Dr. Finn Laursen

Research Contributions by Dr Finn Laursen

[Document prepared in 2006 in view of confirmation of Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) at Dalhousie University]

1. Significant Contributions (Five most significant areas)

(1) US Ocean Policy

Dr. Laursen did his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, completing the dissertation on "The Making of U.S. Ocean Policy" in 1980. Afterwards he spent a year as post-doctoral fellow at Princeton's Centre of International Studies revising the dissertation for book publication. Major publications from this period included:

The Making of U.S. Ocean Policy 1970-78, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1980 (Ann Arbor and London: University Microfilms International, Order No. 8018568), xii + 514 pp.

"Sikkerhedens primat: USA og den nye havret," Internasjonal Politikk (Oslo) No. 1 (January/March 1981), pp. 25-40.

(With Jesper Grolin), Ret eller magt på havet (Copenhagen: FN forbundet, 1982), 112pp.

"The Law of the Sea and International Security: Aspects of Superpower Policy," in Finn Laursen (ed.), Toward a New International Marine Order (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1982), pp. 71-88.

"Security versus Access to Resources: Explaining a Decade of U.S. Ocean Policy," World Politics 34 (Jan. 1982), pp. 197-229.

Superpower at Sea: U.S. Ocean Policy (New York: Praeger, 1983), 210 pp.

This research saw US Ocean Policy as a case of foreign policy making. The central objective was to explain US ocean policy from the start of the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III) in the late 1960s until the adoption of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982. The study applied various analytical perspectives, statist goals (realism), international interdependence, bureaucratic politics and domestic politics. The changes from the first rather internationalist proposals of the Nixon Administration in 1970 to the introduction of the 200-mile fishery zone during the Ford Administration in 1976 and the Reagan Administration's rejection of the final UN Convention were largely explained by domestic politics.


The book US Ocean Policy was reviewed in American Political Science Review (Vol. 79, 1985, p. 268) by Martin Ira Glassner, Southern Connecticut State University. The following are excerpts:

"Finn Laursen, a Danish political scientist, was present at several sessions of UNCLOS III and has written previous analyses of U.S. policy and policymaking in connection with the Law of the Sea. This book covers the evolution of this policy from the late 1960s through the signing of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea at Montego Bay, Jamaica, on December 10, 1982. More than a chronological description of the evolution of American policy on the numerous complex issues of the Law of the Sea, the account is decidedly analytical.


Laursen begins with an overview of the problem in which he summarizes developments in both the Law of the Sea and U.S. policy in relation to it. Then he explains the analytical perspectives and hypotheses to be applied to the problem. The next five chapters are straightforward descriptions of the major components of U.S. ocean policy through the Carter administration – the politics of security, offshore petroleum rights, fishing, and deep seabed mining – and the Draft Convention and the Reagan review of it. Chapter 8 applies the analytical tools described earlier to these various conflicting interests within the United States government and society, and the final, very brief, chapter, contains concluding remarks.

Laursen did not have the kind of access to, and experience with, the inner workings of the United States government as did, for example, Ann Hollick, Robert E. Osgood, and John Norton Moore, who all have written extensively about U.S. ocean policy, but Laursen has used a wide range of published materials including, wisely, some of the materials produced by nongovernmental organization (NGOs) represented at UNCLOS III. I am impressed with the accuracy of Laursen's descriptions of events and of American decision making, which undoubtedly results from his attendance at several sessions of the Conference and his association with NGOs, as well as his ability and diligent research.

This book is a superb case study of foreign policy decision making .... It is balanced, both ideologically and between fact and theory, but it is quite clear in its conclusion that the Reagan policy regarding the Law of the Sea is misguided and harmful to the long-term interests of the United States."

(2) Scandinavia and the Law of the Sea

After taking up a position at Odense University, Denmark, in 1981 Dr Laursen started working on Scandinavia and the Law of the Sea. Publications produced included:

"Small Power Adaptation: The Case of Denmark and the Law of the Sea," Occasional Papers No. 3 (1983), Department of Public Finance and Policy, Odense University, 37pp.

"Danmark og EFs fiskeripolitik," Dansk Udenrigspolitisk Årbog 1983 (Copenhagen: Dansk Udenrigspolitisk Institut, 1984), pp. 94-116.

"A Profile of Danish Law of the Sea Policy Making and Makers: Report on a Questionaire," Occasional Papers No. 21/1985, Department of Public Finance and Policy, Odense University, 18+8 pp.

"Security Aspects of Danish and Norwegian Law of the Sea Policies," Ocean Developement and International Law Vol. 18, No. 2 (1987), pp. 75-109.

"Denmark and the Exclusive Economic Zone: Past and Future Considerations," Nordic Journal of International Law Vol. 51, Fasc. 1 (1987), pp. 69-106.

Danmark og havretten (Copenhagen: Dansk Udenrigspolitisk Institut, 1988), 79 pp.

Small Powers at Sea: Scandinavia and the New International Marine Order (Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1993), 318 pp.

