Research

PhD research: My PhD thesis assesses how the EU acquired the competence over international investment policy and thereby became a key actor in the global investment regime. The thesis empirically assesses the EU’s involvement in international investment negotiations since the 1980s and intergovernmental discussions on the EU’s role in this domain. The thesis  advances two  arguments. It shows that business lobbying cannot account for the growing role of the EU in international investment policy. European business was remarkably disengaged from policy debates in this field until the negotiations on TTIP. Instead the thesis argues that the Commission acted as a resourceful policy entrepreneur to extend the Union’s legal competences into this core domain of foreign economic policy. It builds on historical institutionalism and concepts of incremental institutional change to show how the Commission suceeded despite Member State opposition.

My PhD research has been partially published in the Journal of World Investment and Trade, the European Foreign Affairs ReviewColumbia FDI Perspectives and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. A book manuscript is under contract with the UACES Series of Routledge.

Postdoc research: My postdoc research focuses on several topics.

  1.  I assess to what extent modern ‚regulatory‘ trade agreements such as TTIP or TPP are compatible with the ideal of multilateralism. To free trade, modern trade agreements create common rules rather than dismantling tariffs. This shift from ’negative‘ to ‚positive‘ integration raises the question to what extent modern trade agreements create closed regulatory blocs (’stumbling stones‘) rather than incrementally moving the world toward open world markets (‚building blocs‘).
  2. I work on the trade policy implications of Brexit – in particular in regard to regulatory cooperation and mutual recognition between the Single Market and the United Kingdom.
  3. I work on factors accounting for variation in dispute settlement mechanisms across international economic treaties.