A Middlesex University lecturer has won a research grant to look at why Brussels failed to secure the powers it wanted to regulate the telecoms industry.
The grant award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) will allow Dr Joe Corkin, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Law, to investigate why this decision-making remained at the national level and what influence regulatory experts, from each country within the EU, had on those negotiations. He will do this by interviewing politicians, industry regulators from across Europe and key decision makers in Brussels.
The research, called ‘Making Europe in their image: Communities of expertise and the shaping of transnational governance’, is being done in collaboration with Bristol University. It begins in October with the report due out at the end of 2012.
“Regulatory decisions used to regularly pass through to Brussels but they are increasingly being kept at the national level to be made by experts in the national regulators,” said Dr Corkin, who won the £88,000 grant to undertake the research.
“I want to look at how this has come to pass. To what extent have those experts, who sit in the national regulators and who advise their governments in these negotiations, pushed for this outcome?”
Dr Corkin believes this research is important because these experts and their networks are gaining influence over decision making at the expense of institutions that have been democratically elected.
“Middlesex University has been very supportive. The research office has been helpful in putting the details together. I was given four months study leave by the University and that gave me space to put my research proposal together,” added Dr Corkin.
He hopes that once the project is finished, the same model can be applied on a wider scale to see if similar trends exist in other industries.
The research will also be used by Dr Corkin as learning material for his students: “I run a Masters module on Issues in EU Law and will definitely be working with the students on this. I'd like to share my preliminary findings with them, and give them a taste of real academic research and how to analyse raw data. It’s good to do something with the students that you are closely involved in.”
Find out more about Middlesex University’s research.