This area included comparative case studies of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The large differences in the LOS policies of the three Scandinavian states could to a great extent be explained by different economic interests (fishing, shipping, offshore oil) and geopolitics (bordering on the Baltic Sea or North Atlantic). Policy-making had corporatist traits and much less 'domestic politics' than in the USA.


The paper 'Small Power Adaptation' was reviewed by Clive Archer, University of Aberdeen, in Marine Policy October 1983. The following are excerpts:

"Finn Laursen has to his credit a number of books and articles on the UN Law of the Sea Conference (UNCLOS) negotiations and the new international sea regime, as well as on Danish participation in this process. In this paper he examined the policies of the Danish government within the UN Sea-bed Committee and the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea. The major interest of the study lies in Denmark's position as a small Western country with wide – and conflicting – maritime interests. Laursen examines Danish Sea-bed Committee and UNCLOS policy in term of 'state interests' and in terms of 'small power adaptation'.


This monograph provides just an outline of a theoretical argument about the nature of Danish decision making at the Seabed Committee and UNCLOS. Its real value lies in its account of Danish maritime interests during these negotiations and its description of the pursuit of those interests."

The book Small Powers at Sea: Scandinavia and the New International Marine Order, was reviewed by Uwe Jenisch in Verfassung und Recht in Ubersee (Vol. 28, No. 2, 1995):

"Diese Studie über die Seerechtsinteressen von Norwegen, Schweden und Dänemark legt den Schwerpunkt auf die Meerespolitik, nicht auf das Seerecht, das aber keinesfalls zu kurz kommt. Laursen folgt dabei der in der angelsächsische Welt (im Gegensatz zu Festland-Europa) gängigen Betrachtungsweise, die Seerechtsneuordnung in erster Linie als politische Prozess zu begreifen.


Der originelle konzeptionelle Ansatz des Buches, das nicht nur die 3. VN-Seerechtskonferenz von 1973-82, sondern auch die 1. und 2. VN-Seerechtskonferenzen von 1958 und 1960 einbezieht, ist zur Auflockerung und zur Horizonterweiterung allen völkerrechtlich und seerechtlich Interessierten sehr zu empfehlen."

(3) The EU's Marine Policies

In parallel with the work on Scandinavia and the Law of the Sea Dr. Laursen also worked on the marine policies of the EC. This included the following publications:

"EF og den nye havret," Økonomi og Politik 58:1 (1984), pp. 55-65.

"Det blå Europa: EFs havressourcepolitik," Occasional Papers No. 14 (1984), Department of Public Finance and Policy, Odense University, 154 pp.

"EF og havmiljøet," Internasjonal Politikk No. 3 (1987), pp. 31-45.

L'Europe bleue: La politique communautaire des ressources marines (Amsterdam: Institute for Global Policy Studies, 1987), 158 pp.

"Marine Policies of the European Community," in Michael A. Morris (ed.), North-South Perspectives on Marine Policy (Boulder and London: Westview Press, 1988), pp. 45-65.

The making of EU's marine policies was studied as cases of European integration. The EU has developed a Common Fisheries Policy, a Common Shipping Policy and a Common Marine Environmental Policy, but no common policy in relation to the continental shelf and offshore oil. The fact that the fisheries policy was linked with agricultural policy and shipping linked with transport policy and marine environment with the general EU environmental policy is part of the story, suggesting some 'spill-over' from other policies. But spill-over did not reach 'high politics' areas such as security and defence related issues (e.g. free passage of international straits and delimitation of continental shelves). The EU member states retained sovereign control of these.


The paper in Danish, 'Det blå Europa', was written with support from the European Commission, Brussels. Afterwards Johannes Føns Buhl of the Commission's Legal Service, who had represented the Commission in the international UNCLOS negotiations, wrote to the Commission's University Information Division:

« J'estime que l'étude effectuée par M. LAURSEN a une valeur scientifique indiscutable et qu'elle représente un intérêt tout particulier pour la Commission puisqu'il traite le rôle de la Communauté dans des domaines dans lesquels jusqu'à maintenant très peu a été publié. »

Mr Føns Buhl attached a summary in English in which he wrote:

"Working on a research grant from the European Commission Mr. Finn Laursen has carried out an in-depth study of the common Community policies developed on maritime resources since the adoption in 1970 of the first two regulations on the structure and organization of the European Community's common fisheries policy. The study has been conduced with special reference to the proceedings at the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea where the Community, since the opening session in Caracas, July-August 1974, has been represented by a delegation. It points out that the Community and its Member States, through the Law of the Sea Conference, were confronted with a variety of problems, often of vital interest to the Community or to one or several of its Member States. A common policy has not been possible on all issues at the Conference. The study gives a well perceived analysis of the interests at stake and finds that, through the continuous consultations during the more than 10 years of negotiations at the Law of the Sea Conference, the Community has achieved a cohesive policy not only on fishing but also, although to a lesser extent, in respect of navigation, environmental protection, scientific research and regarding dispute settlement relating to the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention.

The analytical description of the integration process which the Community is undergoing is set against the parameters of two or three study models reflecting: functional approach, State interests, outside influence and national policies.

