I am an Associate Professor of Political Economy (Reader in the UK system) in the Department of Political Economy at King's College London. Previously, I was a Fellow in Public Policy and Administration at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where I am still a research associate of the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation. I obtained my PhD degree from the European University Institute, and hold a BA and MPhil degree from Leiden University.
I am interested in the insulation of policy-making from politics and the electoral process, both at the domestic and European level, and particularly in the field of economic regulation. My research so far has focused on the independence, accountability, performance and politicisation of arm's length bodies.
- "Agenda‐setting under pressure: Does domestic politics influence the European Commission?" (with Christine Reh and Edoardo Bressanelli). Early view in the European Journal of Political Research (2021). [Blog post on the study]
- "Keeping control of regulation? Domestic constraints on the creation of independent authorities in emerging and developing economies" (with Philip Kessler). Governance 34 (2): 545-564 (2021). [Dataset]
- "British economic regulators in an age of politicisation: From the responsible to the responsive regulatory state?" (with Martin Lodge). Journal of European Public Policy 27 (11): 1612-1635 (2020).
- "EU actors under pressure: Politicisation and depoliticisation as strategic responses" (with Edoardo Bressanelli and Christine Reh). Journal of European Public Policy 27 (3): 329-341 (2020). [Blogpost on the special issue]
- "Responsive withdrawal? The politics of EU agenda-setting" (with Christine Reh and Edoardo Bressanelli). Journal of European Public Policy 27 (3): 419-438 (2020).
- "Losing out on substance but winning procedurally? The European Parliament and accountability in crisis legislation" (with Maja Kluger Dionigi). West European Politics 42 (4): 776-802 (2019). [Blog post on the study]
- "Europe's bank and Europe's citizens: Accountability, transparency -- legitimacy?" (with Christine Reh). Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law 26 (1): 63-80 (2019).
- "Political independence, accountability, and the quality of regulatory decision-making" (with Chris Hanretty). Comparative Political Studies 51 (1): 38-75 (2018). [Data]
- "When politics prevails: Parties, elections and loyalty in the European Parliament"(with Edoardo Bressanelli and Christine Reh). European Journal of Political Research 57 (3): 563-586 (2018).
- "What is regulation? An interdisciplinary concept analysis" (with Martin Lodge). Regulation & Governance 11 (1): 95-108 (2017).
- "The impact of informalisation: Early agreements and voting cohesion in the European Parliament" (with Edoardo Bressanelli and Christine Reh). European Union Politics 17 (1): 91-113 (2016). [Data] [Blog post on the study]
- "Theorizing and explaining voluntary accountability." Public Administration 92 (3): 565-581 (2014).
- "Coping with power dispersion? Autonomy, co-ordination and control in multi-level systems" (with Mads Dagnis Jensen and Michael Tatham). Journal of European Public Policy 21 (9): 1237-1254 (2014). [Introduction to the special issue with the same title]
- "Exploring the co-ordination of economic regulation" (with Martin Lodge). Journal of European Public Policy 21 (9): 1311-1329 (2014).
- "The informal politics of legislation: Explaining secluded decision making in the European Union" (with Christine Reh, Adrienne Heritier and Edoardo Bressanelli). Comparative Political Studies 46 (9): 1112-1142 (2013). [Data]
- "Measuring the formal independence of regulatory agencies" (with Chris Hanretty). Journal of European Public Policy 19 (2): 198-216 (2012).
- "Explaining the accountability of independent agencies: The importance of political salience". Journal of Public Policy 31 (2): 209-234 (2011).
- "Political distrust and social capital in Europe and the USA" (with Peggy Schyns). Social Indicators Research 96 (1): 145-167 (2010).
- "Consensus democracy and the support for populist parties in Western Europe" (with Armen Hakhverdian). Acta Politica 42 (4): 401-420 (2007).
The research projects I am currently working on are:
(1) Regulators and central banks under pressure: Analysing communicative responses (Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship 2020-2021)
- Independent regulatory agencies and central banks have come under growing public and political pressure since the global financial crisis. Whilst their independence has always been criticised for a lack of legitimacy, their performance is now also increasingly contested. How have the organisations responded to this pressure? In this project, I analyse the speeches delivered by their key decision-makers between 2000 and 2019. Has the focus shifted toward consumer interests and citizen trust? Has their scope increased, and their complexity decreased? By analysing speeches, the project will shed light on the communicative and strategic responses of unelected bodies under pressure.
(2) Reconnecting citizens to the administrative state (NORFACE grant 2020-2022) (with Martin Lodge, Caelesta Braun, Jacint Jordana, and Nick Sitter)
- Public administration is central to democratic governance as it connects citizens to the state in multiple ways. Yet, the current age of political turbulence – expressed through citizen dissatisfaction and populist politics – represents a fundamental challenge to the authority of the institutions of the administrative state. This has led to disconnection, but also to administrative efforts to reconnect citizens with the state. The RECONNECT project investigates how calls for more 'responsive' administrative state institutions have developed – both among citizens and politicians – and how the administrative state has sought to become more responsive, especially when simultaneously faced with expectations of neutrality and impartiality. The project explores five distinct citizen-focused dimensions of the administrative state: constitutional, regulatory, enabling, consumer-protecting and consulting dimensions. Using a mixed-methods approach, including attitudinal, media, document and interview analysis, RECONNECT generates new knowledge to compare and explain variation across both European jurisdictions and dimensions of the administrative state. In the process, the project contributes to academic and practitioner debates regarding the future of the administrative state, and to a better understanding of how citizens can be reconnected to wider democratic governance and the administrative state in particular.
- The RECONNECT project is funded by the AEI, ESRC, NWO and RCN, and the European Commission through Horizon 2020 (Grant No. 822166).
(3) The politicisation of 'Europe' (with Christine Reh and Edoardo Bressanelli)
- "Agenda-setting under pressure: The influence of national politics on the European Commission"
(4) Citizens' COVID-19-related policy preferences (with Shaun Hargreaves Heap, Kostas Matakos, Aslı Unan and Nina Weber)
- "We cannot disagree forever! Reality polarization and citizens' post-pandemic fiscal adjustment preferences"
- "COVID-19 and people's health-wealth preferences: Information effects and policy implications" (see also VoxEU)
- "Good news for whom? The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine announcement reduced political trust" (see also this KCL news article)
I am interested in supervising PhD projects in areas within my research expertise, especially regulatory policy and decision-making by arm's length bodies.
Current PhD researchers
Department of Political Economy
King's College London
Bush House (North East Wing)
London WC2B 4BG
+44 (0)20 7848 7324