Hussein Kassim joined UEA as Professor of Politics in 2007. He is a faculty member of the Centre for Competition Policy, where he has been affiliated since 2005.
Professor Kassim read PPE at New College, Oxford, before completing an MPhil and DPhil at Nuffield College, Oxford. He began his career as a college lecturer in the University of Oxford, teaching at New College, Balliol College, and Worcester College, before moving to the University of Nottingham, and then Birkbeck, University of London, where he was a member of the Department of Politics and Sociology for thirteen years. Professor Kassim has held visiting positions at the University of Oslo, Columbia University, New York University, Harvard University, and Sciences Po. Paris. He was appointed Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges in 2015. He is also Visiting Professor at Birkbeck, University of London.
Professor Kassim is a scholar of comparative politics, public administration and public policy. In his research, he investigates EU institutions, the relationship between the EU and the member states and EU policy in competition and aviation, on which topics he has published widely. British politics, administration and policy have been a strong strand of interest throughout his career. He has been awarded grants by the British Academy, the Nuffield Foundation, and the ESRC.
Professor Kassim is currently principal investigator on two major projects, 'European Commission: Facing the Future' and ‘Understanding the EU Civil Service: the General Secretariat of the Council’ with Professor Sara Connolly, UEA. He is co-leading a third on ‘National narratives and the European Union’ with Adriaan Schout, Clingendael and is co-investigator on a fourth, ‘EMU Choices’, funded under the EU's Horizon 2020 programme and led by Professor Sonja Puntscher-Riekmann, University of Salzburg, which examines the responses of member states and EU institutions to the financial and economic crisis. He continues to research aspects of EU competition policy, including the ECN, national competition authorities and the institutionalisation of DG IV.
Since May 2015 Professor Kassim has been a Senior Fellow under the ESRC 'UK in a Changing Europe' initiative (http://ukandeu.ac.uk), a source of independent analysis on the relationship between the UK and the EU. As well as organizing a series of high-level conferences investigating topics as diverse as UK influence in the EU, the experience and contribution of UK officials to the EU, external perspectives on the UK and the EU, how the EU is reported in the UK media, and EU regulation on the UK, he has hosted, chaired and intervened in many public discussions of the UK and the EU at UEA and in the local and regional community. He is currently hosting ‘“Brexit means Brexit, but what does that mean?’, a series of public discussions, which considers the likely consequences of the UK’s departure from the EU on UK politics, UK business, regulation, the UK’s position in the world, the nations of the United Kingdom, and immigration and community relations in the UK.
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Administrative legitimacy and the democratic deficit of the European UnionFull Text UEA Repository
'Supranationalism’ in question: beliefs, values and the socializing power of the European Commission revisitedFull Text UEA Repository
Managing the house: The Presidency, agenda control and policy activism in the European CommissionFull Text UEA Repository
The Commission: boxed in and constrained, but still an engine of integrationFull Text UEA Repository
Patterns of national coordination of EU policyUEA Repository
The Permanent Commission BureaucratUEA Repository
Revisiting the 'management deficit': can the Commission (still not) manage Europe?Full Text UEA Repository
L’administration européenneUEA Repository
The New Political Economy of EU State Aid PolicyFull Text UEA Repository
EU State Aid Policy: Evolution and Impact (Special Issue)UEA Repository
The European Commission of the Twenty-First CenturyUEA Repository
The European Union and Member State Institutions: Impact and Interaction in a System of Shared GovernanceUEA Repository
The Commission's servicesUEA Repository
The 'Too Difficult Box': Its Temptations and How to Avoid ThemFull Text UEA Repository
The Presidency and Presidents of the European CommissionUEA Repository
Introducing the 'Too Difficult Box'Full Text UEA Repository
The Labour Part and "Europe": An Awkward RelationshipUEA Repository
Exploring Governance in a Multi-Level Polity: A Policy Instruments ApproachUEA Repository
Myths and myth-making in the European Union: the institutionalization and interpretation of EU competition policyFull Text UEA Repository
Governing the European Union: Policy Instruments in a Multi-Level Polity (Special Issue)UEA Repository
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Key Research Interests
The European Union is my principal interest, where my research has mainly focused on five areas.
