World map centered around Europe

Swedish Network for European Studies – Lnu

The research environment Swedish Network for European Studies at Linnaeus University focuses on three different themes: Global Europe, European Political Entrepreneurship and European Integration, EU Institutions and EU Policy-Making.

SNES is one of three networks within the Swedish government's initiative to promote European studies and has been active since 1997.The research environment Swedish Network for European Studies (SNES) at Linnaeus University (LNU) has existed since the mid-1990s and consists of researchers conducting theoretical and empirical studies on European politics. Participating scholars collaborate with national and international political scientists, economists and pedagogues in different projects. The LNU environment is part of the national Swedish Network for European Studies (SNES), including Swedish researchers from ten member departments in addition to Linnaeus University. SNES-LNU has also established international partners that participates in research projects and that is of great value for LNU-SNES. Such collaboration has included scholars at University of Sunshine Coast (Australia), University of Central Missouri (USA), Western Carolina University (USA), Webster University (USA), University of New Hampshire-Manchester (USA), Northumbria University (UK), Instituto Mora, (Mexico) and the European Commission in Brussels (Belgium).

Research leader: Daniel Silander

Today, SNES-LNU focuses on the following research themes:

Theme 1: Global Europe

During the last years, SNES-LNU had had special focus on the European Union (EU) as a regional and global foreign policy actor. In our research, we analyse EU's relations to EU candidate countries and EU's neighbourhood policy, with specific interest in the eastern dimension towards post-Soviet territory. Focus has primarily been on EU's foreign policy relations concerning democracy promotion, security policy, and integration with particular interest in EU-Russian relations and EU and the Eastern Partnerships.

Our research has also touched upon the EU as a global actor, with interest for the EU in relation to other major powerful actors when it comes to acting in connection to security policy crises. Such security crisis/challenges have concerned failing and failed states, terrorism and global climate change and the impact on international peace and order and state and human security. Our research is also exploring Eastern Partnership dynamic through the study of EaP countries and EU's demands towards them.

Assisting Research leader: Martin Nilsson

Theme 2: European political entrepreneurship

The research theme European Political Entrepreneurship was initiated in 2015 with strategic support from the Faculty of Social Sciences as part of Linnaeus University's venture on the entrepreneurial university. Within the academic world, the study of entrepreneurship has traditionally taken place within economics and business administration.

Our overall task is to enrich established entrepreneurship research with in-depth knowledge about how the political arena can promote favourable conditions for entrepreneurship by studying political entrepreneurship. Our research has a specific focus on European political entrepreneurship and how the EU through multi-level governance and Europeanization may act political entrepreneurial to promote and protect good governance, prosperity and wealth.

Research is carried out in collaboration with researchers in political science and economy at other Swedish universities and university colleges. It has resulted in collaborations with researchers at Blekinge Institute of Technology, Jönköping International Business School, University of Gothenburg and Mid Sweden University. These researchers make up an invaluable support within the environment. The research theme has recently expanded internationally through collaborations with University of Southern Denmark, Denmark, University College Østfold, Norway and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece..

Assisting Research leader: Charlotte Silander

Theme 3: European Integration, EU Institutions and EU Policy-Making

A third theme of research is on European crisis and the impact on integration and policy-making. The EU is nowadays facing multiple crises. The economic crisis that began with a financial crisis in 2008 has had severe impacts on the European integration process and altered the EU policy-making and different EU policy fields. Followed by an external relations crisis and asylum crisis, the EU finds itself today in a deep political crisis that reached its peak in 2016 when the British electorate decided to leave the Union.

The multiple crises have resulted in politization of EU topics and increasingly support to radical right and Eurosceptic parties in all EU member states. Despite efforts to enhance harmonisation and integration at EU level, member states became more and more reluctant to transfer greater power to the EU institutions. This enhanced intergovernmental logic coupled with the current political developments and challenges within the member states, made a process of European disintegration inevitable.

Our research focus on the different impacts of those crises on the entire European integration process and on specific aspects of it (different EU policy fields, EU decision-making, EU law and its implementation, etc.). Our current research involves changes in European (dis)integration, the crises’ impacts on EU policy and decision-making, the economic crisis and its effects on different EU policy fields and the multiple crises and its impacts on EU implementation and compliance.

Assisting Research leader: Brigitte Pircher