment. This method studies whether and by how much regions were able to approach the policy outcome to their preferred outcome. Subsequently, the differences in influence will be explained by three clusters of variables. The most interesting cluster includes the strategies regions use to influence the policymaking process, for instance coalitions with other actors (NGOs, companies, interest groups). The two other clusters of variables include the characteristics of the region (e.g. amount of personnel at the regional representation) and the characteristics of the issue (e.g. degree of polarization). The goal is to find variables and more specifically strategies that make a difference in the influence of regions in the EU. project 2: Explaining variation in regional authorities' representation in European Union external policy fields The central research question of this project is: what explains variation in the way in which regional governments represent their interests in external economic policy fields of the European Union? More precisely, we will focus on ways and channels through which regions try to limit the information-asymmetry, that arises because different governmental levels play a role in this external policy. From this other questions follow: what is the degree of impact of EU external policy on the regions (or on Flanders)? How can regions effectively represent their interests in the EU's external policy? Otherwise stated: which methods are the most effective to minimize the loss of information? The external policy of the EU contains the policy fields where the EU, as a sole actor, represents the member states on the international level. Two aspects that vary will be compared. Firstly we will investigate the differences between the external policy fields of trade in goods, trade in services, competition, intellectual property and investment. Secondly we will compare different regions on how they follow up the EU's external policies.

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Policy Research Centre Governmental Organization - Powerful Government (2012-2015). 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Flemish Public Service. UA provides the Flemish Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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The Belgian Presidency of the EU in the second half of 2010: what is the effect on knowledge, opinions and attitudes about European integration? 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2012

Abstract

This project explores the ways in which EU Presidencies affects the knowledge, opinions and attitudes on European integration among the public opinion and among experts (ministers and their cabinet members, civil servants and diplomats). The empirical research is focused on the Belgian EU Presidency in the second half of 2010. Collection of data will be done by interviews (experts) and focus groups (public opinion). The Netherlands will be taken as control case.

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Democratic Legitimacy of (federal) political systems. An analysis of the Belgian case from a European comparative perspective 01/07/2009 - 31/12/2013

Abstract

The Belgian federation suffers from substantial problems with respect to its democratic legitimacy. This project aims at a systematic analysis of Belgian democratic legitimacy in order to formulate suggestions with respect to improvements. This will be done through a theoretical redesigning of democracy concepts for multilevel political systems and through a comparative analysis of the EU and other (quasi-)federal political systems

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Good Governance in the European Union. Development of a "good governance" model as a contribution for the political and juridical legitimacy of a multi-level political system. 01/10/2007 - 30/09/2011

Abstract

The "White Paper on European Governance" is presented as an answer to the legitimacy crisis of the EU. Both legal and political science scholars consider "good governance" as a remedy for the legitimacy problems of the EU, but at the same time criticize the current EU-concept. This project develops an interdisciplinary theoretical model of European "good governance" and tests the existing European model against the theoretical ideal type.

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Coercive diplomacy as an instrument of the foreign and security policy of the European Union (EU). 01/02/2007 - 30/09/2008

Abstract

Coercive diplomacy aims at convincing the opponent to halt his action by backing one's demand with a threat to punishment, possibly including the limited use of violence. Factors that make that coercive diplomacy is effective, are: the motivation of both parties (in absolute terms), which is related to the size of the demand and the size of the related interests; asymmetry with respect to motivation and interests (in relative terms); the fear (by the opponent) of escalation; sensitivity to sanctions by the opponent; the credibility of the one that threatens, which on its turn depends on the means available and his reputation; the support of public opinion, both internally and externally; the role of time (for instance ultimatum); and the availability of positive incentives. The research question is dual: 1) To what extent is coercive diplomacy an effective instrument for the EU Foreign and Security Policy ? In other words, to what extent correspond the characteristics of the EU with the higher mentioned factors that determine the success rate of coercive diplomacy ? 2) To what extent does the possible succesful use of coercive diplomacy by the EU the existing theoretical framework of coercive diplomacy ? More in particular, are economic instruments (like economic sanctions) enough, or should there be a military stick available ? The analysis is of a qualitative nature; more in particular we will use the case-study method on the basis of a review of the literature and interviews. Case-study: the EU policy vis-à-vis the nuclear program of Iran since 2003.