It gives a detailed description of the various influences which finally brought about in 1983 a common fisheries policy and also explains the failure to achieve a common resource policy for minerals from the ocean bed which has brought the Community to the situation where five Member States signed the Convention on the Law of the Sea when it was opened for signature in December 1982, while five Member States have not yet signed. Community participation in the Convention is blocked until a majority of its Member States have signed or ratified. This majority might well be achieved before the deadline for signature expires in December 1984 and Community participation in the work of the organs established under the Convention could be important for the further development of common policies in respect of maritime resources which this study finds depends upon an adequate level of communication between the Commission and Member States as the necessary prerequisite for establishing mutual trust."

(Brussels, 4 October 1984)

(4) The EU' External Relations

After Dr. Laursen took up a position at the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) in Maastricht in 1988 he started working on various aspects of European integration, first relations with EFTA, later also relations with other parts of the world. Publications in this group included:

"The Community's Policy Towards EFTA: Regime Formation in the European Economic Space (EES)," Journal of Common Market Studies Vol. 28, No. 4 (June 1990), pp. 303-325.

(edited), EFTA and the EC: Implications of 1992 (Maastricht: European Institute of Public Administration, 1990), 259 pp.

(edited), Europe 1992: World Partner? The Internal Market and the World Political Economy (Maastricht: European Institute of Public Administration, 1991), 251 pp.

"The EC, GATT, and the Uruguay Round," in Leon Hurwitz and Christian Lequesne (eds.), The State of the European Community: Policies, Institutions and Debates in the Transition Years (Boulder: Lynne Riener Publishers, Inc., 1991), pp. 373-385.

"The EC in the World Context: Civilian Power or Superpower?" Futures 23: 7 (September 1991), pp. 747-759.

"EFTA Countries as Actors in European Integration: The Emergence of the European Economic Area (EEA)," International Review of Administrative Sciences 57 (December 1991), 543-555.

"The EC and its European Neighbours: Special Partnerships or Widened Membership?" International Journal (Toronto) Vol. 47: No. 1 (Winter 1991-92), pp. 29-63.

"The EC, the United States and the Uruguay Round," in Alan W. Cafruny and Glenda G. Rosenthal (eds.), The State of the European Community: The Maastricht Debates and Beyond (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1993), pp. 245-263.

"The EC in Europe's Future Economic and Political Architecture," in Svein S. Andersen and Kjell A. Eliassen (eds.), Making Policy in Europe: The Europeification of National Policy-making (London: SAGE, 1993), pp. 215-236.

"EF som international aktør," Politica Vol. 25, No 3 (1993), pp. 288-302.

(edited), The Political Economy of European Integration. The Hague: Kluwer, 1995.

"EC-EFTA Relations: A Game-Theory Perspective," in Laursen (ed.), The Political Economy of European Integration, pp. 179-209.

"EC Trade Policy, GATT and the ROC," in Cen-Chu Shen and Yann-huei Song (eds.) EC Integration and EC-ROC Relations (Taipei: Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica, 1995), pp. 177-232.

"Developments in European Foreign, Security and Defence Policies and Military Cooperation from 1990 until today and in the future," Working Paper 1995/38. Sandvika: Norwegian School of Management, December 1995, 47 pp.

(Edited with Søren Riishøj), The EU and Central Europe: Status and Prospects. Esbjerg: South Jutland University Press, 1996.

"The Common Foreign and Security Policy" of The European Union: Words or Deeds?" in Ingo Peters (ed.), New Security Challenges: The Adaptation of International Institutions: Reforming the UN, NATO, EU and CSCE since 1989. Forschungssberichte Internationale Politik 21, Arbeitsstelle Transatlantische Aussen- und Sicherheitspolitik, Fachbereich Politische Wissenschaft, Freie Universität Berlin. Münster: Lit-Verlag, and New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996, pp. 153-177.

"The European Union (EU) and Japan: The Drama of the Persistent Trade Imbalance," in Report of Special Research Project on the New International System IV, University of Tsukuba, Japan (1996), pp. 433-491.

"Europeisk utenriks-, sikkerhets- og forsvarspolitikk i 1990-årene," in Kjell A. Eliassen (ed.), Norsk forsvarsindustri: Utfordringer og fremtidig veivalg. Bergen-Sandviken: Fagbokforlaget, 1996, pp. 17-38.

"The New International System: The Case of Europe," Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop of the Special Research Project on the New International System, University of Tsukuba, 20-21 November 1995. Tsukuba, 1996, pp. 5-34.

(Co-edited, with Søren Riishøj), The EU and Central Europe: Status and Prospects (Esbjerg: South Jutland University Press, 1996).

"Relations between the EU and the Central and Eastern European Countries since 1989: Overview and Interpretation," in Laursen and Riishøj (eds.), The EU and Central Europe, pp. 3-28.

"The Central and Eastern European Countries in the New Europe: The Pre-Accession Strategy," TKI Working Papers on European Integration and Regime Formation 15/98. Esbjerg: South Jutland University Press.

