Legislative Politics

Article summary for the LSE's EUROPP blog

I have written a summary of my article on 'Coalition-Building and Consensus in the Council of the European Union' for the LSE's European Politics and Policy blog. The articles came out in print this week in the British Journal of Political Science. A copy of the article is available here.

PhD Scholarship in European Union Politics

The Department of Politics and Public Administration of the University of Limerick is inviting applications for a PhD scholarship in the area of European Union Politics. Applications are especially welcome from candidates who wish to study aspects of the European Parliament or the Council of Ministers in their role as law-making institutions. Skills in research methods or a willingness to acquire them would be an advantage.

The scholarship covers tuition fees (at EU rates) and provides a maintenance grant of €7000 per year for up to four years, subject to academic performance. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to the tutorial teaching of the department.

Applications should include (a) a research proposal (5 pages maximum); (b) copies of academic transcripts; (c) a CV or resume (3 pages maximum); and (d) one academic reference. The closing date for applications is 1 May 2013.

Applications should be sent to frank.haege@ul.ie with the subject line ‘EU Politics PhD Scholarship’. Letters of recommendations should be emailed directly by the academic referee.

For further information, please contact frank.haege@ul.ie.

 

EUPOL dataset updated to 2012

Version 4 of the European Policy-Making Dataset (EUPOL) is now available for download. The data have been updated to include all decision-making processes initiated in 2012.

BJPS article on Council coalition building online

My paper on Coalition-Building and Consensus in the Council of the European Union has been pre-published by the British Journal of Political Science as part of their FirstView online service.

Abstract

Although qualified-majority voting is possible, member states in the Council of the European Union
(EU) still adopt most policies by consensus. The agent-based model of coalition building in multilateral
negotiations presented here addresses this puzzle. The model demonstrates that consensual decisions may
emerge as an unintended by-product of government representatives’ desire to form blocking coalitions.
A qualitative case study demonstrates the plausibility of the model’s assumptions and resulting coalitionbuilding
dynamics. Moreover, a quantitative test shows that the model’s predictions correspond closely
to the observed consensus rates. Finally, computational experiments predict a positive effect of the voting
threshold but no effect of increases in membership on winning coalition size, which has important
practical implications for institutional design and enlargement policy.

Book on Council committee decision-making published

My book on 'Bureaucrats as Law-makers: Committee decision-making in the EU Council of Ministers' has been published with Routledge now. Further details about the book can be found on the publisher's website. Members of UACES can buy the book at a heavily discounted prize of £25.

From the back cover:

The Council of Ministers is one of the most powerful institutions of the European Union (EU) and plays a major role in the European policy-making process. Drawing on formal theory and combining quantitative and qualitative methods in an innovative fashion, this book provides novel insights into the role of national bureaucrats in legislative decision-making of the Council of the EU.

The book examines and describes the Council of Ministers’ committee system and its internal decision-making process. Relying on a wide quantitative dataset as well as six detailed case studies in the policy areas of Agriculture, Environment, and Taxation, it provides a comprehensive and systematic assessment of the extent to which national bureaucrats act as law-makers in the Council. It also examines the degree to which theories on collective decision-making, delegation, and international socialization can account for variation in the involvement of bureaucrats. Investigating how often and why national officials in working parties and committees, rather than ministers, make legislative decisions in the EU, this book addresses the implications of bureaucratic influence for the democratic legitimacy of Council decision-making. The author finds that ministers play a generally more important role in legislative decision-making than often assumed, alleviating, to some extent, concerns about the democratic legitimacy of Council decisions.

Bureaucrats as Law-Makers will be of interest to students, scholars and practitioners in the field of European Union politics and policy-making, legislative decision-making, intergovernmental negotiations and international socialization.

 

 

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