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Project website

Federalism and Regionalisation in Europe - Optimising Multi-level Governance in the EU. 01/11/2006 - 01/12/2006

Abstract

This project consists of a series of workshops (Napoli, Edinburgh, Roma) and aims at a book chapter in a comparative reader on Regionalisation in Europe. The chapter will be co-athored by Peter Bursens (Universiteit Antwerpen), Wilfried Swenden (University of Edinburgh) and Stephan Förster (German Community - Belgium). It deals with the impact of European Integration on the external relations of the Belgian subnational level.

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The asylum policy of the European Union : a discourse theoretical and analytical research into the construction and implications of a security perspective on the development of a uniform asylum system. 01/10/2006 - 23/06/2007

Abstract

Since the 1980s asylum and migration in the European Union (EU) are increasingly been defined as a security risk. They are considered to be a cross-border threat to the realization of the internal market due to the abolition of internal border controls and a threat to the national stability of the Member States. The social construction of asylum as a problem causes a strong tension with the traditional humanitarian framework that forms the basis of international refugee protection and seems to result in the development of a restrictive European common asylum policy where the emphasis is being put on the controlling and preventing of migration into the EU. In this Ph.-D. research I will study the tension between security and human rights from a discourse-theoretical framework, based on the work of Foucault, Laclau & Mouffe and others. Since discourse theory doesn't contain an elaborated system of methods, working on methodology and research strategy will also be one of the challenges of this Ph. D. research. The main research question read as follows: Does a security discourse dominate the development of a European Common Asylum System (ECAS) and in what range does this explain the restrictive elements in the ECAS? In order to test this hypothesis two additional questions have to be answered: first: how does this process of securitization work? And second: what are the implications of a security discourse with relation to the development of the ECAS? On the basis of discourse analysis of primary sources (EU-treaties, reports of the Council, European Commission, European Parliament, interviews with EU-officials) and secondary sources (media-coverage, NGO reports etc', I will try to prove empirically that underneath the creation of the ECAS a securitization process is present. If the results show otherwise then the securitization process, which has been postulated regularly, but never proven empirically, should be falsified.

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Preference formation regarding European integration on the level of individual political elites: between utility maximisation and socialisation. 01/07/2006 - 31/12/2010

Abstract

This project examines the origins of political preferences regarding the European integration process on the level of individual political elites. Through quantitative and qualitative analyses it seeks to determine the relative weight of a rational calculus (rational choice institutionalism) and the socialising context (sociological institutional institutionalism) in the formation of elite preferences on European integration in Belgium.

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Policy Evalution with Respect to Sustainable Production and Consumption Patterns. 01/10/2005 - 31/03/2006

Abstract

This project deals with policy evaluation, and more in particular with the aims, formulation and efficiency of policies. The project aims (1) to evaluate whether Belgian policies which aim at changes in production and consumption patterns are coherent; (2) to analyse strenghts and weaknesses of current policies; (3) to formulate policy advice based on relevant concepts, instruments and methods.

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The asylum policy of the European Union : a discourse theoretical and analytical research into the construction and implications of a security perspective on the development of a uniform asylum system. 01/10/2004 - 30/09/2006

Abstract

Since the 1980s asylum and migration in the European Union (EU) are increasingly been defined as a security risk. They are considered to be a cross-border threat to the realization of the internal market due to the abolition of internal border controls and a threat to the national stability of the Member States. The social construction of asylum as a problem causes a strong tension with the traditional humanitarian framework that forms the basis of international refugee protection and seems to result in the development of a restrictive European common asylum policy where the emphasis is being put on the controlling and preventing of migration into the EU. In this Ph.-D. research I will study the tension between security and human rights from a discourse-theoretical framework, based on the work of Foucault, Laclau & Mouffe and others. Since discourse theory doesn't contain an elaborated system of methods, working on methodology and research strategy will also be one of the challenges of this Ph. D. research. The main research question read as follows: Does a security discourse dominate the development of a European Common Asylum System (ECAS) and in what range does this explain the restrictive elements in the ECAS? In order to test this hypothesis two additional questions have to be answered: first: how does this process of securitization work? And second: what are the implications of a security discourse with relation to the development of the ECAS? On the basis of discourse analysis of primary sources (EU-treaties, reports of the Council, European Commission, European Parliament, interviews with EU-officials) and secondary sources (media-coverage, NGO reports etc', I will try to prove empirically that underneath the creation of the ECAS a securitization process is present. If the results show otherwise then the securitization process, which has been postulated regularly, but never proven empirically, should be falsified.

