University of Strasbourg Project of Excellence: Strasbourg School of European Studies

Steering committee

Jay Rowell (coordinator, Political science),

Amélie Barbier-Gauchard (Economics)

William Gasparini (Sociology)

Elisabeth Lambert Abdelgawad (Law)

Sylvain Schirmann (History)

Duration: 3 years (2012-2015)

Total budget: 270 000 euro/3 years

Key objectives

  • Increasing visibility of research on Europe and boost the pluridisciplinary dynamic in Strasbourg
  • Contributing to the international diffusion of research
  • Promoting interdisciplinarity, the involvement of young researchers and the emergence of new research themes

Research themes

The current political and scientific juncture characterized by the EU’s crisis of intelligibility raises an important scientific challenge: it is necessary to move beyond the prevailing institutional and mono-disciplinary approaches to produce new insights on the new boundaries of European democracy, integration and policy.
Based on the wide body of research conducted by local scholars on these questions, the Strasbourg School of European Studies intends to develop original investigative methods to analyze the competing historical, political, social, economic, scientific and legal dynamics at play in the definition of the European project and the way in which it informs European societies.

This innovative research will focus on the central question of the /nexus/ between European institutions and societies around two research themes:

  • The relationships between the transnationalization of the fields of power and the transformations of politics. Based on historical, sociological and political research on the space of European actors (in a broad sense, including institutional actors, interest groups, professionals of European, national and local policy, Council of Europe…), the study of the changing configurations of the national, European and international fields of power will shed light on the crisis of the European project.
  • The relationships between the transnational circulation of public policy norms and instruments and the production of the European societal space. This innovative approach to the analysis of Europeanization processes and European public policy will focus on the circulation of regulatory instruments and on the appropriation of these instruments by the diverse audiences that make up the European societal space.

Studies will be mainly conducted by researchers in political science, law, sociology, economics, history and demography. The main areas of investigation will be environmental policy, risk management, economic regulation, social, cultural and sport policy. This research will be presented and discussed in itinerant workshops.

Excellence initiative: Idex CIGE

The project

Project managers: Amélie Barbier-Gauchard (Economics), Jay Rowell (Political science)

Duration: 2 years (2013-2015)

Total budget: 70 000 euro/2 years

Idex CIGE (Construction and Uses of Indicators in European Governance)

This interdisciplinary research project investigates the construction and uses of indicators in European governance. Empirical work will focus on four important issues for the future of Europe:

  • Macroeconomic policies in the context of the financial and monetary crisis
  • Public administration reform policies
  • Social policies in an aging society
  • Higher education and innovation policies

Contribution of the Macroeconomists

Macroeconomic indicators were for a long time used to establish targets to reach (the ECB’s inflation target, debt and public deficit objectives for Eurozone candidate countries, Stability and Growth Pact for Eurozone member states…) or to assess the efficiency of the policies being implemented (such as the Organic Law on Budget Laws in France, the measures for the evaluation of Structural Funds, the EU’s Europe 2020 Strategy). Since the beginning of the financial crisis, new surveillance indicators have been developed, particularly as part of the Sixpack (2011), to better anticipate possible future economic crises.

Yet, as the European and global crises overlap, the selection and definition of these indicators and their multiplication raise questions of coherence and legibility. We will examine the genesis of these indicators and shed light on the reasons why they were picked, as well as shed light on the increased difficulty of drawing conclusions from the analysis of indicators and their binding effects.

Expected results and provisional two-year schedule

  • Project launch seminar with all involved researchers (October 2013)
  • Working groups: “internal” seminars or with guest researchers from other French or European institutions (January 2014-June 2015).
  • Participation in international conference and congresses (2014-2015) with a view to organizing “panels” on the theme
  • Final conference in Strasbourg (June 2015)

Publications: at least one issue in a European journal, several article, one edited volume (for instance with Palgrave).