Attachment CRC Nomination
Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in European Studies: EU
Dr. Finn Laursen
[Document prepared in 2006]
Since I moved to the European Institute of Public Administration in Maastricht (EIPA) in 1988 my main area of research has been European Integration. While I was in Maastricht (until 1995) my work was concentrated on the EU's relations with the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) as well as relations with other parts of the world, including the USA, Latin America and East Asia. I was also involved in a project on the negotiations of the Maastricht Treaty that created the European Union (EU) in 1992.
While I directed the Thorkil Kristensen Institute in Esbjerg, Denmark (1995-98) my main research project dealt with "Integration and Regime Formation in Europe after the Cold War."
Since I took up my current position at the University of Southern Denmark (1999) my main research projects have dealt with the Amsterdam Treaty, the Treaty of Nice and recently The Constitutional Treaty. I have also been interested in EU enlargement and the role played by the EU in the world as well as comparative regional integration.
Future Research Plans
In the following I will list four research areas, starting with the one that will be given highest priority the first couple of years. I have tried to relate the proposal to earlier work or ongoing research.
First, I would like to continue my work on recent treaty reforms in the European Union. Why has the EU gone through so many treaty reforms in recent years and why has a Constitutional Treaty been negotiated first by a Convention (2002-03) and then by another Intergovernmental Conference (2003-04)? Why did a number of member states decide they needed a referendum to ratify the treaty – and why did the French and Dutch voters vote No to the treaty in May and June 2005? Is the treaty now dead and if so, what will happen? Will we get more multi-speed integration? Or can part of the treaty be rescued through some mini-reforms not requiring referendums?
In studies of treaty reforms a number of theories have been applied. Andrew Moravcsik's liberal intergovernmentalism is one such approach (The Choice for Europe, 1998). This approach studies three separate phases: national preference formation, inter-state bargaining and institutional choice. It is a rational model, assuming that actors maximize utility and that the environment is information rich. Moravcsik finds that economic interests are decisive for the member states but admits that geopolitical factors can play a secondary role. Outcomes of interstate bargaining depend on asymmetrical interdependence. The more you desire a certain outcome the more you are willing to compromise to get that result. Ingredients in bargaining are threats of veto, threats of exclusion and linkage strategies (bargaining exchanges), Finally, according to Moravcsik there has been pooling and delegation of competences in the European Community to get 'credible commitments'. Pooling refers to the use of qualified majority voting (QMV) in the Council of Ministers and delegation refers to the autonomous powers given to the European Commission (including exclusive right of initiative when legislations is adopted) and the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
Moravcsik has been criticized by a number of 'institutionalists.' Historical institutionalists (e.g. Pierson) argue that the states are no longer in complete control of the process of integration, that earlier decisions have had unforeseen consequences. It is difficult to close gaps in the governments' control, partly because of resistance from the Community institutions. Rational institutionalists have argued that even in Intergovernmental Conferences (IGCs) – the usual set-up for treaty reforms – there can be 'windows of opportunity' for Community actors: the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council Secretariat allowing these actors a fair amount of influence (e.g. Derek Beach, The Dynamics of European Integration, 2005).
Sociological institutionalists have taken the criticism of liberal intergovernmentalism in different directions. Some argue that questions of national identities remain important. This leads to the question whether a collective identity is emerging in Europe? Some turn their attention to the role of discourse and rhetoric. Other argue that ideas have played an important role for European integration from the very beginning in 1950, when – inspired by Jean Monnet's ideas – the French foreign minister Robert Schuman proposed the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the first community that started in 1952 (e.g Craig Parsons, A Certain Idea of Europe, 2003).
