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- PublicationBeyond ethical approval: fostering ethical research practices within inter-sectoral research projects involving academic and NGO sector partners(Springer, 2019-11-11)While research and innovation collaborations between NGOs and academic organisations can create considerable synergies with positive effects for the humanitarian sector, the inter-sectoral nature of such collaborations can generate challenges due to the varying mandates, objectives and ways of working of the organisations involved. By drawing on the experiences of a 4-year project involving a consortium of academic and NGO partners, this paper outlines three broad and inter-related ethical challenges that such projects can encounter and how they can be practically negotiated. Firstly, how are the knowledge-generation requirements of such projects addressed without engaging in the mere extraction of data from participants? Secondly, how are potential risks to participants arising from their participation balanced with the need to include their voices within the research project? Finally, how are the formal requirements laid down by institutional review committees, primarily within academic organisations, to be adhered to within field contexts in which there are well-established expectations and ways of working on the part of NGO partners and beneficiaries? While these dilemmas are merely illustrative of the potential ethical dilemmas that inter-sectoral collaboration might encounter, the paper highlights that ethical dilemmas ought to be addressed reflexively by all stakeholders in order to facilitate improved collaboration and, ultimately, better quality, more relevant and more ethically informed research.
- PublicationPersonal vote-seeking in flexible list systems: How electoral incentives shape Belgian MPs' bill initiation behaviour(Wiley, 2012-07-02)It is well known that different types of electoral systems create different incentives to cultivate a personal vote and that there may be variation in intra-party competition within an electoral system. This article demonstrates that flexible list systems - where voters can choose to cast a vote for the list as ordered by the party or express preference votes for candidates - create another type of variation in personal vote-seeking incentives within the system. This variation arises because the flexibility of party-in-a-district lists results from voters' actual inclination to use preference votes and the formal weight of preference votes in changing the original list order. Hypotheses are tested which are linked to this logic for the case of Belgium, where party-in-a-district constituencies vary in their use of preference votes and the electoral reform of 2001 adds interesting institutional variation in the formal impact of preference votes on intra-party seat allocation. Since formal rules grant Belgian MPs considerable leeway in terms of bill initiation, personal vote-seeking strategies are inferred by examining the use of legislative activity as signalling tool in the period between 1999 and 2007. The results establish that personal vote-seeking incentives vary with the extent to which voters use preference votes and that this variable interacts with the weight of preference votes as defined by institutional rules. In addition, the article confirms the effect of intra-party competition on personal vote-seeking incentives and illustrates that such incentives can underlie the initiation of private members bills in a European parliamentary system.
37Scopus© Citations 65
- PublicationIs personal vote-seeking behavior effective?(Wiley, 2016-04-25)Does representatives' legislative activity have any effect on their electoral performance? A broad theoretical literature suggests so, but real-world evidence is scarce as empirically, personal and party votes are hard to separate. In this article, we examine whether bill initiation actually helps MPs to attract preference votes under flexible list electoral systems. In these systems, voters can accept the party-provided rank order or vote for specific candidates, which allows a clear distinction between personal and party votes. The empirical analysis uses data on bill initiation by Belgian MPs in the period 2003-2007 to explain their personal vote in the 2007 elections. We find that particularly single-authored proposals initiated shortly before the upcoming elections are associated with a larger personal vote.
35Scopus© Citations 39
- PublicationThe Future of EU-UK Security and Defence Cooperation(Dublin City University. Brexit Institute, 2020-06-14)The UK’s departure from the European Union poses many challenges, not least in the field of security and defence. This paper assesses the implications of this for both parties and tries to outline options for a new bilateral partnership. The paper opens with a reminder of the headline contribution that the UK has made and continues to make to European security and defence and its significance as an actor within the Union. It goes on to suggest that Brexit is a lose-lose scenario for both partners, notwithstanding a shared set of security threats and an overall common approach to meeting them. The paper outlines the significant advances in the development of CSDP since the Brexit referendum result and the importance of the Commission’s proposal of new funding to the development of EU member state defence capacities. The paper then reviews options, which have surfaced in the EU and UK respectively to define a new bilateral partnership. The challenges to involving a third-country in EU policy development and execution are examined and the urgent need for the Union and the UK to devise a new – necessarily weaker – relationship is underlined.
- PublicationResilience and the EU's Global Strategy: The Potential Promise of Justice(University of Oslo. ARENA Centre for European Studies, 2020-02)The appearance of ‘resilience’ as a core concept within the EU Global Strategy (EUGS) is a significant focus of scholarly interest while for their part, EU institutions are anxious to put flesh on the bones of that strategy. The aim of this paper is to suggest that far from representing a collapse of European ambition or indeed a ‘middle ground’ position between liberal ambition and realist pragmatism, resilience potentially entails a profound re-engineering of EU foreign policy, serving the cause of an overarching concept of global justice. Such an approach is grounded in reciprocal and accountable relationships in search of ‘fair terms of social cooperation’. It also implies the creation of institutional decision-making and adjudicating fora which are profoundly deliberative in their orientation. This paper will argue that 'resilience' has therefore the potential to be a transformative concept in the design and pursuit of EU foreign policy. It also faces significant challenges, not least where there is profound disagreement or stark choices to be made over foundational principles. Resilience nonetheless opens pathways to perhaps a different kind of EU foreign policy, offering significant added-value to EU member states’ diplomacy.