EU institutions. Work with Anand Menon in 2004 explored the Commission's relative decline since the late 1980s, while papers with Dionyssis Dimitrakopoulos examined the Commission's input to the Constitutional Convention, and chapters in books edited by Andy Smith (2004) and David Spence (2006) looked at the role, operation and impact of the Secretariat General of the European Commission. More recently, I led a project, 'The European Commission in Question' with John Peterson -- also involving Michael W. Bauer, Sara Connolly, Renaud Dehousse, Liesbet Hooghe, and Andrew Thompson -- which sought to test accepted wisdoms about the Commission and the people who work for it, using responses to an online survey and a programme of face-to-face interviews of administrators conducted by the research team. The findings, presented in Kassim et al (2013) The European Commission of the Twenty-First Century, Oxford University Press, exposed as myths many widely held beliefs about the Commission.
A second project, 'European Commission: Facing the Future', I am leading with Sara Connolly and involving Michael W. Bauer, Renaud Dehousse and Andrew Thompson, uses original data drawn from a survey administered to all members of Commission, a programme of more than 230 interviews, and focus groups conducted between March and September 2014 to investigate the following themes:
- leadership and the presidentialization of decision making in the Commission
- the employment histories and career trajectories of Commission staff
- socialization, values and organizational culture in the Commission
- management perceptions and roles
- experience of the Commission as a workplace
- HRM in the Commission
To our knowledge, this is the largest study of an international administration carried out by independent academic researchers. A first round of publications is now largely complete, including Connolly and Kassim (2015), which looks at the profile of permanent officials in the Commission, Kassim (2016) the Juncker Presidency, Connolly and Kassim (2016 in Public Administration) the debate on the socialization of staff in the European Commission, and Kassim et al (2016 forthcoming in the Journal of European Public Policy) the impact of presidentialization in the European Commission on policy activism.
The national coordination of EU policy. My interest in this field originated with a collective project with B. Guy Peters and Vincent Wright, later joined by Anand Menon, and based on workshops at Nuffield College, Oxford, which led to the publication of Kassim et al (2000, 2001) The National Coordination of EU policy, Oxford University Press, 2 vols. It continued in overview pieces written mainly for edited collections (e.g. Hayward and Menon 2003, Featherstone and Radaelli 2003) and handbooks (Magone 2015). To my considerable disappointment, a collective project on seven of the former Communist states that joined the EU in 2004 remains unpublished.
The EU and the member states. A project conducted with Anand Menon led to the publication by Routledge of a series four co-edited volumes that investigated the impact of EU action on national policy and policy making - The European Union and National Industrial Policy (Kassim and Menon 1996), The European Union and National Macroeconomic Policy (Forder and Menon 1998), The European Union and National Defence Policy (Howorth and Menon 1997), and The European Union and National Social Policy (Hine and Kassim 1998). A monograph, co-authored with Handley Stevens, Air Transport Policy and the European Union (2010), investigated how the EU emerged as an actor in aviation, assessed the impact of EU action on the national aviation policy and policy making, and explored how the EU redefined the international regime that regulates aviation in Europe and beyond. With Adriaan Schout, I am leading a project investigating national narratives and the EU.
EU competition policy. Work with Kathryn Wright has examined the origins and impact of the European Competition Network (ECN), an article with Pinar Akman looked at the myths of EU competition policy as part of a project led by Vince della Salla, and a journal special issue with Bruce Lyons investigated how EU state aid policy was affected by the financial and economic crisis. I am currently working on projects with Vanessa Buth and Hagen Streb on the institutionalization of DG IV, and with Francesca Vantaggiato and Kathryn Wright on the ECN.