First I would like to write a book on the Constitutional Treaty, whether finally ratified or not. The making of the Constitutional Treaty was novel because the first draft was worked out by a European Convention, where not only governments and the Commission were represented but also national parliaments and the European Parliament. The purpose was to have a broader and more open debate. Did the treaty-makers succeed in this? And to what extend can the literature on discourse and deliberation help us understand the outcome from the Convention? Or was leadership from the President and Presidium more important? Looking next at the IGC that followed the Convention it is possible that liberal intergovernmentalism can account for much of this part of the process. In the first months of the IGC threats of veto from Spain and Poland created difficulties. France and Germany responded with threats of exclusion – by talking about 'closer cooperation' among the willing and able member states. Threats may have had a sobering effect, but in the end it was the Irish Presidency that engineered a compromise, including various bargaining exchanges. Even if liberal intergovernmentalism can explain much of the IGC it remains a question how constrained the governments were by the Convention's draft?
The question why about 10 member states decided to have a referendum is also interesting. Only Ireland and Denmark needed a referendum for constitutional reasons. Yet, the Blair government decided to have one in the UK. France and others followed, including the Netherlands, which has never in the past had a referendum on an EC/EU question. Did this happen because of pressures from 'domestic politics'? Or did all the 'constitutionalist' rhetoric surrounding the Convention 'entrap' the leaders?
The immediate background of the Constitutional Treaty was the Treaty of Nice, which was the latest revision of the founding treaties of the European Union (EU). It was negotiated by an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), which started in February 2000 and was concluded by a meeting of the European Council in Nice in December 2000. The Treaty of Nice entered into force on 1 February 2003. But the Heads of State and Government left Nice feeling that further reforms were required to deal with questions of efficiency and legitimacy in a future union with 25 or more member states.
The main changes to the EU Treaties that resulted from Nice were the following: changed weighting of votes in the Council (and number of seats in the European Parliament), provisions concerning the composition of the Commission, extended use of qualified majority voting (QMV) in the Council, and easier conditions for 'closer co-operation' (or flexibility). But Nice also included a declaration, which suggested a post-Nice agenda including, inter alia, the following four points:
1. How to establish and monitor a more precise delimitation of competencies between the European Union and the Member States, reflecting the principle of subsidiarity;
2. The Status of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union proclaimed in Nice;
3. A simplification of the Treaties with a view to making them clearer and better understood without changing their meaning;
4. The role of national Parliaments in the European architecture.
The meeting of the European Council at Laeken in December 2001 decided that the next IGC should be prepared through a Convention, which would have members from governments, national Parliaments, the European Parliament and the European Commission. Involving Members of Parliaments was a novelty in the preparations of a treaty reform (except possibly the Ad hoc Assembly which drafted a treaty of a European Political Community in 1953 which was never ratified).
The Laeken Declaration saw both internal and external challenges for the EU in the new century. 'Within the Union, the European institutions must be brought closer to its citizens.' 'Beyond its borders ... the European Union is confronted with a fast-changing, globalised world.' Saying that the EU 'needs to become more democratic, more transparent and more efficient', the Laeken Declaration went on to discuss some of the issues already singled out in the Nice Declaration.
How was the post-Nice agenda established? What were the positions taken by the 15 Member States during the preparation of the Laeken Declaration? With what preferences did member states go into the Convention? How can we explain the national preferences? What were the positions taken by the two Community actors, the European Parliament and the Commission, and why? How did national MPs contribute to the process? What role was played by the Presidency, the Council secretariat and the Convention presidium during the negotiations? What were the negotiation dynamics? What came out of it?
The theoretical starting point for this project will be liberal intergovernmentalism. The first stage is to try to explain national preference. The central question asked by Moravcsik here is whether it is economic or geopolitical interests that dominate when member states form their preferences. The answer based on major decisions in the European integration process was that economic interests are the most important. But was the EU's 'constitutional phase' really determined by economics?
The second stage, interstate bargaining, seeks to explain the efficiency and distributional outcomes from EU negotiations. Here two possible explanations of agreements on substance are contrasted: asymmetrical interdependence or supranational entrepreneurship. Moravcsik arrives at the answer that asymmetrical interdependence has most explanatory power. Some member states have more at stake than others. They will work harder to influence outcomes. On the other hand, the role of the Community actors, first of all the European Commission is not considered very important.
