Department of Comparative Politics

Tatham with seven new articles on the role of regions in the EU system

Associate Professor Michaël Tatham does research on the role of regions in the EU system. This spring the prolific researcher has published seven new articles in the field.

Associate Professor Michaël Tatham of the Department of Comparative Politics has published seven new articles on the role of regions in the EU system.
Hilmar L. Mjelde

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Research on the role of regions in the EU system

There has long been public debate about how the European Union should operate. Some would like to see a more powerful Brussels in order for the union to operate more effectively. Others want the member countries to retain as much power as possible. Associate Professor Michaël Tatham of the Department of Comparative Politics is interested in a level of the EU system most people may not know a whole lot about: regions.  

Tatham summarizes his work as research on regions in the EU, the EU political system, and public policy analysis. His early work focused on the evolution of the United Kingdom’s political system with a particular focus on devolution policies. In later work he turned his attention to regional interest representation in the European Union. This led him to reassess theories of European integration and the evolution of the EU’s institutional structure. More recently, he has been turning his attention to the activities and preferences of regional élites within Europe’s multi-level system.

This winter Tatham has published a number of articles in the field.


Seven new publications on the topic

All his recently published articles focus on different dimensions of the interaction between regions and the European Union.  A first cluster has a look at regional interest representation in Brussels, from the determinants of mobilization in Brussels (such as having an office and how big it is: Tatham & Thau EUP 2014), differences between East and West European regions in their activity in Brussels and the impact enlargement has had on regional activities (Tatham 2014, RFS), the determinants of conflict between member states and their regions (Tatham 2013, CPS) or differences and similarities between regional and local government mobilization on EU issues (Callanan and Tatham 2014, JEPP).

A second cluster has a look at the question of the evolution of the EU political system and regional players, from the accommodation of regions as institutional players in the constitutional architecture of the EU (Tatham 2014, EPSR), the determinants of support among regional administrative élites for a stronger European Commission (Tatham and Bauer 2014, JPP) to regional demands for a greater regulation of deepening integration (Tatham & Bauer 2014, JEPP).


Broad background from European academia

Michaël Tatham joined the Department of Comparative Politics in 2012. He is originally French, and got his master’s degree in British studies and in political science from the Université Stendhal (Grenoble III) and Sciences Po Grenoble (Grenoble II). He has a master’s degree in European Politics from the University of Oxford (UK) and a PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute (Florence, Italy).

Before taking up his current position at the University of Bergen, he was assistant professor at the Humboldt University in Berlin (Germany). He is the Chair of the Council for European Studies research network on ‘Territorial Politics and Federalism’ (CES, Columbia University, together with Michael W. Bauer) and Editor of the journal 'Regional and Federal Studies' (Taylor & Francis, Routledge, together with Wilfried Swenden and Jan Erk).


Article overview

For more on the articles, see:


Tatham, M. and Bauer, M. W. (2014) 'Competence ring-fencing from below? The drivers of regional demands for control over upwards dispersion', Journal of European Public Policy 21(9): forthcoming. [in production: no link]

Tatham, M. (2014). Same game but more players? Sub-national lobbying in an enlarged Union. Regional and Federal Studies, 24(3): forthcoming [in production: no link]

Tatham, M. and Bauer, M. W. (2014) 'Support from below? Regional élites, governance preferences and supranational institutions', Journal of Public Policy 34(2): forthcoming.

Tatham, M. and Thau, M. (2014) The more the merrier: accounting for sub-state paradiplomats in Brussels. European Union Politics 15(2/4): forthcoming.

Callanan, M., & Tatham, M. (2014). Territorial Interest Representation in the European Union: Actors, Objectives and Strategies. Journal of European Public Policy, 21(2), pp. 188-210.

Tatham, M. (2014). Limited institutional change in an international organisation: accounting for the EU’s shift away from 'federal blindness'. European Politicial Science Review, 6(1), pp. 21-45.

Tatham, M. (2013). Paradiplomats against the state: Explaining conflict in state and sub-state interest representation in Brussels, Comparative Political Studies 46(1), 63-94.