EU governance. The role of national administrations in EU governance (Kassim and Wright 1991) were an early interest. I was also curious about -- and somewhat sceptical of -- the application of the policy networks approach to the EU (Kassim 1994). An ESRC Research Seminar, entitled ‘Modelling Political Accountability: Principal-Agent in Government and Politics’ and co-convened with Peter John, Bill Tompson and Catherine Waddams, critically assessed the value of that model in a variety of settings - the EU, central and eastern Europe, and UK regulation. A special issue of West European Politics, co-edited wth Patrick le Galès in 2010, meanwhile, examined EU governance from a policy instruments perspective.
Research highlights include:
The European Commission of the Twenty-First Century, book published 2013.
“‘The Commission of the 21st Century’ has produced the largest and richest data set on attitudes of Commission officials ever uncovered. The project’s findings will help us make the Commission a more efficient and effective administration that better serves European citizens." José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission
‘The book is a landmark in developing our understanding of how policy-making bureaucracies work and how such bureaucracies should be studied’, Edward C. Page, London School of Economics.
‘A new starting point for those who need to know about the institutions of the European Union.’ George Ross, Université de Montréal
‘The most comprehensive and sophisticated examination of the Commission available in the literature’, B. Guy Peters, University of Pittsburgh
‘This book offers a detailed and stimulating portrait of a unique institution that represents a clear innovation in Europe's political organization.’ Morten Egeberg, University of Oslo
Air Transport and the European Union: Europeanization and its Limits, book published 2010
‘This book makes a very important contribution to the theoretical debate about European integration and Europeanization, while providing the definitive account of how European air transport was deregulated.’ Martin Staniland, University of Pittsburgh
‘Air Transport and the European Union provides a new and comprehensively researched perspective on the defining period in the evolution of European air transport.’ Daniel Calleja, Director of Aviation, European Commission
‘Anybody who believes that governments and company interests are sufficient to explain the dynamics of economic integration needs to read this book.’ Cornelia Woll, Sciences Po Paris, CERI, CNRS
‘ … a masterful treatment of the politics of international aviation that will be of great interest to political scientists, lawyers, and practitioners.’ Yannis Karagiannis, Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals
Journal special issues
Lyons, B. and Kassim, H. (2013) ‘State Aid Policy: Evolution and Impact’, Journal of Industry Competition and Trade, 13:1, based on papers presented at ‘State Aid. The Present Crisis and Beyond’, convened by the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy, UEA.
Kassim, H and le Galès, P. (2010) 'Exploring Governance in a Multi-Level Polity: A Policy Instruments Approach' in West European Politics, 33:1, based on workshops held at Sciences Po Paris in 2007 and at PSI, UEA in 2008.
Research Group Membership
Much of Professor Kassim’s work has been collaborative. He was a member of the 'Connecting Excellence on European Governance' (Connex) FP6 network, which was led by Beate Kohler-Koch, then at the University of Mannheim, and Morten Egeberg, University of Oslo. He worked with Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos on a project on preferences and preference formation on the part of governments and EU institutions in regard to the 'Future of Europe' debate.
He convened an ESRC Research Seminar, ‘Modelling Political Accountability: Principal-Agent in Government and Politics’ (with Peter John, Bill Tompson and Catherine Waddams), led a team of researchers with John Peterson (University of Edinburgh) on ‘The European Commission in Question’ that included Michael W. Bauer (German University of Administrative Sciences, Speyer), Sara Connolly (UEA), Renaud Dehousse (Sciences Po Paris), Liesbet Hooghe (UNC at Chapel Hill and University of Amsterdam), and Andrew Thompson (University of Edinburgh), and, with Sara Connolly, is currently leading a research team on ‘European Commission: Facing the Future’ that includes Michael W. Bauer (German University of Administrative Sciences, Speyer), Sara Connolly (UEA), Renaud Dehousse (Sciences Po Paris), and Andrew Thompson (University of Edinburgh).
He is also working in a team led by Sonja Puntscher-Riekmann (University of Salzburg), 'The Choice for Europe', convened by Professor Sonja Puntscher-Riekmann, University of Salzburg, (http://www.uni-salzburg.at/index.php?id=67589), a project funded under Horizon 2020. With Shaun Hargreaves Heap and Scott James (both King's College, London), he is researching UK policy on EMU since the crisis.
