Our research

Our research focuses on the strategic-political aspects of crisis management across borders. When crises strike, existing governance systems are put under immense strain and political leaders face daunting decision-making challenges. When crises cross legal, geographical and sectoral boundaries – the transboundary crises – these challenges grow.

We study whether and how today’s multilevel, supranational governance systems can respond to these challenges. We focus primarily on the European Union to understand the full extent of its crisis tools and instruments – what we call ‘capacities’, both material and immaterial. We look beyond individual policy areas to survey capacities across the EU institutions and its agencies, including external crisis missions, counter-terrorism, civil protection, transport, energy and cyber security. We want to know why these capacities have emerged, how they have evolved, what they mean for the EU as a cooperation platform, and whether can improve transboundary crisis management.

Four broad themes can be found in our research:

  • What cooperation dynamics underpin the EU’s development in this area?
  • What narratives are used to legitimize the EU’s ‘value added’ in transboundary crisis management?
  • How broad and deep are the EU’s capacities in transboundary crisis management?
  • What are the optimum kinds of crisis management capacities for transboundary crises?