"Here you can find information about upcoming training, calls for papers, blog posts, and other interesting news!"


Call for papers: Behavioural Governance in Europe

posted Nov 3, 2019, 9:54 AM by Eva Thomann

Anat Gofen, Alice Moseley, Kent Weaver and I invite paper proposals for a special issue proposal for the Journal of European Public Policy entitled “Frontiers of Behavioural Governance in Europe”. The special issue seeks to build on and advance the contribution of Behavioural Public Policy and Administration to the study of European Public Policy across the policy process. To build bridges between sub-disciplines, we define behavioural governance broadly as the study of how decision-makers, implementing actors and target groups both shape and react to public policies and to each other, from a psychological perspective of methodological individualism. This special issue seeks to advance this research agenda by presenting innovative research that contributes to three areas:

  1. The comparative study of behavioural governance in Europe
  2. The study of complexity in behavioural governance
  3. The study of behavioural governance in the European Union.

Successful paper proposals should outline, in no more than 300 words, the relevance and motivation, research question, data, methods, (expected) results and key contribution against the background of the research interests motivating the special issue. Please submit your proposal via e-mail to until 15th Nov. 2019.

Read the full call for papers here

Deadlines for case-oriented and set-theoretic methods training in 2020

posted Oct 9, 2019, 12:12 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Oct 23, 2019, 8:31 AM ]

Register for targeted training in case-oriented and set-theoretic methods in 2020!

International Winter School on Public Policy - Alps Edition 2020 , Aussois, France
The Call for application is organised in 2 phases:
September 9 to October 18, 2019 : call for application
October 21 to October 30, 2019 : late call for application (please note that the selection will depend on availability)

ECPR Winter School of Methods and Techniques, University of Bamberg
17-21 February 2020
Early bird discounts apply until 29 October

EU referendums as a cure-all? Lessons from Switzerland

posted Oct 1, 2019, 3:11 AM by Eva Thomann

It is often argued that national referendums on European Union (EU) matters can be a cure for the democratic deficit of the EU and its policies. But what can we learn from a country like Switzerland about how and when direct democracy works? In this blog post, Isabelle Stadelmann-Steffen, Eva G. Heidbreder and I conclude that referendums in the EU usually lack the necessary institutional and administrative links between direct and representative decision-making to have legitimacy-enhancing effects.

CfP "Differentiated policy implementation in the European Union", ECPR joint sessions 2020, Toulouse

posted Sep 8, 2019, 4:21 AM by Eva Thomann

Asya Zhelyazkova, Eva Ruffing, Sebastiaan Princen and I warmly invite paper proposals for our workshop “Differentiated policy implementation in the European Union” at the  ECPR joint sessions in Toulouse, 14-17 April 2020.

The workshop explores the diversity of policy implementation practices in the EU, the drivers of this diversity, as well as its consequences. We currently observe a new generation of policy implementation research which focuses on differentiated policy implementation as a crucial aspect of European integration in practice. The goal of this workshop is to gather this emerging research community and corresponding theories, concepts, and findings. We seek to engage in a systematic mapping of the field, its current state of the art, innovations, as well as areas for future research. Ultimately the workshop should hence provide an important opportunity to identify, clarify, consolidate, and develop the contribution of this agenda to the study of multilevel governance in the EU.

We look forward to receiving your proposal until  5 November 2019. Find more information about the panel and instructions for submitting proposals here:

Panels on behavioral governance and policy implementation @ECPR general conference in Wroclaw

posted Aug 23, 2019, 6:20 AM by Eva Thomann

For those interested in policy implementation and behavioural governance, I would be delighted to meet you at one of these panels that I chair at the European Consortium for Political research, Wroclaw, 4-7 September 2019:

Beyond Nudging – Advancing the Discussion on Behavioural Governance (section: the politics of bureaucracy)
Chairs: Jan Pollex and Eva Thomann, Discussant: Peter John
Contributions by Kathin Loer, Benjamin Ewert, David Legg, Sheheryar Banuri, Peter John 
06/09/2019 17:50 - 19:30, Building B)Faculty of Law, Administration & Economics Floor: 5th floor Room: 501

Revisiting Implementation in the European Union: New Trends in Implementation and Enforcement (section: The European Union in Times of Crisis: Internal Challenges and a Changing Global Order)
Chair: Eva Thomann, Discussants: Ekaterina Domorenok, Jana Paasch
Contributions by Jana Paasch, Christian Stecker, Eva Thomann, Asya Zhelyazkova, Joerg Stefan Haas, Gerard Breeman, Anna Szajkowska, Meredith Ratner
07/09/2019 11:00 - 12:40, Building C, Faculty of Law, Administration & Economics Floor: 2nd floor Room: 201

IPPA best book award for research on customization

posted Jul 9, 2019, 5:05 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Jul 9, 2019, 5:28 AM ]

I am very happy and grateful to have received the 2019 best book award from the International Public Policy Association, for my book Customized implementation of European Union food safety policy: United in diversity? published by Palgrave Macmillan in the International Series on Public Policy. The award is awarded biennially to a single- or co-authored monograph that makes an original and significant theoretical, methodological and/or empirical contribution to the field of Public Policy and/or Public Administration. 