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Research concerning the effective cost of an Erasmus study abroad. 01/04/2004 - 30/09/2005

Abstract

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    Co-ordination of the European refugee and migration policy and the Union's external relations : a cross-pillar approach with some case studies of the external dimension of Justice and Home Affairs. 01/10/2003 - 30/09/2005

    Abstract

    The migration and asylum policy of the European Union has made a policy shift throughout the nineties. Especially since the European Council in Tampere, the external dimension of migration and asylum has become a priority, the emphasis being laid on the causes of migration flows in countries of origin. Policy innovation has taken place on the junction of European refugee and migration policy and the external relations of the Union, the ultimate ambition being the establishment of a comprehensive or cross-pillar approach. However, this innovation turns out to be quite problematic. The pillar structure has led to a different level of communitarisation and involvement of the EU institutions, diverse decision-making procedures and various policy instruments, and as such has complicated the comprehensive or cross-pillar approach. This Ph.D. research aims at finding an explanation for the above-mentioned policy innovation. The main question reads as follows: how can the linking of asylum/migration and foreign policy best be explained? From a theoretical point of view, and more specifically the literature on supranational governance and institutionalisation, some factors are being put forward that account for policy entrepreneurship, endogenous development and external events. However, in an attempt to also clarify the security discourse in the field of migration, the above-mentioned factors need to be reread from a discourse theoretical perspective. The empirical part of the research will display a discourse analysis ' in which the discourse theoretical concepts of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe will be applied ' on EU policy documents related to the general policy shift on the one hand, and to four case studies on the other, being the High-Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration and its Action Plans, management of migration flows and readmission, co-operation with the Balkans on migration and asylum, and finally temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons.

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    EPHEBOS : European Provincial Heuristics for Educative Bachelor's Operational Synergy. 01/01/2003 - 31/12/2004

    Abstract

    The project 'EPHEBOS' attempts to analyse the basic needs and available sources in order to create a Europe-oriented modular education package for the bachelor level within the Association of the University of Antwerp-Colleges within the Antwerp province. This comprehensive research about education fits into the priorities of the Antwerp prov~nce and gains momentum with the Bologna declaration.

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    Training Centre for EU Affairs Strengthening State Institutions for EU Membership. 01/01/2003 - 31/12/2003

    Abstract

    The "training centre for EU affairs" is part of a cooperation program between Flanders and Central and East Europe. The goal of this project is to start up an education centre to improve the knowledge and skills of Czech public servants about Europe in anticipation of the entry to the European Union in 2004. This way, the project supports the main goal of the Czech foreign policy: stimulating the necessary reforms for integration in the European Uninon. The intention of the Flemish government is to assist candidate member states like the Czech Republic with this goal.

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    'Who Elected WTO?' Political Legitimacy of International Organisations (EU and WTO). 01/03/2002 - 31/12/2004

    Abstract

    International organisations such as WTO, IMF, World Bank, FTAA, EU and G8 are faced with a problem of political legitimacy. Indeed, the anti-globalisation movement can be seen to mobilise not only against the negative social and ecological consequences of economic globalisation, but also against the so-called `undemocratic nature' of international decision making. The growing emigration of decision making powers from the nation state to international organisations has made the issue of legitimacy more salient. The geographic and social distance between the centre of decision making and the citizens has grown considerably, a key issue in the literature concerning multilevel governance. It is exactly this crisis of legitimacy, faced by international organisations, that makes up the focal point of our research project. For our case studies we opted for two very divergent international organisations, which can be seen to occupy the end positions on the continuum from supranational to intergovernmental: the European Union (EU) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It is impossible to include all aspects of legitimacy of international organisations in this project. For this reason, the project focusses on certain aspects. Central to the debate, of course, is the anti-globalisation movement. So we want to find out: Who are these people, What do they want? How do they mobilise? To get an in-depth understanding, we use a variety of research methods. Since international institutions are far removed from the general public, we can assume a significant role for the media in creating knowledge of and attitudes towards these organisations. To this end, an extensive media analysis will be conducted of a range of media, both longitudinal and centred around certain top meetings (Laken ' EU and Quatar ' WTO). How often and when do media report on the EU and WTO? In what way do they report on them? Political legitimacy is not just a matter of structures being more or less democratic. It is equally concerned with the way these political institutions are perceived. In this respect, the attitudes of the population towards the EU and WTO are very significant. Based on existing survey data, we try to analyse the attitudes of the Belgian population towards EU and WTO. These will be connected to the other aspects of legitimacy under study.