Liberal intergovernmentalism has been criticised a lot. Some find it too parsimonious. The preference formation part, it could be argued, pays too little attention to partisan aspects of domestic politics – the political games between governments and oppositions - and the negotiation part does not really open the 'black box' of negotiations. But at least Moravcsik's scheme can help us structure studies of 'history making' decisions.
Nice was mainly about institutional choice (or design). This was still largely the case for the Constitutional Treaty, too. If there was a broader question of substance, it was enlargement. One of the issues raised by enlargement has been an increased use of QMV to make decision-making more efficient.
Linked with the issue of efficiency is the wider question of the legitimacy of the Union. Can legitimacy only come through the Member States or can a separate European legitimacy go through the European Parliament. Does the 'output' legitimacy of good, relevant decisions still count? Or does the EU need improvements in 'input' legitimacy?
The project will therefore also deal with the wider implications of the ongoing, possibly stalled, treaty reform process. How democratic is the EU and how democratic can it become. Does European democracy require a European demos? Or can parallel improvements in the roles played by national parliaments and the European Parliament improve the EU's input legitimacy? The wider contextual question is: How will enlargement effect the EU's institutional capacity and legitimacy?
To deal with these wider questions it is expected that liberal intergovernmentalism will be inadequate. It is important to note that the Convention was more a process of deliberation than inter-state bargaining, even if there was an end-game in the Convention with negotiations playing an important part, and where the members of the Convention anticipated the reactions of the Member States in the IGC. To what extent did the deliberation 'frame' the questions for the governments? Did the wider participation of MPs and MEPs in the Convention give the draft from the Convention a kind of legitimacy that made it difficult for the Member States to reopen the issues?
Some of the literature on legitimacy may be relevant for answering these questions. There is also a recent literature that deals with deliberation, the power of rhetoric and ideas. It looks as if the European integration process has reached a stage where social constructivist theories are becoming more relevant. The project will therefore seek to contrast the rational explanations of liberal intergovernmentalism with social constructivist and neo-institutional theories.
A final question, made important by the French and Dutch No votes to the Constitutional Treaty: why did so many state opt for a referendum? And, do voters vote really vote about the treaty or are some other factors more important? If the last question is answered in the affirmative, it raises serious questions about the referendum instrument, when decisions have to be made about extremely complex treaties. The normative question will then be whether it would be better to stick to representative democracy for this kind of decisions?
After finishing the book on the 'saga' of the Constitutional Treaty I will want to summarize and expand my research on treaty reforms and produce a more general book on EU Treaty Making and Reforms going back to the beginning, the Schuman Plan in 1950. Why did it all start in the 1950s? And why has the EU gone through so many treaty reforms since then (Merger Treaty 1965, Budget Treaties 1970 and 1975, Single European Act 1986, Maastricht Treaty 1992, Amsterdam Treaty 1997, Nice Treaty 2001 and finally the Constitutional Treaty)? Such a study can explore the relative weight of various factors, commercial interests, geopolitics, leaders and ideas, and the common institutions once created.
I have been working on a book on EU-East Asia Relations. I have draft manuscripts on relations between the EU and Japan, the EU and China and Taiwan as well as East Asia in general. The relations with East Asia have both important economic aspects as well as a political dimension, especially in relation to China and Taiwan. Seen against the US cooperation with East Asia, including through APEC, the EU-East Asia relation is to some extent the 'missing link' in the global political economy. Asia-Europe meetings (ASEM) have in recent years tried to repair the situation, but progress has been slow, partly because East-Asian countries do not accept the committing kind of cooperation advocated by the Europeans. Nor do East-Asian countries accept interference in internal affairs.
I hope to be able to finish this book on EU-East Asia Relations.
