The Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “Positioning Regions and Regionalism in a Democratic Europe” (PRRIDE) focuses on regions and regionalisation in the European Union (EU) and on how they contribute to democratic governance in the EU.
The PRRIDE center's director is Prof. Dr. Gabriele Abels, Jean Monnet Chair at Tübingen University's Institute of Political Science.
European Integration has advanced to one of the most dynamic fields of research within political science. With its staff, the Institute of Political Science at the University of Tübingen has contributed to this for many years. Due to the strong embeddedness of European integration in both research and teaching, multiple – and quite often excellent – Master theses and other texts are produced on this field every year.
With the online publication series „Tübinger Arbeitspapiere zur Integrationsforschung" (Tübingen Working Papers on Integration Research), in short: TAIF, we provide the possibility to publish scientific work and theses conducted in the Tübingen context of teaching and research and, thereby, make them available to the public.
Requirement for publishing is an evaluation of the piece with „excellent“ by both referees. Other submitted contributions are reviewed by the two editors. Within the TAIF series both theory-driven empirical works exploring new fields of research can to be published, as well as explicitly theory-developing pieces dedicated to explaining the process of integration, specific dimensions or the state of the European Union. TAIF working papers are “pre-papers”, hence they can be subsequently submitted to a journal. Articles will appear both in German and English language.
Part of the November 1918 revolution was the introduction of women’s suffrage in Germany. In January 1919 women voted in national elections in Germany for the very first time and many ran as candidates. Around this time also a number of other European countries introduced women’s suffrage. Thus, the 100th anniversary is not only a reason to celebrate, but also to ask questions about the historical background of suffrage and the suffrage movement, their effects on women's political and social equality and the situation of women today.
This project entails several activities: Firstly, a panel on comparative perspectives of women's suffrage was part of the 5th European Conferences on Politics and Gender (EGPC) at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, June 8th - 10th 2017. Secondly, the Femina Politica will publish a special issue "100 years of women's suffrage" in 2018. Thirdly, a special event to commemorate this anniversary is planned for autumn 2018 in Berlin.
Since the early/mid 1990s, women and gender studies have increasingly addressed the process of European integration, including the question which role gender plays in this process and how national gender regimes are affected by the process of European integration. The EU often claims to be one of the most advanced gender regimes in the world. Indeed, gender equality policies have been developed since the mid-1970s; in particular the introduction of gender mainstreaming in the mid-1990s made gender equality a prime goal of the EU.
In the mainstream of EU studies as well as in EU-related teaching these gender perspectives have as yet received little attention. Therefore, the development of two textbook projects and a Handbook are key sub-project.
In a first sub-project, jointly with Prof. Joyce Mushaben (University of Missouri-St. Louis), a gender perspective is applied to important aspects of integration and EU studies, including the historical process, theories of integration or Eastern enlargement. Furthermore, numerous policy fields are investigated and compared with regards to the status quo of the implementation of gender mainstreaming. The project resulted in the following publication: Gabriele Abels/Joyce M. Mushaben (eds.): Gendering the European Union: New Approaches to Old Democratic Deficits. Houndsmill: Palgrave Macmillan 2012.
In a second sub-project, jointly with Prof. Heather MacRae (York University, Toronto), theories of European integration are critically reviewed from a gender perspective. In preparation of the project, a workshop involving all participating authors was held in fall 2013 funded by the German Thyssen Foundation. As a result, the textbook "Gendering European Integration Theory: Engaging New Dialogues" (Budrich Publishers, 2016), was published in cooperation with Prof. Heather MacRae, York University, Kanada.
In this text, the authors engage a dialogue between European integration theories and gender studies. The contributions illustrate where and how gender scholarship has made creative use of integration theories and thus contributes to a vivid theoretical debate. The chapters are de-signed to make gender scholarship more visible to integration theory and, in this way stimulates the broader theoretical debates. With contributions from Gabriele Abels, Hans-Jürgen Bieling and Thomas Diez, Jessica Guth, Toni Haastrup and Meryl Kenny, Sabine Lang and Birgit Sauer, Ulrike Liebert, Emanuela Lombardo, Heather MacRae, Petra Meier, Anna van der Vleuten, Gabriele Wilde, and Stefanie Wöhl.
The publication of a “Routledge Handbook on Gender and EU Politics” is currently underway, jointly edited with Prof. Heather MacRae (York University, Canada), Prof. Andrea Krizsan (Central European University, Hungary), and Prof. Anna van der Vleuten (Radboud University, The Netherlands). The publication is scheduled for autumn 2019.
In the wake of numerous food scandals in the 1990s, the so-called BSE-crisis constituting merely the most prominent of a number of cases, a variety of quite radical reforms in the EU and the EU member states occurred. The previous regulative structures designed to maintain high standards of food safety were changed significantly in order to be able to provide consumers with better protection from food-born risks. The perception of food safety as a part of risk regulation raises the question how to integrate scientific expertise in regulative politics.
