Recent Publications

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

Christof Roos
Laura Westerveen


Freedom of movement (FOM) in the European Union (EU) has become a highly salient issue in political and public debates. Most of the literature on FOM is heavily focused on the judiciary interpretation of this EU right, or on conflicting attitudes towards FOM within the national arena. However, the EU and its institutions as political actors that define and shape the content and meaning of FOM are largely absent from this literature. If mentioned, EU actors are often depicted as ideological and orthodox defenders of FOM. We argue that this perspective is empirically inaccurate, which leads to skewed theoretical assumptions. It not only overlooks an EU-level discourse on FOM that has changed significantly in recent years but also fails to acknowledge that even fundamental rights and key pillars of EU integration can be subject to discursive change at the EU level. A frame analysis of documents from the European Commission, the European Council, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament from 2004 to 2016 forms the basis of our argument. During this period, restrictionist arguments have increasingly entered EU actors’ discourse on FOM. Viewed almost as an absolute right of EU citizens during the 2000s, FOM during the 2010s has been framed in terms of the conditions underlying the exercise of this right. We conclude that EU actors are engaged in a political debate over what FOM means and that their discourse has shifted to support an increased conditionality of FOM.

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August 2019
Luk Van Langenhove

With Brexit looming large, UNU-CRIS founding director Luk Van Langenhove looks at the questions it raises for regional integration studies, and why the field is garnering so much attention. 

Read more now in Connecting Ideas blog.

Baert, F.
Van Langenhove, L.
Jones, M.

Baert, F., Van Langenhove, L. and Jones, M. (2019). Rethinking Role Theory in Foreign Policy Analysis: Introducing Positioning Theory to International Relations, Papers on Social Representation Theory, Vol. 28, No. 1.

Simon Schunz
Giles Scott-Smith
Luk Van Langenhove

Special issue on EU-US relations: Schunz, Simon; Scott-Smith, Giles & Van Langenhove, Luk. ‘Broadening Soft Power in EU-US Relations’. European Foreign Affairs Review 24, Special Issue (2019).

Ilke Adam
Florian Trauner

Adam, I. & Trauner, F. (2019), ‘Ghana and EU Migration Policy: Studying an African Response to the EU Externalisation Agenda’, in Santos, J., Carrera, S. & T. Strik, Constitutionalising the External Dimensions of EU Migration Policies in Times of Crisis: Legality, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Reconsidered, Cheltenham - Northampton: Edgar Elgar Publishing.

Ramon Pacheco Pardo
Kee B. Park
Maximilian Ernst
Eliana Kim

Mass casualty incidents such as building collapses and bus crashes are perhaps just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the injury burden in the DPRK – only the worst cases of injury are highlighted in the media. Current economic and geopolitical developments within and surrounding the DPRK point towards more future activity in sectors such as construction, traffic, and tourism. Thus, it is not unreasonable to anticipate a surge in accidents and injuries inside the DPRK. In this context, it is necessary to understand the North Korean healthcare system and its needs to be able to deal with the current and anticipated injury burden.

In this study, we seek to assess the current burden of traumatic injuries in the DPRK and analyze the injury care capacity in place to manage them. Furthermore, we also estimate the projected surge in injuries in the DPRK and its economic con- sequences in the near future. Finally, we propose a road map for multilateral assistance for strengthening the injury care system in the DPRK.

Ramon Pacheco Pardo
Tongfi Kim
Linde Desmaele
Maximilian Ernst

One year has passed since the historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North KoreanChairman Kim Jong-un on June 12 in Singapore. The summit marked the first meeting between the sittingleaders of both countries. There were also three inter-Korean summits between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim last year; only two had been held before since the end of the Korean War. Twelvemonths after the Singapore summit, however, diplomacy in the Korean Peninsula seems to have stalled following the failure of Trump and Kim to reach an agreement during their February 27-28 summit in Hanoi.

In this context, what do the publics of the US, China, Japan and Russia think about the situation in theKorean Peninsula? After all, these four powers have a keen interest in its geopolitics and Northeast Asia more generally. And public opinion has the potential to influence foreign policy decisions. With this survey, we shed light on the views that the publics of these four countries hold regarding the present and futureof the Korean Peninsula. The focus of the survey is inter-Korean relations, US-North Korea relations and policy towards North Korea.

The survey by Ipsos Mori was carried out in the period from 24th May – 4th June. It involved 1004 interviews in China, 1000 in Japan, 1099 in Russia and 1096 inthe United States, respectively.

South Korea has become the first country in the world to launch commercial 5G services on 3 April. 5G economic benefits are estimated to include worldwide revenues of €225 billion by 2025 and a wealth of job creation. The US, China, South Korea and the EU are economic powerhouses vying to lead the unfolding global 5G market. US and China are strongly positioned in the current telecom market, but their growing 5G competition is spilling over into geopolitical competition. Wary of being swept up in US-China rivalry, the Moon government is banking on building strong 5G market competitiveness and doubling down on the IT sector which represents a critical economic growth engine domestically.