Department of Comparative Politics
New article by Michaël Tatham

New Article: The Matthew Effect in the EU

In a new article, Michaël Tatham finds that the influence of demographically heavier and supranationally well-networked regions is greater than that of smaller regions. This is, however, conditioned by an indirect effect of the level of decentralisation.

Michaël Robert Tatham/International Studies Quarterly
Michaël Robert Tatham/International Studies Quarterly

Main content

Although regions only influence EU policy to a limited degree, their ability to influence EU policy increases according to the size of their population and the degree of supranational embeddedness of their top officials. Decentralisation levels, however, play a conditioning role by magnifying the effect of population size and networkedness.


The magnifying effect of decentralisation is likely to increase inequalities between regions in Brussels. This “Matthew effect” rewards more handsomely the more powerful – to the detriment of those who remain institutionally weaker. The two logics that appear to enable regions to affect EU policy are thus 1) a representational logic, and; 2) a “Matthew effect”.


This is shown by Associate Professor at The Department of Comparative Politics, Michaël Tatham, in a new article in International Studies Quarterly. Read the full article in International Studies Quarterly.