Recent Publications

Femke Vyncke
Leo Van Hove
Malaika Brengman

Vyncke, F., Van Hove, L. and M. Brengman, Cultural congruence of websites: conscious, unconscious, or coincidental? - The case of Honda Cars, Information Research, Vol. 24, Nr. 3, September 2019, paper 832.

Introduction. This paper analyses the cross-cultural Website design strategy of a division of a single multinational company, namely Honda Cars.
Method. We conducted a content analysis of sixty-one Honda Cars Websites, each targeted at a different country.
Analysis. We perform t-tests and compute Pearson correlations to verify and quantify the cultural convergence of the Honda Cars Websites. We use novel regression analyses to explain the deviations between the culture reflected in the Websites and the culture of the country the sites are targeted at.
Results. We find that the sites of Honda Cars are by and large culturally congruent – for all the dimensions of national culture originally proposed by Hofstede and Hall. The templates that some regional offices of Honda Cars provided to their branches thus do not appear to have overly constrained local developers in creating a culturally sensitive site. Finally, the sites show a higher degree of localisation when the Internet penetration in the country is high and a lower localisation degree when the country has an extreme score on a specific cultural dimension.
Conclusions. Our results suggest that the observed cultural congruence is partly deliberate and partly accidental.

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Rossella Marino
Ine Lietaert

Among the objectives composing the 2018 UN Global Compact for Migration, Objective 21 deals with the return of migrants to their countries of origin. This objective includes a reference to sustainable reintegration occurring when returnees have access to psycho-social assistance, justice and occupational prospects. The policy objective of sustainable reintegration apparently enjoys broad support in the face of some countries increasingly opposing the global governance of migration. Such support can be explained by making reference to sustainable reintegration’s potential to accommodate diverse interests and the limited monitoring of the programmes it underpins. 


Mihnea Tanasescu (Editor)
Claire Dupont (Editor)

The book “The Edges of Political Representation. Mapping, Critiquing and Pushing the Boundaries”, edited by VUB researcher Mihnea Tanasescu and former IES researcher Claire Dupont, provides a nuanced overview of what political representation means today and how it can be approached from an academic perspective. In line with one of the main scopes of the EDGE programme, namely building bridges between the Department of Political Science and the Institute for European Studies, this books collects a series of essays and reflections on political theory, political philosophy, party politics, electoral politics, feminism, European politics, minority politics and online governance.

Marie Lamesch

Digital Services Tax: A Critical Analysis And Comparison With The VAT System, European Taxation Volume 59, No 6.

Marie Lamensch

Trust: A sustainable option for future of the EU VAT system? (Column) International VAT Monitor, Vol. 29, Issue 2.

Werner Haslehner

Taxing Remote Digital Supplies, in Tax and the Digital Economy - Challenges and Proposals for Reform, Werner Haslehner, et al (eds.), Kluwer.

Marie Lamensch

Collecting Value-added tax in the platform economy: overview of the fundamental issues and recent EU 2018 developments, with Edoardo Traversa, in The Platform Economy, Bram Devolder (ed.), Intersentia.

Marie Lamensch

The role of platforms in B2C e-commerce, with Rebecca Millar, in CJEU – Recent Developments in Value Added Tax 2018, Lang et al (Eds), Linde verlag.

Silviu Piros
Joachim Koops

Piros S., Koops J. (2020) “Towards a Sustainable Approach to EU Education Diplomacy? The Case of Capacity-Building in the Eastern Neighbourhood”. In: Carta C., Higgott R. (eds) Cultural Diplomacy in Europe. The European Union in International Affairs. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham


Luis Simón
Alexander Lanoszka
Hugo Meijer


Scholars and pundits alike continue to portray the U.S.-led regional alliance systems in Europe and East Asia in stark, dichotomous terms. Whereas the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is the standard model of multilateralism, the U.S.-led system of bilateral alliances in East Asia is the archetypal ‘hub-and-spokes’ structure in which different allies (the spokes) enjoy deep bilateral strategic ties with Washington (the hub) but not with each other. We argue that these common depictions of U.S.-led alliance systems are obsolete. Instead, we show that what we label ‘nodal defence’ – a hybrid category that combines overlapping bilateral, minilateral and multilateral initiatives – better captures how the U.S.-led alliance systems in Europe and East Asia operate today. Specifically, nodal defence is a hybrid alliance system in which allies are connected through variable geometries of defence cooperation that are organized around specific functional roles so as to tackle different threats. To show how nodal defence is an emerging central feature of the U.S.-led regional alliance systems, we conduct an original cross-regional comparison of how these alliance systems work, drawing on elite interviews, official documents, and secondary literature.

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Luis Simón, Alexander Lanoszka & Hugo Meijer (2019) Nodal defence: the changing structure of U.S. alliance systems in Europe and East Asia, Journal of Strategic Studies, DOI: 10.1080/01402390.2019.1636372