The EU Program at Princeton and the Global Studies Institute at UNIGE have been granted a Princeton-Geneva Collaborative Research Grant (2018-2021) for the project "Regime Complexes and European Studies in Interdisciplinary Perspective" (EUROCOMPLEX) under the direction of Sophie Meunier (Princeton) and Nicolas Levrat (UNIGE).
Regime Complexes and European Studies in Interdisciplinary Perspective (EUROCOMPLEX), aims to foster interdisciplinary collaboration on the topic of regime complexes. In International Relations, the concept of regime complex, borrowed from Systems Theory, describes the idea that for many policy issues, “there is no integrated, comprehensive regime governing”but “[...] a loosely coupled set of specific regimes” (Keohane & Victor 2011). Indeed, today, many policy areas are governed not by centralized control through one overarching International Organization (IO) but rather by a multitude of different nested or overlapping sets of rules and institutions that are loosely connected. The concept of regime complex has gained scientific relevance as the density of such international regimes has increased steadily against the background of growing global interdependence. Understanding the nature and implications of intersectoral interconnections within and between regimes can contribute to designing more efficient and more legitimate global governance systems (Alter & Meunier 2009; Young 2017). The central question at the core of EUROCOMPLEX is how the existence of regime complexes impacts the policy options available to the European Union (EU) as it tackles pressing international challenges created by economic globalization. While its precursor, the European Communities (EC), had developed a very singular and institutional scheme of governance, the later extension of policy competences while moving from the EC to EU in the 1990s (i.e., Monetary Union, Defense, Migration) led to the superposition of different regulatory and procedural regimes that fits the pattern of a Regime Complexes approach. EUROCOMPLEX provides a framework and seed money for collaborative research projects bringing together Princeton and University of Geneva faculty as well as undergraduate and graduate students from the European Union Program at Princeton (EUPP), the Global Studies Institute (GSI), and affiliated departments and programs to study the constraints and opportunities offered to the EU by the proliferation of regime complexes. The first round of fellowship applications will take place in January 2019.