Research - Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence

The Centre of Excellence supports two research projects: one project on the international impact of the EU’s rules and regulation and a second one on the rise of populism in Central Europe and the challenges it poses for the EU.


"The Brussels Effect": How the EU Shapes the World Through Rules and Regulations

Anu Bradford, Director of the European Legal Studies Center and professor of international law and international organization at Columbia Law School, conducts a research project on the global influence of the European Union through rules and regulation.

This project builds on previous research presented by Anu Bradford in the "The Brussels Effect" article that she published in Northwestern Law Review in 2013. The additional research will allow for a deeper discussion of several topics, such as the political economy underlying the Brussels Effect. It will also make it possible to expand the analysis to new topics, such as the significance of the Brussels Effect in resisting the backlash against globalization, as well as the ability of technological progress to mitigate the Brussels Effect in the future.

Prof. Bradford’s project resulted in a book, “The Brussels Effect: How the European Union Rules the World” published in 2020 by Oxford University Press. The book was reviewed in academic publications as well as news media (Washington Post, The Economist, Financial Times…). Foreign Affairs ranked it in its Best Books of 2020 and considered that “(it) may well be the single most important book on Europe’s influence to appear in a decade.


Democratization in Dark Times: The Electoral Success of Nationalist Populism in Central Europe

Tsveta Petrova, Lecturer in the Discipline of Political Science at Columbia University, leads a research project to examine and explain the electoral successes of populists in Central Europe and the challenges they pose for the EU. The project focuses on what makes certain countries susceptible to the emergence of successful populist movements and why some citizens support such movements.

Nationalists versus globalists; traditionalists versus multiculturalists; the working class left behind versus the new professional class. This new multi-dimensional cleavage between "nationalist populism on one hand and liberal technocracy" (Accetti 2016) on the other is reshaping political competition patterns in many European societies and buoying "populists" across the continent. In France, Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, Britain, and even Germany right populist parties have become increasingly competitive in key elections, while the governments of Law and Justice in Poland and Fidesz in Hungary demonstrate the resilience of such parties in power.

Understanding the rise of populists is an important political-science and policy question because they represent a threat to the European integration project by disrupting the existing liberal institutions and frameworks of international cooperation.

As part of her research project, Prof. Petrova launched a podcast, “Rise and Resilience of Populism in Eastern Europe”, and authored or coauthored several academic and policy papers:

- "Democracy Promotion in Times of Autocratization" (2021) in Post-Soviet Affairs;

- "Autocratization in Central Europe" (2019) and "Democracy Support without Democracy" (2021) published by Carnegie Europe;

- "Politics and Current Demographic Challenges in Central & Eastern Europe" (2020), an article and research cluster in the East European Politics and Societies.

With the support of the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union