"The EU 'Neutrals', the CFSP and Defence Policy," TKI Working Papers on European Integration and Regime Formation. 26/98. Esbjerg: South Jutland University Press.

"Baltic States" and "Japan" - entries in Desmond Dinan (ed.), Encyclopedia of the European Union. Boulder and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1998, pp. 21-23 and pp. 305-309.

"Trade and Aid: The European Union in the Global System," in Laura Cram, Desmond Dinan and Neill Nugent (eds.), Developments in the European Union. Houndsmills: Macmillan Press, 1999, pp. 211-229.

This area of research has mainly dealt with relations with European neighbours, first EFTA countries, later Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs), but also relations with major trading partners outside Europe, especially the USA and Japan. The EU has built up a system of concentric circles – or hierarchy of preferences. The closest relation short of membership is the European Economic Area (EEA), today only including Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein. These three countries take part in the Single Market's four freedoms, free movement of goods, services, capital and people. Various association agreements deal with other groups of states in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean. Former colonies in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP countries) have privileged access to the European market. Major trading partners, incl. USA and Japan only get most-favoured nation (MFN) treatment.

Another part of this research has dealt with the efforts to develop a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and more recently also a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). The EU is a strong power in economic areas (e.g. within the WTO), but weak in high politics areas, where the national interests of the larger member states often diverge too much for the EU to be able to reach unanimous decisions within CFSP. The EU thus remains a 'civilian power'. Its attraction to neighbouring countries in the east has helped spur the process of reforms that formed the basis of membership in 2004 of eight CEECs as well as Cyprus and Malta.


The edited volume, EFTA and the EC: Implications of 1992, was reviewed in Agence Europe on 3 March 1990:

"These 'professional papers' ... include a series of analyses dealing with the various aspects in relations between the European Community and EFTA; relations which are now at a crucial stage of development, with the proposed creation of a "European Economic Area." How will this economic area be formed and how will it develop? Will the new negotiations lead to the "more structured partnership" which Mr. Delors referred to in his speech of 17 January 1989? Or will political, psychological and other factors limit progress in this direction? In his conclusions, Finn Laursen advises the EFTA countries to have "realistic expectations", adding that the recent revolutionary changes in Eastern Europe could alter the reasoning of some of the participants. This volume is very useful for anyone following developments in this important aspect of intra-European relations."

The edited volume, The Political Economy of European Integration, was reviewed in Revue d'intégration européenne (Winter/Spring 1996) by J.C. Cachon, Université Laurentienne:

«... la majorité des articles présentés dépassent les préoccupations du moment pour poser des questions de plus grande envergure, particulièrement dans des perspectives théoriques et méthodologiques. On retiendra notamment le chapitre de Laursen dans lequel la théorie des jeux est utilisée pour analyser l'évolution des relations entre la CEE et l'AELE depuis le début du processus de Luxembourg en 1984, avec de nombreuses références aux travaux d'Axelrod, Conybeare, Keohane, Snidal, Snyder et autres. »

The edited volume, The EU and Central Europe, was reviewed by Hans-Peter Folz in the Common Market Law Review 1998, pp. 571-572:

"The papers in this book explore their subjects in detail and cover most aspects of eastern enlargement. Several articles deserve special attention. Laursen's introductory chapter on the relations between the EU and the CEECs since 1989 is an excellent outline of the pre-accession process...."

(5) EU Treaty Reforms

While at EIPA in Maastricht Dr. Laursen also started working on EU treaty reforms, an area of research which continues today. Publications include:

(Co-edited with Sophie Vanhoonacker), The Intergovernmental Conference on Political Union (Maastricht: European Institute of Public Administration, and Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1992), 505 pp.

"Denmark and European Political Union," in Laursen and Vanhoonacker (eds.), The Intergovernmental Conference on Political Union, pp. 63-78.

"Explaining the Intergovernmental Conference on Political Union," in Laursen and Vanhoonacker (eds.), The Intergovernmental Conference on Political Union, pp. 229-248.

"The Maastricht Treaty: A Critical Evaluation," in Laursen and Vanhoonacker (eds.), The Intergovernmental Conference on Political Union, pp. 249-265.

"The Maastricht Treaty: Implications for the Nordic Countries," Cooperation and Conflict, Vol 28, No. 2 (1993), pp. 115-141.

(Co-edited with Sophie Vanhoonacker), Ratification of the Maastricht Treaty: Issues, Debates and Future Implications (Maastricht: EIPA; Dordrecht: Nijhoff, 1994), 543 pp.

"Denmark and the Ratification of the Maastricht Treaty," in Laursen and Vanhoonacker (eds.), The Ratification of the Maastricht Treaty, pp. 61-86.

"The Not-So-Permissive Consensus: Thoughts on the Maastricht Treaty and the Future of European Integration," in Laursen and Vanhoonacker (eds.), The Ratification of the Maastricht Treaty, pp. 295-317.

"The Lessons of Maastricht," in Geoffrey Edwards and Alfred Pijpers (eds.), The Politics of European Treaty Reform: The1996 Intergovernmental Conference and Beyond (London: Pinter, 1996), pp. 59-73.