- Administering Europe
- The EU and the member states
- Comparative Politics
- Public Policy
- Public Administration and Management
- European Union: history, institutions, policy
- Britain and Europe
- The Politics of Regulation
- International Organizations
External Activities and Indicators of Esteem
- Principal Investigator (PI) of 'European Commission: Facing the Future'
- PI of ‘The European Commission in Question’ [http://www.uea.ac.uk/psi/research/EUCIQ and http://www.esrc.ac.uk/my-esrc/grants/RES-062-23-1188/read]
- Convenor of: ‘The Coalition at One: The Conservative-Liberal Democratic Government in Historical and Theoretical Perspective’ (with Charles Clarke, Andrew Adonis and Jon Davis) [http://www.uea.ac.uk/psi/eventsnews/events/coalition_at_one]
- Convenor of ‘The “Too Difficult” Box’ (with Charles Clarke) [http://www.uea.ac.uk/psi/eventsnews/too-difficult-box]
- ESRC Senior Fellow, UK in a Changing Europe, 2015-16
- Visiting Professor, College of Europe, Bruges, from 2015
- Vincent Wright Chair 2015, Sciences Po Paris
- Member of LABEX evalution committee (economics panel), Agence National de Recherche, 2015
- Member of executive committee of the ECPR Standing Group on Regulatory Governance from 2014
- Editorial Board, Public Policy and Administration from 2014
- Visiting Professor, Centre d’Etudes Européennes, Sciences Po Paris, March/April 2014
- Member of ESRC Peer Review College
- Member of executive committee of the ECPR Standing Group on the European Union since 2009
- Visiting Professor, Birkbeck, University of London 2008-2013
- Member of Advisory Board, Observatoire des Institutions Européennes at the Centre d’Etudes Européennes, Sciences Po Paris, Since 2005
- Member of LABEX Panel/Jury, Agence National de Recherche 2010
- Principal Investigator, ESRC-funded project, ‘The European Commission in Question’ 2008-2010
- Member of the Transformation and Sustainability of European Political Order (Eurotrans) at ARENA, University of Oslo 2008-2012
- Member of executive committee, 'Connecting Excellence on European Governance' (Connex) EU FP6 network 2005-2008
- Founder, with Anand Menon, Damian Chalmers, Simon Hix and Imelda Maher, of the London EU Group. 1995-2007
- External Examiner for PhD/DPhil theses at: University of Adger; University of Oxford; University of Reading; University College London; University of Oslo; University of Manchester; Louvain-la-Neuve; Free University Amsterdam; European University Institute; London School of Economics and Political Science
- External examiner at Newcastle University, the LSE, UCL and Sussex University.
- Peer reviewer for the following journals: European Union Politics, Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Public Policy, West European Politics, Journal of European Integration, Comparative European Politics, Governance, European Journal of Political Research, Public Administration, Journal of Public Policy, European Journal of Political Research, European Political Science Review, Regulation and Governance, European Integration On-line Papers, British Journal of International Relations, Current Issues in European Politics, European Journal of Urban Politics, International Review of Administrative Sciences, Journal of Transatlantic Studies, European Societies
- Reviewer for the following publishers: Oxford University Press, Palgrave MacMillan, Rowman and Littlefield, UCL Press, Sage Publications, Routledge, IB Tauris, Republic of Letters, Continuuum
- At University level, I am a member of the ESRC Internal Review College
- At School level, I am impact champion and a member of the professorial advisory board. I was co-convenor of ‘The Too Difficult Box’ and a founder of policy@uea, a group that brings together researchers with interests in public policy and public administration from across the University. I served as Head of School from 2010 to 2013, during which the time the School rose in The Guardian University Guide ranking from 41st to 16th of UK Politics and International Relations departments.
- At the Centre for Competition Policy, I am a member of the management board. I was Co-Investigator for the second stage ESRC grant 2009-14, a member of the Steering Group from 2009 and coordinator of ‘Project 2 - Institutions’ research theme 2006-2014. With Bruce Lyons, I convened the 2013 ESRC Centre for Competition Policy Summer Conference on ‘Institutions and Competition Policy’