The Department of European & International Studies has more than doubled in size since 2008 and European & International Studies academic staff are today committed to multi-disciplinary research on European and international affairs, much of it transcending the mainstream and embracing a critical perspective. European & International Studies researchers publish in some of the leading journals in the discipline including the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, European Journal of International Relations, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of European Public Policy, Party Politics, Public Administration, and West European Politics. Our aim is to produce world leading research in the fields of European studies, European politics and international political economy that contributes not only to scholarship but also has a wider impact in the public and political spheres. The Department of European & International Studies also aims to develop the next generation of scholars by providing support and mentoring for early career researchers.
The department currently hosts five research groups:
The Comparative Politics Research Group
The Critical European Studies Research Group
The Comparative Politics Research Group is a cross-departmental research group open to all members of staff and PhD students in the School of Politics and Economics. The group has been established in recognition of the shared research interests of scholars across the school in different departments, with the primary aim of helping one another to advance publications and grant applications. The broad research interests of the group lie in the fields of comparative political science and comparative political economy. Group members are currently working on a wide range of research projects encompassing, among others, political parties, voting behaviour, political campaigning, interest groups and lobbying, inequality and the welfare state, electoral institutions, executive politics, and the politics of energy and security.
Current Group Members:
The European Foreign Policy Research Group
This interdisciplinary research group in the Department of European and International Studies (EIS) re-examines key concepts in Europe through a shared lens of critical theory. It critically evaluates the nature and role of transformations in empire, nation, and class in Europe. Using a social historical perspective, we explore movements, processes of identity formation and political change in Europe during moments of crisis. Group members also examine the contradictions inherent in diverse social manifestations of European political and cultural economy during times of transition, focusing on a wide spectrum of empirical cases from contemporary and historical Europe. With our interdisciplinary approach, emphasis on critical theory, and long-standing interdepartmental links with the Modern Languages departments (departments of French, German and Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies), this research group contributes to the established tradition of EIS in exploring topics and themes across diverse European localities and contexts. It further enhances synergies between European Studies and the Modern Languages departments, and expands this successful cross-faculty cooperation in teaching to the realm of research and critical inquiry in European and International Studies.
Current Group Members:
The International Political Economy Research Group
The research group on European Foreign Policy brings together staff and research students working on the European Union and European states’ external relations broadly conceived. Its members employ diverse theoretical approaches from the fields of International Relations, comparative public policy, and European Studies that can help to illuminate the evolution, functioning and performance of European foreign policy. The research group chimes with the Jean Monnet Centre on “Europe in the World” at King’s and has linkages with colleagues across King’s, most notably in Defence Studies and War Studies. Members of the group combine expertise on British, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Greek foreign policy and relations to a number of countries in the European neighbourhood (Egypt, Ukraine) and beyond (such as the United States, China, North Korea). In terms of policy areas, the group comprises expertise on the neighbourhood policy, defence, diplomacy, counter-terrorism and non-proliferation, policing and organised crime. The group is open to applications from new staff members from across King’s or advanced PhD students to join the group by contacting the chair.
The purpose of the group is to:
- provide members with opportunities to present their draft publications and grant applications in order to get high quality feedback and advice
- foster collaborative endeavours such as joint publications and bids for external funding on a small number of core research themes (see below)
- engage and build relationships with relevant practitioners in this area to promote the two-way exchange of knowledge
The main research themes currently are:
- The implications of old and new crises to European foreign policy-making. In particular, we want to explore how recent external crises are in various ways connected to domestic dynamics and policy challenges in ways that are not well conceptualised in foreign policy analysis generally and the study of EU foreign policy more specifically. Examples of theoretically under-researched challenges at the intersection of the EU and national levels are populist movements, economic and legitimacy crises associated with the Eurozone, and functionalist linkages between Schengen, border protection and addressing push-factors of migration and refugee flows. We want to promote middle range theorising of foreign policy that draws on country and area expertise as well as insights from public policy as well as IR.
- Defence cooperation and new security challenges in Europe. The Russian annexation of Crimea has been a watershed in European security and defence cooperation and played a significant role in elevating defence policy on the national and European agendas. We are interested in how national and supranational institutions seek to increase defence capacities as well as the political willingness to make use of them despite some of the well-known budgetary and political constraints. In particular, we are interested in the launch of EU permanent structured cooperation and the European Defence Fund, areas of mutualisation of defence capacities (sharing, pooling and role specialisation) as well as joint defence procurement and industrial cooperation. We are interested in how means and ends interrelate and the role national and European strategy making plays here and what impact Brexit is having on security and defence cooperation.
- Intelligence, learning and public discourse in foreign policy. This theme investigates the changing nature of intelligence and knowledge in foreign policy-making in Europe. It looks at the specific informational and analytical challenges in understanding the contemporary security threats that European countries are facing or maybe facing in the future, the challenges of persuasion, learning and timely response to intelligence in prevention, crisis management and strategy. We are also interested in how public contestation about knowledge claims in the media influences conflict knowledge and responses to foreign policy. Again, Brexit and the impact on European intelligence sharing will be cross-cutting theme.
Current Group Members:
The Modern Marxism Research Group
The main focus of the International Political Economy research group resides in the examination of the contemporary global crisis, both in its more structural dimension captured by the current debate on the retreat of globalisation, and in some of its more specific processes. These include, but are not limited to, the long aftermath of the global financial crisis, and its specific manifestation within the Eurozone, the effectiveness as well as the legitimacy crisis of the institutions of global governance, the breakdown and shrinking of global value chains and its implications for labour and production, the productivity and the innovation crises, the migration crisis increasingly perceived as a ‘new normal’, and the energy crisis and its relation with both development and the environment. Whereas the research group has a strong core of researchers focusing on Europe and its near abroad, some of its members broaden its geographical scope to encompass rising powers such as India, Brazil and China, allowing the research group as a whole to provide a genuinely global perspective on the current predicament of the global political economy. The Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on ‘Europe and the World’, currently chaired by a member of the IPE research group, further witnesses the effort to contextualise the multiple crises affecting Europe within global context. The research group is characterised by its analytical and methodological pluralism, which encompasses both qualitative and quantitative methods, and with strong emphasisplaced on the dialogue between mainstream and critical traditions in the field of IPE.
Current Group Members:
Among other themes, this group’s research focuses on Modern Marxism in its various facets, including Gramscian approaches, and what they can bring to the analysis and critique of the contemporary global financial system, the Eurozone crisis as well as our understanding of the recent revolutions in the Arab world.
Current Group Members:
A complete overview of the research interests of staff can be found on their individual staff profiles.
European & International Studies is built on a culture of collaboration with scholars in other departments across King's, especially the original founding departments of French, German and Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies. There is substantial expertise within the department relating to the history, politics and culture of these three countries, but there are also academic staff with expertise in Italy, Greece and Central and Eastern Europe. The collaborative culture is visible institutionally in the department's role in the EU-awarded Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in Law and Government, but also through an interdepartmental research group in European foreign policy. European & International Studies also works closely with the Department of War Studies, the Department of Political Economy and the Global Institutes through our association with the Politics@Kings initiative.
European & International Studies currently hosts more than 30 doctoral students who make a substantial contribution to the department’s research culture and collaborate with doctoral researchers from the Department of Political Economy in a regular workshop.
European & International Studies researchers have held or are holding research grants from major Research Councils (ESRC, ERC), the EU’s research framework programme as well as prestigious private foundations such as the Leverhulme Trust.