Another aspect of external relations of the EU which I have been working on concerns EU relations with the Americas. Through a cooperation project between EIPA (Maastricht) and the Brookings Institution (Washington) I followed developments in EU-US Relations in the early 1990s. EIPA also had special cooperation projects with Central America and Mercosur. Lately I have done some work on EU relations with Mexico and the negotiations about a free trade agreement with Mercosur. I would like to continue to follow these developments and write about them. If based at Dalhousie University, it would be natural also to include EU-Canada relations under this heading. At least this section should lead to some articles, possibly an edited volume.
Much of the literature on EU external (economic) relations and the so-called Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is rather a-theoretical. It is a challenge to see how theories of international relations and regional integration can contribute to explain the role played by the EU in the international system.
That the EU has a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that affects the rest of the world is well known. The CAP was one of the most difficult issues in the Uruguay Round of the GATT and is now on the agenda of the Doha Round. Less known is the fact that the EU has also become an important international actor in the area of marine policies, especially fisheries policy. Back in the 1980s I wrote a small book published in French on L'Europe Bleue. Now that the Common Fisheries Policy has gone through reforms in the 1990s it would be interesting to revisit this area of research, update it and produce a book in English on the Blue Europe. There have further been important developments in the shipping area since the mid 80s. Marine policy is also interesting methodologically and theoretically since it allows for comparisons across issue areas: fishing, offshore oil and natural gas, delimitation of continental shelves and fishing zones, marine environmental protection, shipping and wider Law of the Sea issues, where EU efforts to develop common policies have had rather different outcomes. To what extent can these differences between the substantive areas be explained by existing integration theories? Was the Common Fisheries Policy a kind of spill-over from the Common Agricultural Policy? Was the Common Shipping Policy just a spill-over from the wider transport policy? The same question can be asked for the marine environmental policy. Then the original neo-functionalist integration theory may have some explanatory power. But why then did spill-over stop short when it came to delimitation issues and security aspects of marine policy?
I edited a book on Comparative Regional Integration published in 2003. I would like to continue work in this area, through international networks and possibly producing some comparative analyses myself. While in Canada (at Carleton) in the winter of 2004 and at Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico, during the summer 2004, I collected information and documents on both NAFTA and Mercosur. A comparative project on EU, NAFTA and Mercosur could be interesting. It could allow some conclusions about the question, why countries establish free trade areas, customs unions and sometimes, as in the case of the EU, move further towards Economic and Monetary Union, and possibly some kind of Political Union. The existing comparative study by Walter Mattli could be a good point of departure for such a study. But a more systematic comparative study of the role of institutions in regional integration is needed. I would like to try to edit such a book, including scholars from the Americas and Europe, and also write some papers/chapters/articles myself. A paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association in Hawaii in the spring of 2005, comparing the EU and NAFTA, can be seen as a beginning.
Basically, what the above suggests is a keen interest in major decisions in European integration as well as the external impact of European integration.
The proposed research will fit in well with Dalhousie's Strategic Research Plan which gives priority to European studies. The topics should also be of interest to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. I expect my teaching of graduate students to be closely related to my ongoing research.
There are a number of international networks, national European Community Studies Associations (ECSAs), Centres for European Studies, Jean Monnet Chairs, etc., as well as regular panels in conferences organized by the International Studies Association (ISA), the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and other similar associations, where the above issues are studied and discussed. I am already involved in several of these networks and expect to be able to continue such involvement from Dalhousie. The planned Centre for European Studies at Dalhousie should create the necessary infrastructure for national and international conferences and other collaborative activities including the sponsoring of visiting fellows and editing of books.
An environment has been created in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Dalhousie University in which Dr. Finn Laursen would find his needs as a researcher and colleague exceptionally well served. An undergraduate program in European Studies admitted its first students in September 2004, and this program involves the participation of faculty members from virtually every department in the Faculty. It was approved with much enthusiasm in the Faculty's Academic Development Committee and the Faculty as a whole, receiving unanimous approval at both stages. Support from the University Senate was equally strong.