"Regeringskonferencen '96: Institutionernes rolle," Samfundsøkonomen No. 5, September 1996, pp. 35-41.

(With Nikolaj Petersen), Amsterdam-traktaten: Baggrund, Kommentarer og Perspektiver. Copenhagen: Den Danske Europabevægelse, 1998.

Guide til Nice-traktaten: Baggrund, Kommentarer og Perspektiver (Copenhagen: Den Danske Europabevægelse, 2001).

(edited) The Amsterdam Treaty: National Preference Formation, Interstate Bargaining and Outcome (Odense: Odense University Press, 2002).

"Introduction: Overview of the 1996-97 Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) and the Treaty of Amsterdam," in Finn Laursen (ed.), The Amsterdam Treaty: National Preference Formation, Interstate Bargaining and Outcome (Odense: Odense University Press, 2002), pp. 1-19.

"Denmark: The Battle for a Better Treaty," in Finn Laursen (ed.), The Amsterdam Treaty, pp. 71—91.

"Institutions and Procedures: The Limited Reforms," in Finn Laursen (ed.), The Amsterdam Treaty, pp. 565-590.

"Explaining and Evaluating the Amsterdam Treaty: Some Concluding Remarks," in Finn Laursen (ed.), The Amsterdam Treaty, pp. 639-655.

"EU-konventet – mod en forfatningstraktat?" COPRI Nyt, No. 12 (April 2002), pp. 10-15.

"La Convention sur l'avenir de l'Europe: Vers un traité constitutionnel?" L'Europe en formation, No. 1 (Année 2002), pp. 29-40.

"The Convention's Draft Constitutional Treaty: Towards a more federal EU?" L'Éurope en formation No. 2 (2003), pp. 59-76.

"Enter the Member States: An Analysis and Evaluation of the Intergovernmental Conference 2003-2004" L'Europe en formation No. 4 (2004), pp. 31-52.

"The Amsterdam and Nice IGCs: from output failure to institutional choice," in Amy Verdun and Oswaldo Croci (eds.), Institutional and Policy-Making Challenges to the European Union in the Wake of Eastern Enlargement (Manchester University Press, 2005), pp. 153-173

(with Hans Mouritzen and Anders Wivel), "The institutional dynamics of Euro-Atlantic integration," in Hans Mouritzen and Anders Wivel (eds.), The Geopolitics of Euro-Atlantic Integration. London: Routledge, 2005, pp. 43-67.

(edited) The Treaty of Nice: Actor Preferences, Bargaining and Institutional Choice (Leiden: Academic Publishers Brill, 2005 forthcoming)

"Introduction: Overview of the Intergovernmental Conference 2000 and the Treaty of Nice," in Finn Laursen (ed.), The Treaty of Nice: Actor Preferences, Bargaining and Institutional Choice. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming 2005, pp. 1-17.

"Denmark: The Battle to Avoid a Referendum," in ibid., pp. 57-81.

"Re-weighting of Votes and Composition of Commission: When Size Matters," in ibid.

"Explaining the Treaty of Nice: Beyond Liberal Intergovernmentalism?, in ibid.

"The Post-Nice Agenda: Towards a New 'Constitutional' Treaty?, in ibid.

"The EU from Amsterdam via Nice to the Constitutional Treaty: Exploring and Explaining recent Treaty Reforms," in Douglas Webber and Bertrand Fort (eds.), Regional Integration in Europe and East Asia: Convergence or Divergence? (Routledge, forthcoming).

The study of treaty reforms has included the study of national preference formation and interstate bargaining within intergovernmental conferences (IGCs). Over time the major treaty reforms since the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, followed by Amsterdam (1997), Nice (2000) and the Constitutional Treaty (2004) have been studied. Andrew Moravcsik's liberal intergovernmentalism - formulated after the first Maastricht book - has helped structure these studies, but has also been criticized. Liberal intergovernmentalism is better at explaining economic aspects of integration than political aspects.

Central issues in these treaty reforms have included issues of efficiency and legitimacy. To increase efficiency there has been a moved towards using more qualified majority voting (QMV) in the Council of Ministers. To increase the EU's legitimacy the European Parliament has gradually got more powers in the policy-making process. But the issue of legitimacy remains a difficult issue as demonstrated recently by the No votes to the Constitutional Treaty in France and the Netherlands.

It is a great challenge to social sciences to explain why the EU which is seen as a great success by political elites is not more appreciated by the general public in the member states.


