The Department of Politics at the University of Reading seeks to appoint an outstanding and highly motivated PhD candidate for a period of 3 full years (36 months). Under the primary supervision of Dr. Jonathan Golub, the successful candidate will conduct an innovative PhD project that combines historical archive records and advanced quantitative methods to evaluate features of legislative decisionmaking in the European Union.
Its enormous body of binding legislation makes the European Union a unique international organisation. But what determines the volume and pace of legislation? Why are some proposals adopted quickly by the EU’s Council of Ministers while others endure years of negotiation, often culminating in rejection? Which factors prove most decisive, the formal decisionmaking rules or the sheer diversity of views within the Council? Did the legacy of French President Charles de Gaulle's intransigence really render majority voting rules ineffective for decades, and did the entry of Britain and other countries to the EU in 1973 bog down the decisionmaking process? How have treaty reforms and further enlargements of the EU impacted decisionmaking dynamics?
In answering these questions, this project will fill a significant gap in the existing literature. Many studies have addressed EU decisionmaking, but their insights are limited by missing or inaccurate data. The candidate will participate in the construction and analysis of a unique state-of-the-art legislative dataset that exploits archival records, manual coding of documents, web scraping techniques and advanced quantitative analysis. Candidates with a strong interest in political science, quantitative research, the European Union, archival research, an MA, MSc or MPhil in Politics, Economics, Sociology, Social Research, Social Policy, and strong training in advanced social science methodologies, are particularly encouraged to apply.