Discussions about creating a European studies program started in 1999, involving people from a broad spectrum of the Faculty, and in fact predated the determination by the University to establish Canada Research Chairs in this area. In fact, the enthusiasm for this program is very strong, and has brought together faculty members from the languages, social sciences, humanities, and performing arts. The consensus that finally emerged represents one of the most all-embracing cooperative efforts that the Faculty has seen to date. At various times during the formulation of the program, talks were held with other interested persons, including representatives of the European Union. It should also be noted that some members of the University of King's College actively participated in the creation of the program. The King's Foundation Year Program as well as the honours programs in Early Modern Studies, Contemporary Studies, and the History of Science and Technology predominantly focus on Europe, with teaching members whose research embraces history, philosophy, and literature.
The program now in place is unique in Canada with its diversity of disciplinary requirements. The planners agreed at the earliest stages of discussions that modern European languages would play a central role, and all students in the program are required to study one language other than English in depth (to a third- or fourth-year level), as well as a second language at an introductory level. In the first year, students meet the university degree requirements with a writing course and other distribution requirements, and also take a full course in European history. Because of the need for focus, the program is available only as a 20-credit major program and an honours program. Students must find an appropriate balance of languages and combinations of humanities, social sciences, and performing arts courses.
Dr. Laursen therefore will be in an academic environment that places a very high premium on European studies, with members from almost every department already carrying out teaching and research in this area—members who wish to focus their interest in more interactive and collaborative ways. With the new program in place, that has been taken to a new level. With his own research in the area of political science, he will play a crucial role in the on-going development of the program, complementing the CRCs already in place in history and literature. As a European, from Denmark, he brings a special dimension, and that is reflected most apparently in his command of languages. He is fluent in Danish, English, and French, and also has reading knowledge of Norwegian, Swedish, German, Spanish, and Italian.
Beyond the undergraduate program in European studies, graduate programs have also been envisaged, and these plans are now developing. In fact, European studies has already become a focus in the interdisciplinary MA and PhD programs, and departments already active with graduate programs involving Europe, such as History, have been able to step up this involvement. Since faculty members at other Halifax metro universities also are involved in European studies, it is anticipated that their involvement will be sought in the graduate program, and Dr. Laursen will play a role in developing these associations in the social sciences. With the positioning of Dalhousie on the Atlantic coast, it of course provides the ideal location for strong ties with Europe, and it is becoming a regional and national centre for the study of and interaction with Europe. No one could be better positioned that Dr. Laursen to continue strong ties with Europe. This is abundantly clear from the positions he has held as a senior Professor at the University of Sourthern Denmark, as Director of the Centre for European Studies and Jean Monnet Chair (Political Economy of European Integration); Professor and Head of the Thorkil Kristensen Institute for East-West Research at the South Jutland University Centre in Esbjerg, Denmark; Professor of International Politics, European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht, The Netherlands; as well as positions at the London School of Economics in the UK, Odense University and Aarhus University in Denmark, and the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.
Dr. Laursen will be part of a group of three Canada Research Chairs in European Studies. Two of these are already in place, having been successfully nominated as CRCs: Dr. Jolanta Pekacz, an historian with a strong interest in the performing arts who joined the Faculty in 2003, and Dr. Julia Wright, a literary scholar with a focus on Ireland. The three CRCs will represent the primary strengths of the Faculty, embracing the combination of the humanities, languages, performing arts, and social sciences. With the three Chairs in place, European studies will take on a special research emphasis at Dalhousie, becoming a centre of excellence. One of the results of this will be a research centre (described below), offering a focus for research on Europe that can bring the research of the Chairs together with the research of numerous faculty members already working in the area. That number includes over fifty members of the Faculty whose primary research focuses on Europe, from the Departments of Classics, English, French, German, History, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Russians Studies, Sociology and Social Anthropology, Spanish, and Theatre. Many of these scholars are internationally renowned, with strong ties to Europe. Faculty at the University of King's College, in the programs noted above, will also be participants.
