Department of Comparative Politics
Meltzer Award

Political Comparativist Michaël Tatham Receives Meltzer Award for Young Researchers

The Meltzer Research Fund has awarded Professor Michaël Tatham the Meltzer prize for young researchers.

Professor Michaël Tatham
Professor Michaël Tatham

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Michaël Tatham is a French national. He has degrees from Sciences Po Grenoble (France), the University of Oxford (UK), and the European University Institute (Italy). He became Assistant Professor at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Germany) in 2010, Associate Professor at the Department of Comparative Politics of the University of Bergen in 2012, and was promoted to Full Professor in 2014 at the age of 33.

Professor Tatham has done innovative research in different fields of Political Science, including Comparative Politics, International Relations, Public Administration, European Union Studies, and Territorial Politics. His original research resulted in major publications in each of those fields’ leading journals such as Comparative Political Studies, International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Public Administration Research Theory, European Union Politics, or Regional & Federal Studies.

His research focuses on multi-level politics in the European Union, with a particular emphasis on how the regional level interacts with the supranational level. This concerns questions such as: why and how regions mobilise in Brussels, how do they influence the EU policy-making process, how do they interact with their own member state in Brussels, or what their preferences are in terms of the EU's institutional architecture. For example, he has found that decentralisation levels increase state-region cooperation in Brussels and decrease state bypassing, but only indirectly affect policy influence and do not affect levels of conflicting interest representation. Meanwhile not all dimensions of decentralisation have the same effect. Whilst self-rule tends to increase mobilisation, shared rule tends to leave it unaffected and even decreases concerns of EU encroachment.

In 2014 he was ranked co-equal 7th University-wide in terms of publication points, with a score of 9.5. His first single-authored research monograph will be published by Oxford University Press in April 2016.

Professor Tatham plays a prominent international role in his research community. At 31 he became co-Editor of Regional & Federal Studies, the leading political science journal in Europe focusing on territorial politics. At 33 he became co-Editor of the book series entitled Comparative Territorial Politics, published by Palgrave Macmillan. Since the age of 32 he has been Chair of the international research network he created on Territorial Politics and Federalism. The network is based at Columbia University in the US and counts 173 members in 28 countries.

Professor Tatham is heavily involved in teaching and research in Bergen, as exemplified by his leadership of the BA in European Studies, the co-organization of advanced methods workshops on Quantitative Text Analysis or Bayesian Hierarchical Modelling, and his involvement in four different large-scale funding applications in his first three years of employment in Bergen.


The guidelines for the Meltzer prize for young researchers include the following (in Norwegian):

Det tildeles inntil 2 priser for fremragende vitenskapelig arbeid utført av yngre forskere, ikke over 35 år på tildelingstidspunktet. Vurderingen skal i første rekke bygge på nyere forskningsbidrag, fortrinnsvis slike som er publisert eller bedømt det foregående år, eller som i det foregående år har fått særlig vitenskapelig anerkjennelse.

Ved tildelingen skal det særlig legges vekt på forskerens selvstendighet og evne til nyskaping. Det skal også legges vekt på hvorvidt de aktuelle forskningsbidrag fremtrer som særlig fremragende eller løfterike vurdert på bakgrunn av forskerens alder, forskningsprosjektets karakter og forskningstradisjonene på vedkommende fagområde. Prisene deles ut på L. Meltzers fødselsdag 8. mars og er et diplom og et beløp fastsatt av styret.