European Union (EU)-Middle East relations are of critical importance to
policy-makers, and this case study shows how Professor Richard Youngs'
research has changed perspectives and practices among EU elites, informed
debates among practitioner groups and shaped public debate about democracy
promotion and human rights. As both Professor of Politics at Warwick and
Director General of the Madrid-based think-tank FRIDE, Youngs' research
findings have challenged conventional wisdom on: the prospects for
democratisation in the Arab world; the identities of Islamist
interlocutors; and the efficacy of civil society support. The influence of
Youngs' research can be observed directly through the numerous commissions
he has received from the European Parliament and the uptake of his
subsequent reports among key stakeholders.
A key priority of the EU since the 1990s has been the promotion of
liberal democracy in undemocratic and illiberal societies such as those of
the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Pace's work has furnished
important insights to policy practitioners working on the EU's role
in democracy promotion. She has provided advice and recommendations to the
EU External Action Service, the European Commission and the European
Parliament (EP) as well as the Swedish government (via the International
Institute on Democracy and Electoral assistance [IDEA]). This work has directly
informed the following decisions: an EP Resolution on Democracy
Building in the EU's External Relations (dated 22 October 2009); and the
European Council's Conclusions on Democracy Support in the EU's External
Relations (dated 17 November 2009).
Research by Professor Anoush Ehteshami has been drawn upon by senior
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Research Analysts in developing UK foreign
policy. In particular, it has informed their thinking on UK policy
responses to the changing dynamic between the Middle East and East Asia;
and on UK policy responses to Iran's nuclear programme. This has fed
directly and indirectly into UK Government foreign policy.
The Middle East Centre (MEC) has achieved a unique standing in providing
informed analysis of the region, based on its cumulative academic
expertise. It has made significant contributions to the media's and the
public's understanding of political and societal developments in the
Middle East. The MEC has given advice both to emerging Arab democracies on
their own political systems, and to other governments on their relations
with the countries of the region. The centre itself has also become a
place of neutral ground, where individuals from opposite sides in
conflicts in the region can meet, away from local tensions.
This case study focuses on the development of the European Union (EU) as
a global political/security actor, particularly regarding the dynamic
relationship between institution-building, strategic thinking, and policy
performance. The impact involves the influence of Professor Michael E.
Smith's research on EU foreign/security policy on current policy debates
about the EU's future as a global actor, and on the broader issue of the
EU's purpose in world politics. The EU is currently considering ideas
about how to reform its ambitions in this area in light of the 2009 Treaty
of Lisbon, providing a major opportunity for Smith's work to have an
Renton used his research on the origins of the Israel-Palestine conflict
to enhance public understanding by extending the quality and range of
evidence and argumentation in public discourse on a major issue of
historical importance with present day consequences. This was achieved
through a range of collaborations, media, engagement with public
campaigns, and synergies with the international news cycle.
This research, on (i) Britain's refusal to intervene militarily in Bosnia
between 1992 and 1995 and (ii) the history of humanitarian interventions
in general, has received considerable attention from policy makers and
attentive publics. It has contributed to the questioning in British
political circles of the `conservative pessimism' which in the past often
led to an unwillingness to act over humanitarian disasters. It has also
contributed to the wider emergence of the norm of a `responsibility to
protect', whereby governments qualify the classical presumption of
non-intervention with a degree of commitment to protect a people when it
is under attack from its own government.
Research on the management and implementation of EU Cohesion policy has
informed the legislative proposals made in 2011 by the European Commission
for the reform of Cohesion policy. It has also influenced some
organisational changes within the Commission introduced in early 2013. EU
Cohesion policy is the second largest area of expenditure in the EU
budget, currently worth c. €347bn for the 2007-13 period, and provides
funding for regional socio-economic development programmes in all EU
Member States. The legislative proposals influenced by the Strathclyde
research affect every national, regional and local authority in the EU
benefiting from EU Structural and Cohesion Funds.
Research conducted by John Turnpenny shaped the recommendations of the
House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC). In 2010, the EAC
addressed the need to embed sustainable development across government
policy-making. This followed the closure of the Royal Commission on
Environmental Pollution (RCEP) and the end of funding for the Sustainable
Development Commission (SDC). The EAC determined to change how it engaged
with experts, while reaffirming and expanding its role in the overall
scrutiny of government sustainability policy. Turnpenny's findings formed
the basis of two of the thirteen headline recommendations in the EAC's
2011 report Embedding Sustainable Development Across Government.
In addition his suggestions helped influence significant changes in the
way that the EAC operates, and contributed to its wider impact among other
Research on participation in governance and related policy instruments,
with a particular focus on
interest organisations and groups, with strategic orientation of research
impact, and evidence of use at the highest level in public policy reviews
discourse/debate, as well as deliberations of advocacy groups.