The edited volume, The Intergovernmental Conference on Political Union, was reviewed by Professor Jacques Ziller in Revue française d'administration publique (No. 63, July-September 1992):

»Voici un ouvrage extrêmement utile pour tous ceux qui veulent comprendre les accords de Maastricht et surtout leur genèse, et en particulier se convaincre que, au-delà de l'aspect incantatoire de la formule, l'imposibilité de « renégocier » ces accords n'est pas un quelconque prétexte des gouvernements des Douze pour refuser la discussion. Mais bien le corollaire des compromis qu'ils ont réussi à conclure en décembre 1991. »

The Intergovernmental Conference on Political Union, was also reviewed by David Freestone in European Law Review (June 1993):

"Laursen reproduces a chart (p. 233) indicating the policy preferences of France, Germany and the United Kingdom on eight major issues: Co-decision for the European Parliament, federalism, subsidiarity, single treaty structure, majority voting in CFSP, inclusion of defence in CFSP, consumer protection and increased cohesion funds. While France and Germany each supported six of the eight concepts (although not the same six), the United Kingdom only supported subsidiarity – a concept its later behaviour suggests it does not properly appreciate. The intractable opposition of the United Kingdom to the Social Chapter also remains increasingly doctrinaire when Laursen reminds us that virtually all its key programmes require unanimity.

For lawyers and political scientists alike this book provides a handy and well-documented reference work to remind us of the policy agendas at the time of the Maastricht Intergovernmental Conference and it also provides an early but nonetheless thoughtful political analysis of the Maastricht treaty structure itself."

The edited volume, The Ratification of the Maastricht Treaty, was reviewed by Professor Joseph Weiler in the European Journal of International Law (Vol. 7, no1, 1996):

"Though none is truly long or exhaustive, some reports, like the French (by Keraudren and Dubois) and the Danish (by Laursen) are masterpieces of synthesis of complex legal and sociological data.

... Finn Laursen's concluding essay – more than a mere synthesis less than a veritable study – on the process and legitimacy is the most interesting in the volume."

The Ratification of the Maastricht Treaty was also reviewed in Agence Europe (28 December 1994):

"In his conclusion, Finn Laursen (Professor at EIPA) discusses the negative attitudes of the British and the Danes, attitudes which could compromise deeper integration. Looking forward to enlargement of the Union, he notes that we have to expect more multi-speed integration within the EU. This, he argues, is probably the only way in which to proceed among a much larger group of countries, with a core group that will keep pressing on and with other states joining the inner circle later.


This work is recommended reading for anyone seeking answers on various aspects of the Treaty of Maastricht. With its detailed analysis and careful descriptions of the attitudes of each Member State, it offers a clear and realistic view of today's Union and, given the priorities and weaknesses of each Member State, of what may be in store for tomorrow."

In an evaluation of Dr. Laursen's work written by Professors Ole Wæver (Copenhagen University), Jane Haaland Matlary (University of Oslo) and Eric S. Einhorn (University of Massachussets at Amhurst) in 2001 the following was written:

"While completing [his "oceanic" phase] Dr. Laursen commenced a series of studies of the European Community, later European Union. The revival of forward momentum in European integration in the mid-1980s challenged many political scientists to recognize this new entity as more than a conventional intergovernmental organization. Most of his work since has looked [at] both the internal and international aspects of the emerging European Union. The scope of Laursen's EU research is remarkably broad: internal administration and governance, foreign economic and security policies, constitutional questions, and the impending EU enlargement. During his extended research and teaching at EIPA in Maastricht, Laursen clearly gained deep insight into the EU structure and developed notable skills in explaining its dynamics to both the political science community as well as policy makers.

For example in 1992 he co-edited a comprehensive survey and analysis of the "road to Maastricht" in The Intergovernmental Conference on Political Union. This volume summarizes the "second birth" of the European integration project. Following this initial work and the controversies surround (sic) the Maastricht Treaty (of European Union) Laursen in 1994 he co-edited and contributed two chapters to a weighty volume The Ratification of the Maastricht Treaty. Denmark, of course, provided considerable drama to the development by narrowly rejecting the Maastricht Treaty in June 1992. His chapter is a concise study of the domestic dynamics of that debate which reflected a remarkable gap between parliament and the electorate. His concluding chapter manages to give a sharp and theoretically informed tour d'horizon of the EU member states. While these multi-authored collections have a "report" quality – a "thick description" of facts, institutions and procedures, Laursen provides considerable theoretical and analytical "ballast" in his concluding chapters. He correctly anticipates the on-going "constitutional debate" about the future of the EU both in its internal governance and policy responsibilities and later its expansion."

2. (Other) Research Contributions (last 5 years)

The following lists publications from recent years, except those dealing with treaty reforms already listed above:

"Civil Society and European Integration," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science No 565 (September 1999), pp. 66-78.

"Reflections on the Danish Euro No: Will the EU move towards more variable geometry?" Regional Contact, No. 15 (2001), pp. 84-92.

"Dansk EU-politik i Europæisk Perspektiv: Nice og Post-Nice," Økonomi og Politik, No. 2 (2001), pp. 2-13.

"EU Enlargement: Interests, Issues and the Need for Institutional Reform," in Svein S. Andersen and Kjell A. Eliassen (eds.), Making Policy in Europe 2nd edition. London: SAGE, 2001, pp. 206-228.

"The Danish Folketing and its European Affairs Committeee: Strong Players in the National Policy Cycle," in Andreas Maurer and Wolfgang Wessels (eds.), National Parliaments on their Ways to Europe: Losers or Latecomers? Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2001, pp. 99-115.