The institutional commitment to Dr. Laursen can be demonstrated in a number of significant ways. The first, and most direct, is the determination to have three Chairs in European studies, two of which are already in place.
A balance will exist among the three Chairs: Dr. Pekacz (tier 2) is at the mid level of the Associate Professor rank, Dr. Wright (tier 2) is at a somewhat more advanced level of the Associate rank, and Dr. Laursen (tier 1) will be a senior Full Professor; there will also be a balance in the disciplines or areas of the Faculty that they represent. With three Chairs in place, there will be a strong nucleus for European studies in the Faculty, in fact, much stronger than anything we have been able to provide for any of our other multidisciplinary programs.
The University recognizes that as a Canada Research Chair, Dr. Laursen needs to be given the latitude to carry out his ambitious research agenda, which the University entirely endorses. He will be given an office in the Department of Political Science, with all the amenities that any faculty member would receive, including a new computer in his office with access to the university system. He will receive office support from that department, and his graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and other visiting scholars coming to work with him will be provided with office space and support. All other services are available to him that would be provided to other faculty members, such as library and computing services, and access to Faculty and University travel grants.
Beyond that, the University will provide him with additional funding for research, in the net amount of the CRC funding that is available after his salary and benefits are deducted. At such time as his salary and benefits exceed the net funding provided by the CRC program, the University will make up the difference (the precise amounts will result from a future stage of collective bargaining, and those given on p. 5 for years 2 and 3 are therefore approximate). While he will remain a member of the Political Science Department with teaching responsibilities, it is understood that a significant proportion of his time will be spent at research; he will therefore receive a teaching release from the normal load of his department so that his teaching load will be 50% of a normal load, as is the standard for CRC teaching loads in this Faculty. Since the standard load in that department is five half-year courses plus the supervision of graduate students, his load will consist of two courses plus the supervision of graduate students.
Another very strong indication of commitment is the determination of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences to create a Faculty research centre. Individual research centres or major strategic research projects, of course, already exist in the Faculty, but it is now proposed to take this to a new level, with an umbrella organization for the specific research projects. The development of the research centre would go hand in hand with the expansion of European studies, and in fact European studies would play a central role in its development. With Europe very much at the heart of the centre's activities, Dr. Laursen and the two other Chairs would find an even more congenial and focused environment for their work. Current projects, such as the Metropolis Project, the History of the Book project, and Early Modern Studies, will be able to cooperate closely with European studies, and will strengthen ties between European and North American research endeavours. It is fully expected that the centre would attract visiting scholars for varying periods of time, thus broadening the core of European studies even further. The proposal also includes electronic membership in the centre, which could include Europeans, especially those from Central and Eastern European Countries. The President's office has committed support to the centre, principally in bridge funding for a director.
We would expect to develop the centre with a combination of grants from different levels of government, the private sector, and the European Union. We will work closely with the University Development Office on this, and in fact that office has a staff member committed to the needs of our Faculty. All of these groups would have a strong interest in such a centre. Even though our focus will be on the arts and social sciences, we anticipate strong ties with industry, in part noting that corporate success in Europe in large measure depends on fluency with languages, history, and culture. With our proximity on the Atlantic rim, Dalhousie seems a highly desirable place in Canada for this type of centre to develop. The President and Vice-President Academic have endorsed the project.
Concerning the use of a CFI grant, this will be a cluster application for all three CRCs in European studies, and is possible now that the nomination of Dr. Laursen is going forward. For Dr. Pekecz and Dr. Wright the CFI application was delayed until the point that all three could be put together in a cluster application. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is preparing this application for the three CRCs.
Aside from these tangible measures of support and commitment, there are others that are every bit as strong, but do not reveal themselves in the most obvious ways. These involve the enthusiasm within the Faculty for the study of Europe, not only in the development of new programs and a research centre, but also in the continued commitment in individual departments to make appointments that concentrate on Europe, extensive teaching done in the area, and in the continuation of lecture series (such as the Faculty's on-going McKay Lecture Series), film presentations, and music and theatre productions that focus on Europe. Research on various facets of Europe is very strong, and the commitment of the Faculty's administration to European studies is entirely reflective of the activities of faculty members.