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    Installation allowance. 14/02/2002 - 31/12/2002

    Abstract

    The apparatus will be used in several project to scan, print and project pictures and images to be included in presentations and reports.

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      The Legitimacy problem of multi-level political systems. On democratisation and identification in the European Union. 01/01/2002 - 31/12/2003

      Abstract

      The EU is confronted with a double legitimacy problem. On the one hand there exists an institutional democratic deficit and on the other hand the identification with the European governance level is extremely low. The combined approach of a conceptualisation of the EU as a multilevel governance system, with a focus on both institutional and cultural issues allows to formulate strategies to decrease the legitimacy problems.

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      Electronic Datamanaging of European Legislation. 01/01/2002 - 30/06/2003

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        Centre of Expertise for Environmental Policy Sciences (2001-2006). 01/10/2001 - 31/12/2006

        Abstract

        Scientific and policy oriented research within the environmental policy domain Valorisation of expertise Forge the critical mass necessary to build a centre of expertise Education of junior researchers in this field

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        Temporary protection of de facto-refugees in the European Union : the development of a common instrument to deal with massive inflows of refugees, within the framework of conflict prevention and conflict resolution. 01/10/2001 - 30/09/2003

        Abstract

        In the nineties, the conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, and especially the mass displacements they have produced, have stressed the need to deal with situations of large-scale influx. During the conflicts, the reaction of the European Union Member States has been the introduction of temporary protection for the displaced persons. However, those temporary protection regimes have not been developed in a concerted way but individually. Only now the Member States are working on the harmonisation of their policy towards displaced persons coming from conflict areas. This research will address the measures the European Union is taking or should take for the establishment of a joint temporary protection policy, as well as the efforts for equitable `burden-sharing'. Doing so, two main questions will be tackled. Firstly, aiming at the well-reception of future mass refugee flows, what should be the content of such a common European instrument? Secondly, how can this instrument be fitted into a `comprehensive approach' entailing conflict prevention and resolution in the region of origin? This second question refers to the growing need for the linkage of the European Union's internal and external policy. In other words, how can a temporary protection policy towards displaced persons, principally a matter of Justice and Home Affairs, be linked to the mechanisms for conflict management of the Common Foreign and Security Policy?

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          The development of a new European strategy on the environment and sustainable development 01/03/2000 - 28/02/2001

          Abstract

          On the basis of a scientific framework the next European Environmental Action Programme will be compared with the Flemish green plan. The aim is to foresee the consequences of the European policy on the Flemish environmental policy and sustainable development strategy and make recommendations for the Flemish government.

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            Implementation and convergence of European policy in Belgium. How to explain the Belgian integration paradox and the Europeanisation of Belgian policy-making ? 01/10/1999 - 30/09/2002

            Abstract

            This research is inspired by the so-called Belgian integration paradox : Belgian governments have always been enthusiastically supporting supranational European integration while at the same time they have been insufficiently able to transpose European legislation into national regulations. What are the reasons for the inadequate implementation ? Is the Belgian implementation process itself influenced by the European context ?

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              The influence of the European integration on the relation between interest groups and decision makers. 01/10/1996 - 30/09/1998

              Abstract

              This project analyses the political communication between interest groups and decision-makers on the European level and the consequences of the European integration proces on their relations. Communautarisation of policies forces them to adapt their influence-channels. How will this develop ?

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                The influence of the European integration on the relation between interest groups and decision makers. 01/10/1994 - 30/09/1996

                Abstract

                This project analyses the political communication between interest groups and decision-makers on the European level and the consequences of the European integration proces on their relations. Communautarisation of policies forces them to adapt their influence-channels. How will this develop ?

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