Professor Claudio Radaelli

Research Interests

For the next four years or so I will be busy with the ERC advanced research project Protego - Procedural Tools for Effective Governance. Protego arises out of a fundamental claim: Combinations of procedural regulatory instruments have causal effects on the performance of political systems, specifically trust in government, control of corruption and doing business. The key mechanism in this causal relation is accountability. Protego provides a theoretical framework to capture the effects of accountability by adopting an extension of delegation theory. This framework allows us to produce and test observable implications. Empirically, this programme will collect, validate and analyze original data on the EU-28 on judicial review, freedom of information acts, impact assessment, administrative procedure acts, consultation and other procedural policy instruments. We claim that it's the overall ecology of policy instruments that produces casual effects, hence bivariate relationships do not tell the story we are interested in. These ecologies combine in sequences and paths associated with the outcomes. In the social sciences, the theory suitable for this type of analysis is qualitative comparative analysis - hence we will mainly use set-theory.

Beyond Protego, research publications have contributed to the theory of the policy process, policy learning, the role of economics in public policy, the diffusion of regulatory reform, and international taxation. Most research in public policy is descriptive and a-theoretical, whilst my work is explanatory and theoretical. This also explains my recent interest in research design and methodologies for political science, as shown by the two books published in 2012 and the article with Mike Jones in 2015. Explanatory, theory-driven research is also the best springboard for public engagement and research commissioned by international organisations and governments: they do not need to hear the same views generated by their in-house research departments!

Substantively, I have carried out fieldwork and published on Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, USA and, most of all, the European Union.

Current Research Topics and Projects

Over the last five years, I published on...:

  • Regulatory impact analysis
  • Fiscal coordination in the European Semester
  • Crisis, learning and change in the European Union
  • Narrative Policy Framework: theory and applications
  • Experiments with public managers / experiments about myths surrounding the European Union

Projects See

Research Supervision

I supervise research students working in the broad areas of  comparative public policy, regulatory reform, the use of economics in lawmaking and regulation, Europeanisation, theories of learning. Recently I also supervised students working on the politics of nonviolence.

THE VALUE OF A PhD AT EXETER: this is where my former PhD students are now, in Fall 2013:  Samuele Dossi is policy office (Evaluation desk, DG Regio) at the European Commission, Brussels; Theofanis Exadaktylos is lecturer in politics, University of Surrey; Fabrizio de Francesco is lecturer in politics, University of Strathclyde; Lorna Schrefler is head of regulatory affairs, Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels; Eleni Xiarchogiannopoulou is post-doctoral research fellow at ULB, Brussels.

Research Students

CURRENT PGR STUDENTS (first supervisor)

Laura Harth, South West Doctoral Training Centre Scholarship for a collaborative PhD on Setting the UN Agenda for the Right to Know. Collaborative partner: Nonviolent Radical Party. Laura started in September 2015. Co-supervised with Claire Dunlop.

Thibaud Deruelle, Reputation in Crisis Management: the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Thibaud started in September 2015 Co-supervised by Madalina Busuioc. Read his first peer-reviewed article on bricolage or entrepreneurship in European Policy Analysis

CURRENT PGR STUDENTS (second supervisor)

Nick Dickinson works on the regulation of the salaries and expenses of members of parliament in Westminster democracies. His first supervisor is Prof Nicole Bollyer.

Titilayo Soremi is completing her doctoral dissertation on how policy narratives shape transfer mechanism. She is first-supervised by Prof Claire Dunlop.



Jonathan Kamkhaji, Regime and Learning Shifts in Economic and Monetary Coordination, PhD awarded in October 2017. Second supervisor Prof Nicole Bolleyer. Examiners: Prof Eric Jones (JHU, Bologna) and Prof Duncan Russel. Dr Kamkhaji works full time as data steward in the project Protego, Procedural Tools for Effective Governance, funded by the ERC. Check his publications on research gate 


Roberto Baldoli, Reconstructing nonviolence. Roberto was co-supervised by me (first supervisor) and Dr Andrew Schaap. His dissertation was examined in November 2015 by Dr Ramin Jahanbegloo - Roberto is currently associate lecturer in Politics at Exeter where he teaches two modules on Nonviolence. Dr Baldoli is completing a volume based on his thesis, to appear in 2018.

Anas Buera, Discourse and policy narratives in authoritarian regimes. The case of economic governance in Libya 2003-2010.  First supervisor since July 2013. Anas completed in December 2015 and was awarded the PhD at the January 2016 ceremony. His dissertation was examined by Dr Philippe Zittoun, a leading author in discourse analysis and critical policy studies, secretary of the International Association for Public Policy and organizer of ICPP (international conference on public policy).

Helena Cook,  Performing Identity: Descriptive and Symbolic Representation in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Thesis submitted in June 2013, External Examiner Professor Sarah Childs, Bristol University. PhD awardedin 2014.

Samuele Dossi, How cities encounter Europe: arenas and mechanisms of Europeanization (full time, writing up). Sam is currently a full-time officer at the European Commission, DG Regio, where he works on policy evaluation. PhD awarded in  2012; external examiner: Dr Caitriona Carter, University of Edinburgh)

Theofanis Exadaktlyos, Europeanisation of foreign policy agendas: Germany and Greece PhD awarded in DEC.2010. Fanis is now a lecturer in European Studies at the University of Surrey. 

Fabrizio De Francesco, The diffusion of regulatory impact analysis in the OECD member states PhD awarded in DEC.2010. External examiner: Prof Andrew Jordan, UEA. Fabrizio is a lecturer in the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and has published articles in Comparative Political Studies and other journals.

Lorna Schrefler, Why do regulators make different usages economic analysis? PhD AWARDED in January 2012. Lorna is now Head of Regulatory Affairs at the Centre for European Policy Studies, Belgium. External examiner: Prof Ian Sanderson, Emeritus,m Leeds Met. She has published academic articles in Governance, Public Money and Management, and Regulation & Governance.

Eleni Xiarchogiannopolou, Ideational politcs, narratives and institutions: the case of pension reforms in Greece PhD awarded in 2011. Eleni works on a FP-7 research project at the ULB, Brussels, department of political science. External examiner: Prof Dimitris Papadimitriou, University of Manchester.

Research fellows / current and past: Oliver Frtisch (since September 2010), Anne Meuwese (now senior lecturer at Tilburg), Karl O'Connor, Ulrike Kraemer, Fabrizio De Francesco, Jonathan Kamkhaji, Nicola Corkin.