"Mod en demokratiseret fællesskabsmetode," in Peter Nedergaard, Erik Boel and Lars Barfod (eds.), Den europæiske nødvendighed: 37 vinduer mod fremtidens EU. Copenhagen: Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag, 2002, pp. 23-29.

"Dänemark," in Werner Weidenfeld and Wolfgang Wessels (eds.), Jahrbuch der Europäischen Integration 2001/2002. Bonn: Europa Union Verlag GmbH, 2002, pp. 313-318.

"Denmark: In Pursuit of Influence and Legitimacy," in Wolfgang Wessels, Andreas Maurer and Jürgen Mittag (eds.), Fifteen into One? The European Union and Member States. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003, pp.92-114.

"The Danish 'No' to the Euro and its implications: Towards more Variable Geometry?" CFES Working Paper (Odense) No 9/2003.

(With Berenice L. Laursen), "The Danish Presidency 2002: Completing the Circle from Copenhagen to Copenhagen," ZEI Discussion Paper (Bonn) C123 2003.

"The EU and East Asia after the Fourth Asian-European Meeting (ASEM 4) in Copenhagen 2002: A European Perspective," CFES Working Paper (Odense) No. 12/2003.

The Future of European Integration. Tamkang Chair Lecture Series 140 (Tamsui, Taipei: Tamkang University Press, 2003).

(edited) Comparative Regional Integration: Theoretical Perspectives (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003).

"Introduction: Theoretical Perspectives on Comparative Regional Integration," in Finn Laursen (ed.), Comparative Regional Integration: Theoretical Perspectives (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003), pp. 2-28.

"International Regimes or Would-be Polities? Some Concluding Questions and Remarks," in Laursen (ed.), Comparative Regional Integration, pp. 283-293.

"Dänemark" in Werner Weidenfeld and Wolfgang Wessels (eds.), Jahrbuch der Europäischen Integration 2002/2003. Bonn: Europa Union Verlag GmbH, 2003, pp. 335-340.

"Small vs. Large States in the EU Institutional Setup: An Historic Overview," CFES Working Paper, No. 17/2004 (Odense: Centre for European Studies, University of Southern Denmark).

"Denmark and the Intergovernmental Conference: a Two-Level Game," in Per Carlsen and Hans Mouritzen (eds.), Danish Foreign Policy Yearbook 2004 (Copenhagen: Danish Institute for International Studies, 2004), pp. 91-119.

"Dänemark," Jahrbuch der Europäische Integration 2003/04 (Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2004), pp. 319-324.

"Comparado los esquemas de integración regional: Regímenes internacionales o aspirantes a estados? " in Joaquín Roy, Alejandro Chanona and Roberto Domínguez (eds.), La Unión Europea y el TLCAN: Integración Regional Comparada y Relaciones Mutuas (México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2004), pp. 65-91.

"The Eastern Enlargement of the EU: Why, How and Implications, " CFES Working Paper (Odense), No. 19, 2004.

"Østudvidelsen: en politisk og institutionel udfordring for EU," Vindue mod øst, no. 1, 2004, pp. 3-8.

(with Hans Mouritzen and Anders Wivel), "The institutional dynamics of Euro-Atlantic integration," in Hans Mouritzen and Anders Wivel (eds.), The Geopolitics of Euro-Atlantic Integration. London: Routledge, 2005, pp. 43-67.

"The Eastern Enlargement of the EU: Why, How and Implications," in Zainal Mantaha and Tishiro Tanaka (eds.), Enlarging European Union and Asia. 10th ASEF University, 25 May – 5 June 2004, Tokyo. Singapore: Asia-Europe Foundation, 2005, pp. 19-56.

"Role on National Parliament Committees in European Scrutiny: Reflections Based on the Danish Case," Legislative Studies, forthcoming

Apart from publications concerning treaty reforms (already listed above) the last five years have seen a number of publications relating to EU enlargement, comparative regional integration and Denmark's role in Europe, especially issues concerning administrative coordination and parliamentary scrutiny.

'Deepening vs. widening' could be a uniting theme for many of these publications. To that comes an interest in comparing the EU with integration in other parts of the world.

3. Leadership

While at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Dr. Laursen was in charge of the Sea-Use Programme while Professor Donald Watt was on leave (1986-87)

While at EIPA, Maastricht, 1988-95 Dr. Laursen was in charge of one of four units, the one dealing with EU Policies and Policy-Making. This Unit was responsible for major projects for the European Commission organised for the ASEAN countries, Central America and South America as well as projects for the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries and eventually also the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs).

During the period 1995-1998 Dr. Laursen directed the Thorkil Kristensen Institute for East-West Research at the South Jutland University Centre, Esbjerg, Denmark (The South Jutland University Centre merged with Odense University and the South Jutland Business School to form the University of Southern Denmark in 1998). The TKI had a major research project on "Integration and Regimes Formation in Europe after the Cold War" financed by the Danish Social Science Research Council. It produced more than 40 papers and several books, the latter mostly in Danish. The TKI also edited a magazine in Danish, Vidue mod Øst (Window towards the East).