Nearly all member states now hold independent and specialised agencies attending to matters of food regulation; Evidence for this is provided by a partial study conducted on behalf of the Federal Institute for Risk Regulation (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, BfR) covering the status-quo in all EU member states. On the EU-level itself, too, in 2001/02 the European Food Safety Agency – albeit provided merely with an advisory mandate – devoted to the further development of this important field of regulative politics. Subsequently, a regulative network is emerging among the EFSA and the national agencies for food safety, but also horizontally among the national agencies. Regulative competencies in this network are spread over different levels and interconnected, holding the emergence of shared academic standards of evaluation as a prime objective.
The research project seeks to record and subsequently explain the development in this policy field in front of the background of the growing literature covering the significance of regulative politics in, as well as “agencification” of the EU (“the EU as regulatory state”). Empirically, both the vertical and the horizontal structure of this interconnection are at the center of analysis. Theoretical accounts of Europeanisation provide a further empirical point of reference. Hence, it becomes possible to ask, in how far effects of Europeanisation can be observed with regard to norm diffusion, institutional isomorphism, the inclusion of stakeholders etc.
First master theses have emerged in this field of study, covering, for instance, the role of the EFSA and the significance of academic expertise (Alexander Kobusch, 2008), the development and comparison of national agencies in Hungary and Germany (Jennifer Träsch, 2010), as well as the charged relation between development and path dependency in food regulation (Jan Ullrich, 2012). In addition, several PhD candidates work in this field of study.
Kobusch, Alexander, 2015: "Mehrebenensystem EU: Risikobewertung im Europäischen Verwaltungsraum” ("Multi-level system EU: Risk Assessment in the European Administrative Space"); in: Europäisches Zentrum für Föderalismusforschung (Hg.): Jahrbuch des Föderalismus 2015. Föderalismus, Subsidiarität und Regionen in Europa, Baden-Baden: Nomos, pp. 445-457.
Abels, Gabriele/Kobusch, Alexander, 2015: Regulation of food safety in the EU: Explaining organizational diversity in the member states. In: Havinga, Tetty/van Waarden, Frans/Casey, Donal (eds.): The Changing Landscape of Food Governance: Public and Private Encounters. Cheltenham, Northampton/MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 39-56.
Abels, Gabriele/Kobusch, Alexander/Träsch, Jennifer, 2014: Scientific Regulatory Cooperation within the EU: On the relationship between EFSA and national food authorities. In: Alemanno, Alberto/Gabbi, Siomone (Hg.): Foundations of EU Food Law & Policy: 10 Years of European Food Safety Authority, London: Ashgate pp. 73-92.
From the early days onwards, advisory groups (Reflexionsgruppen) have played an important role in the process of European integration; they are used as ‘think tanks’ for reform processes. Despite the common use of this instrument, reflection groups have received little attention in the field of EU studies. The appointment of the EU advisory group “Horizon 2020 - 2030” by the European Coucil in 2008 provided the opportunity to study the work of this advisory group in real time. The group published its final report in May 2010.
The conference “Horizon 2020 - 2030: Challenges of the multilevel system to the EU reflection group” took place in Stuttgart in November 2009, organized by Prof. Dr. Gabriele Abels, Prof. Dr. Michèle Knodt (TU Darmstadt) und Dr. Annegret Eppler in cooperation with the Arbeitskreis Europäische Integration (AEI), of the City of Stuttgart and the Europa-Zentrum Baden-Württemberg.
The conference proceedings are documented as Abels, Gabriele/Eppler, Annegret/Knodt, Michèle (eds.): Die EU-Reflexionsgruppe „Horizont 2020-2030“: Herausforderungen und Reformoptionen für das Mehrebenensystem, Baden-Baden: Nomos 2010.
In recent years, national parliaments of the member states of the European Union have undergone significant change in their functions regarding their participation in EU affairs. this development has often been characterised as de-parlamentarisation, leading to negative consequences for the democratic legitimation of the EU. the Lisbon Treaty, which took effect as of December 2009, aims to provide some remedy in this respect. According to the treaty, parliaments on both the European and the national - as well, as possibly even on the subnational - level gain increased possibilities to participate in the process of European policy-making. Hereby, the rights not only of the European parliament, but also of the (sub-)national parliaments are substantially improved. The operative new regulations, closely linked to the "early warning system" on subsidiarity, provide a step towards a "multi-level-parliamentarism" which is yet to be developed furhter, both empirically and conceptually.
This was exactly the task that the Jean Monnet project by Prof. Dr. Gabriele Abels and Dr. Annegret Eppler, Ass. Jur. sought to address. Activities consisted of workshops, conferences and publications in the context of the project.