Skip to main content


Photo of Professor Alison Harcourt

Professor Alison Harcourt

BA (Northern Illinois), MA (Warwick) PhD (Manchester)



01392 724508

Amory A236G

Professor Harcourt specialises regulatory change in digital markets and interested in solutions to regulatory problems based around the citizen/consumer and/or civil society voice. Alison has written on the regulation of traditional and new media markets and internet governance at EU and international levels contributing to the literature on agenda setting, regulatory competition, soft governance, Europeanisation and policy convergence. Her recent projects: PI on the ESRC funded project 'International Professional Fora: a study in civil society participation in internet governance' (September 2015 - September 2018) and ESRC Senior Fellow on the ESRC UK in a Changing Europe programme with the project "The impact of a proposed UK Brexit from the EU: the UK communications industries". Alison was conferred as Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2018. She was seconded to the Venice International University in 2021 on Exeter's global partnership programme


Administrative roles:

Convenor MA in European Politics

PGR pastoral tutor

PGT Erasmus exchange


Research group links

Research interests

Research projects:

ESRC grant (2015 – 2018): International professional fora: a study of civil society organisation participation in internet governance. £463,628.87. (PI)

ESRC grant (2016 – 2016): The UK Communications Industries: the impact of a proposed UK Brexit from the EU. £137,358.00. (PI) 

Member of AHRC media and plurality project advisory group  (2014 - 2015) directed by Steve Barnett (University of Westminster).

Academic advisory group member for the Finnish Academy funded project Facing the Coordination Challenge: Problems, Policies and Politics in Media and Communications Regulation (2011-2015) led by Hannu Nieminen (University of Heslinki)

Expert on OSI’s Transparency of Media Ownership project (2010 – present). The goal of the project is to map the current legal standards for accessing information about media owners. 

Jean Monnet Chair in the Information Society (2008 - 2013) A seminar series on the information society was run as a part of the award. (n° de dossier 3193) (PI) 60,000 €

European Commission ENP postgraduate scholarships grant (2010 - 2011) under the Lifelong Learning programme. (EAC-2010-1084) (PI) 48,000 €

ESRC grant (2005 – 2009): Globalization and Regulatory Change in Audiovisual Regulation in Canada, France, Germany, UK and USA. (RES-OOO-23-0966) £206,868.73. Graded: outstanding. (CI)

Information Society Network (2006 – 2008) awarded by the University of Exeter to promote interdisciplinary work on the information society. A key focus is regulatory governance in the communications field. (CI) £30,000.

Integrated and united? A quest for citizenship in an 'ever closer Europe' (IntUne) (2005 – 2011): European Commission Sixth Framework Project grant on Integrating and Strengthening the European Research Area. Priority 7, Par C, 7.1.1. European Citizenship and multiple identities. (representation team and expert project member).

European Commission Fifth Framework grant (2002 – 2003): Governance, Enlargement and Media Issues (GEMI). (HPSE-CT-2002-70058) (CI with PI John Horgan) 49,648 €.

3 British Academy grants (2001 - 2003): A European policy model? Policy transfer from Western to Eastern Europe in press and broadcasting regulation (case studies: Slovenia , Hungary , and Estonia . (PI)

ESRC (1996 - 1999) Regulating for Media Pluralism: Issue in Competition and Ownership (L 126251009) (named rsearcher) £156,379.00. Graded: outstanding.

DFID (1998 - 1999) Support for Regulation and Transparency of media ownership and concentration in Russia. Research Fellow at the Programme for Comparative Media Law and Policy (Oxford) and Moscow Media Law and Policy (Moscow). (Project no. CNTR98588).

Research supervision

European politics, European public policy and politics, communications/media policy at international, European and national levels, internet governance, self-regulation, soft governance.

Research students

Roberto Baccarini PhD entitled (2021 - 2024) "The question of sovereignty as the cause and solution of the EU legitimacy crisis" 

Francesca Farmer PhD entitled "Cybercrime vs hacktivism: do we need a differentiated regulatory approach?" (2016 - 2020) SWDTC funded.

Veronique Wavre PhD entitled "EU policy effects in Arab Spring states: a case study in policy transfer and diffusion" (2016)

Petros Violakis PhD entitled "The future of European defence industry in relation to the institutional developments of the common European security and defence policy". (2016)

Adeeb Bader PhD entitled "The European Union foreign policy towards the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) from 1993 - 2010". (completed 2014)

Wael Abdelal PhD entitled "From the Mosque to Satellite Broadcsting: a historical perspective of Hamas' media strategy". (completed 2012) Currently Lecturer in Media and Politics, University College of Applied Science, Gaza.



Other information

Alison is Director of the Centre for European Governance (CEG) which engages in the study of Europe and the European Union. The aim of CEG is to promote and coordinate international excellence in research across the University. CEG staff are integrated into wider national and international research networks. The Centre runs regular workshops and seminars, hosts visiting scholars and coordinates an MA programme and has close ties with the Centre for European Legal Studies based in the School of Law.  Alison is convenor of the MA in European Politics.

Modules taught


Originally from Chicago, Alison Harcourt gained a BA (Magna Cum Laude) in Politics and International Relations from Northern Illinois University, before completing an MA in International Political Economy at the University of Warwick (Department of Politics) and a PhD at the University of Manchester (Department of Government). Prior to Exeter, Alison held research posts at the University of Warwick, University of Manchester and University of Oxford. She twice received Jean Monnet Fellowships at the European University Institute and has been Visiting Fellow at the Max Planck Institute in Bonn, University of Bordeaux and LSE. At Exeter, Alison is Director of the Centre for European Governance and was formerly Director of the Information Society Network. She has acted as consultant for and participated in working groups of the Council of Europe, European Commission, and national governments and is a member of the CPBF. Alison is a also member of the ECPR, UACES, APSA, PSA, IAMCR, ECREA, ICA and SCHES (executive board member) and editorial board member of the Palgrave Global Media Policy and Business series and on the international board of the French journal InMedia. She was a member of REF panel 27 in 2014 and was conferred as Fellow of the Academic of Social Sciences in 2018. Alison was seconded to the Venice International University on Exeter's global partnership programme in 2021.

languages: German (fluent), Italian (fluent), French (good), Russian (reading skills).

 Edit profile