Since 1999 Dr. Laursen has been involved in building up the Political Science studies at the University of Southern Denmark, especially responsible for International Relations and European Studies parts of the programme. He has been Director of the university's Centre for European Studies (Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence) since 2002 and holder of a Jean Monnet Chair since 2003. Through financing from the Danish Social Science Research Council he has directed research projects on the Amsterdam and Nice Treaties and he has recently received research money from the European Commission's Action Jean Monnet for a project on the Constitutional Treaty. He has also been instrumental in including the University of Southern Denmark in a 5 million euro EU 6th Framework research programme on Globalisation and Regionalism (GARNET) with about 40 different European Universities as partners.

Dr. Laursen was President of the Danish Association for European Studies (ECSA-DK) 2002-2004. Has organized a number of international conferences and directed various international research networks and took part in ECSA-World meetings in Brussels.


A committee of Professors Ole Wæver (Copenhagen University), Jane Haaland Matlary (University of Oslo) and Eric S. Einhorn (University of Massachussets) concluded an evaluation of Dr. Laursen in 2001:

"Clearly Professor Finn Laursen has had a fruitful research career which continues to produce accessible, significant, and empirically rich findings. His many edited volumes complement impressive monographic work and also suggests that he has ample experience in organizing, directing, and completing "team research." He is not a "solo scholar" scribbling away in the attic, but a leader of projects. He has had a research leadership role at three major research venues: EIPA, the Thorkil Kristensen Institute, and now at Odense. He is effective in public presentations to varied audiences with a public style that is accessible, sophisticated, and pleasant. The quantity, quality, and especially the breadth of his experience (internationally and topically) demonstrate continued solid "competence" at the professorial rank."

4. Training

Dr. Laursen taught university students at Odense University (1981-83), LSE (1995-88), Aarhus University (1996-97), Tsukuba University, Japan (1998-99) Fudan University, Shanghai, China (1988-89), University of Southern Denmark (1999-present), Roskilde University (2002-2004), Carleton University (Winter 2004), Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico ( Summer 2004). Has also given guest lectures at a number of foreign universities over the years.

While at EIPA (1988-95) Dr. Laursen was involved in training a number of officials from EU countries and third countries (especially from ASEAN countries, Latin American countries, and Central and Eastern European countries). This included sessions at the Joint Vienna Institute financed by the EU Commission, the OECD and the World Bank.

Dr. Laursen has also trained Turkish officials for the OECD in Turkey on a couple of occasions in the early 1990s.

Dr. Laursen has supervised a number of BA and MA theses over the years and, in recent years, also PhD theses. He is currently supervising three PhD students at the Department of Political Science, University of Southern Denmark.

5. Other Contributions

Dr. Laursen has been a member of a number of assessment committees for Danish and Norwegian universities. He has also reviewed research projects for the national research councils of Norway and the Netherlands.

Dr. Laursen has further reviewed journal articles for journals such as World Politics, International Organization, European Journal of International Relations, Journal of International Relations and Development, Journal of European Integration and European Union Politics.

Appendix: Professor Competency of Dr. Laursen, 1985

On 2 April 1985 Dr Laursen was declared competent for chair in international politics at Aarhus University. The committee composes of the following five professors, Jørgen Grønnegård Christensen (Aarhus), Kjell Goldmann (Stockholm), Karsten Laursen (Aarhus), Ole Karup Pedersen (Copenhagen) and Raimo Väyrynen (Helsinki) included a 4-page evaluation in Danish.

In 1988, when applying for a job, Dr. Laursen requested letters of recommendation from some of the members of the committee.

Professor Ole Karup Pedersen wrote (1 February 1988):

"In my capacity as a professor of International Politics at [the Institute of Political Studies, University of Copenhagen] I have had the opportunity to follow Dr. Finn Laursen's academic development very closely, although he has never been formally affiliated to this institute. That is owing to the Danish – and Scandinavian – evaluation system, where especially young scientists are frequently evaluated by formal committees when they are applying for new positions or higher degrees.

My latest evaluation of Finn Laursen's academic standard was made in 1985, when he – together with 12 other candidates – applied for the chair in International Politics and Organization at the Institute of Political Science, University of Aarhus, Denmark. Together with my four co-members on the committee ... I found Finn Laursen qualified for the chair together with 5 other candidates.

Our reasons for finding Finn Laursen qualified for the chair were given in a paper of 4 pages in Danish, which of course can be obtained by anyone seriously interested from Finn Laursen...

In this letter I can only give a brief summary of our very detailed evaluation. In the main essence in our evaluation of Finn Laursen's academic production is, that he – especially but not only – in his studies of "U.S. Ocean Policy" has demonstrated very convincing evidence of his qualifications as a social scientist. His combination of theoretical insights together with a very detailed documentation not only adds to the foundations of his results in concrete matters but allows him to develop new and challenging theoretical tools. His methodological awareness contributes to the qualities of his works, so that they can also be recommended as exemplary research works for other social scientists – even if they deal with quite different subjects or areas."