Dalhousie University is in the process of drafting a new Strategic Research Plan which will be more tightly coordinated with the Strategic Plan for Canada Research Chairs than the previous plan. In the existing plan European studies is listed as one of the areas of priority, and it is anticipated that the new plan will not only continue to define European studies as a priority but the overall research interests of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will receive a much higher profile. The ways Dr. Laursen's Chair meshes with the existing and anticipated plans can be addressed under the following subheading which emerge from the existing plan:
Dr. Laursen is one of the leading scholars in the field of European studies, as his letters of recommendation attest, and would bring research expertise to the university at the highest possible level. His record of publications, collaborations, and grants would place him with the most productive senior scholars at the university. In the past few years the Political Science Department has lost some of its top internationally renowned scholars through retirements, and Dr. Laursen presence would make a great difference to that department in keeping a balance of senior, mid-career, and junior scholars. The presence of Dr. Jerome Davis (also from Denmark), a Tier 1 CRC with a specialty in oil and gas, has also been of great benefit to that department. In his positions in Denmark and the Netherlands Dr. Laursen played an active role in the training of young scholars through graduate programs, and he would be a welcome addition to the already very active graduate program in political science at Dalhousie. In fact, recent retirements threatened to weaken that program, and his presence would keep it on a firm footing.
Dr. Laursen is both European and a European studies scholar, making him in all respects the ideal candidate to fill our senior position in European studies. His own work looks at European political and economic issues, most recently with an emphasis on European integration, and while Denmark has been important to his work, he also looks at the widest possible range of countries. Of special relevance to the study of Europe in Canada, he has worked extensively on issues of Europe's relations with other countries, including Canada, the United States, and various Asian countries. He also has the inside knowledge of and prior administrative experience with European institutions that would allow him to develop the funding bridges necessary for a European studies program, adding a crucial dimension that his younger CRC colleagues here do not have.
As a political scientist Dr. Laursen is anything but limited to the specifics of his own field that only a specialist would understand. The breadth of his work reflects strong interdisciplinary interests, dating all the way back to his doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania on U.S. ocean policy. His work on ocean policy then crossed the Atlantic to include his home country, Scandinavia more broadly, and subsequently other European countries as well. Since this has included not only treaties among countries but specifics of the law of the sea, there is a necessary legal component in his work as well. With the strength of Oceanography, marine and environmental law, and marine geology at Dalhousie, he would be a most welcome addition. Economic policies constitute another important part of his work, adding to his interdisciplinary breadth. The issues he deals with do not get lost in theoretical tangles, but focus on the pressing questions faced in Europe, including the recent knotty issue of a constitution.
Dr. Laursen's track record clearly indicates that he is anything but an isolated scholar in his own discipline. The breadth of interests in his own research makes this clear, as does his extensive work as an editor and his involvement with scholarly societies, including being the president of the Danish Society of European Studies since 2002. He has been a member of important committee at the University of Southern Denmark, such as their PhD study board, and at Dalhousie he would undoubtedly be an active member of his department as well as build associations with people in the Department of Oceanography, the other centres for marine research, and economics. He has already built strong connections elsewhere in Canada, especially Carleton University where he held a visiting appointment, but also through already well-established connections at the University of Victoria, York University, and Memorial University. Prior visiting positions at Princeton University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Cape Cod provide a base for his contacts in the United States. In Europe his associations of course are very strong, aside from Denmark especially in the Netherlands, Italy, France, and England. Aside from holding positions in those countries, he has guest lectured in Sweden, Norway, Slovakia, Austria, Belgium, China, Japan, and Taiwan. We could not hope to find a scholar with stronger ties to external communities.