CfP themed issue titled “Beyond nudge. Advancing the state-of-the-art of Behavioural Public Policy” in Policy & Politics

posted Apr 8, 2019, 11:08 AM by Eva Thomann

Kathrin Loer, Benjamin Ewert and I invite paper proposals for a themed issue in Policy & Politics titled “Beyond nudge. Advancing the state-of-the-art of Behavioural Public Policy”. We seek empirical papers based on cutting-edge qualitative, set-theoretic, and/or quantitative research on BPP that fit within the overarching framework of the themed issue. Please find more information in the CfP below.

We look forward to receiving your abstract of 150-300 words before April 15th

Qualitative Methods Summer Training, Penryn, June 2019

posted Feb 5, 2019, 7:45 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Feb 5, 2019, 7:50 AM ]

Comparative Case Study Design

3-7 June 2019
Designing Research with Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)
10-14 June 2019

Upgrade your qualitative method skills!
We offer two tailored 5-day (1 week) qualitative methods modules on one of the UK’s most scenic university campuses, close to the lovely beaches of Cornwall. The modules have a practical, hands-on focus on the possibilities and pitfalls of applying a range of comparative qualitative and case study techniques in different research settings. Each module has up to 25 participants and consists of a 3 hour seminar in the morning and a 1 hour lab session in the afternoon each day. You can sign up for one or both modules.

The modules are open to postgraduate research students, PhD students, postdocs, academics, and research-oriented practitioners who engage in social research, across the UK and internationally. Upon completion of a written assignment, each module is credited with an equivalent of 7.5 ECTS points. You can also attend the modules without getting credits if you wish to.

Talk about customization at the London Public Policy Seminars, 11.12.2018

posted Nov 29, 2018, 12:50 AM by Eva Thomann

I look forward to giving a talk at the London Public Policy Seminars, which provide a forum for academic exchange in public policy across the greater London area.

How effective is the EU regulatory state? Linking legal compliance, customization, and practical implementation
When: 6pm, 11 December 2018
Where: 32L.B.07, LSE

European Union (EU) policies change as they are being customised throughout the implementation chain. How do these changes affect the practical implementation of EU policies? While better regulation approaches point to the danger of red tape when deviating from EU law, theories of policy implementation see a role of discretion in decentralised problem-solving. This study analyses how customisation affects the practical compliance with EU antidiscrimination, environmental, and justice and home affairs directives in 27 member states. Results suggest that general customisation levels neither exert a significant direct nor conditional effect on practical compliance. However, higher levels of customised density negatively affect practical compliance. We also find a partly sector-specific, direct positive effect of customised restrictiveness on practical compliance. Thus, while customised density can indeed reinforce problems of red tape, customised restrictiveness can contribute to problem-solving. The crucial distinction is that between changes in the quantity or the quality of regulation.

CfP: Problem-Solving and Learning in Multilevel Governance

posted Nov 29, 2018, 12:37 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Nov 29, 2018, 12:42 AM ]

Call for papers for the 4th International Conference on Public Policy, 26th-28th June 2019 - MONTREAL
Panel chairs:
Eva Thomann and Claire Dunlop, Department of Politics, University of Exeter
Deadline for proposals: 30.1.2019

Multilevel governance is the result of a process in which decision makers shifted competencies away from the nation-state in order to deal with pressing policy challenges that exceed the reach of the central government. As such, multilevel governance is a result of globalization and modernization, based on the assumption of an improved problem-solving capacity. Problem-solving can both be seen as a decision-making mode/process, and as a result of these processes. Trein et al. (2019) define problem-solving as a process through which the policymakers in charge make policies so as to deal with problems that are perceived as important for society by organized groups and/or by policymakers themselves, through the cooperative production of a policy output that is expected to be collectively beneficial in making a contribution to solve the policy problem at stake.
The goal of this panel is to collect contributions that provide theoretical and empirical insights on problem-solving in multilevel governance.
Recent years have witnessed important theoretical, conceptual and empirical innovations in how we think of problem-solving in multilevel governance. Scholars have moved beyond traditional approaches to thinking of multilevel governance mainly in structural terms and through a command-and-control perspective, as these often cannot explain the distinct workings of multilevel governance in the absence of a clear “shadow of hierarchy”. Moreover, there is a move beyond the assumption that policy adoption is the decisive stage of problem-solving. Instead, there is emphasis on the processes of implementation, evaluation, and problem definition, the patterns and underlying mechanisms of differentiation as well convergence. Scholars increasingly emphasize mechanisms of learning (Dunlop et al. 2018) and experimentalist governance (Sabel and Zeiltin 2010) and link such mechanisms with patterns of policy differentiation (e.g., customization), success, and failure (Dunlop 2017; Thomannn 2019).This panel gathers theoretical, conceptual, and empirical contributions by both junior and senior scholars that look at the processes and outcomes of problem-solving and learning in multilevel governance systems in terms of both convergence and differentiation. We particularly invite contributions that either comprehensively review or systematize the state of the art, apply theoretical, conceptual or methodological innovations to empirical settings, connect methods with theories, and/or contribute to innovation themselves.
View the full panel description here

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