Special Issue: The Regulatory Security State in Europe

Who governs European security, by what means, and on what legitimatory grounds? The conventional wisdom says that European security is still the realm of the sovereign and ‘positive state’, which monopolizes political authority and possesses the coercive capacities to provide security directly. In their special issue, Andreas Kruck and Moritz Weiss challenge this conventional wisdom and argue that, in many fields of European security policy-making, the EU and its member states should be conceived as emerging ‘regulatory security states’ (RSS). In other words, we are witnessing developments in European security that are very similar to what regulation scholars have stressed for quite some time now in the EU’s single market: namely a regulatory state that employs rules as the primary policy instrument for providing security and that draws on the epistemic authority of experts as the prevailing foundation of its authority. Even the European response to Russia’s war against Ukraine combined, to a considerable extent, rules-based governance with the reliance on experts: For example, governments turned to indirectly nudging private arms contractors into building up new production lines to sustain arms transfers to Ukraine, rather than exclusively drawing on national stockpiles of weapons and ammunition. And instead of setting up a traditional sanctions regime, economic experts pushed the EU and its member states to ban Russian banks from the SWIFT code, thereby manipulating one of the “chokepoints” of the global financial system, which is a private entity under Belgian law.

The contributions to the special issue map the emergence and presence of the RSS in Europe, covering military defense matters, such as armament policies (see the contributions by Hoeffler and Schilde) and military applications of AI (Bode & Huelss); digital security issues, such as cybersecurity (Dunn Cavelty & Smeets, Obendiek & Seidl, Sivan-Sevilla); and individual security fields, such as health security (Rimkute & Mazepus) and the protection of fundamental human rights in the Global South (Leander et al.). They show how pervasive the regulatory security state is in European security politics but also highlight important variations across issues. Beyond these mappings, the contributions explain the causes of the European RSS by analyzing the drivers of, and constraints on, the reform of security states. And they investigate the consequences of the RSS: The regulatory security state profoundly matters. But its effects are not always the desired or desirable ones. It may even have unintended and negative consequences for the effectiveness and democratic legitimacy of security policy-making – in Europe and beyond.

Together with three critical commentaries from a core state power (Genschel & Jachtenfuchs), securitization (Mügge) and risk governance (Levi-Faur) perspective, the analyses in this special issue thus advance the research programme on the regulatory state and contribute to a better understanding of security politics in Europe’s multi-level polity. Investigating the presence of the RSS in Europe and its consequential but ambivalent implications is all the more important in times when member states and the EU are struggling to muster the capacities for a strong response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Authors of the blog post are Andreas Kruck and Moritz Weiss

Happy Holiday Season!

Dear friends of JEPP:

We are looking back to an eventful year and thank our dear reviewers, authors and readers for producing great research, constructively commenting on manuscripts and continuously engaging with the pieces published in JEPP. Looking ahead, 2023 marks JEPP’s 30th anniversary and hopefully Jeremy will share some anecdotes about how everything started with us. We promise to have some interesting features throughout the year, celebrating some of the best contributions to JEPP throughout the past three decades.

But before we start the new year, we all will enjoy some quiet days in the sun or the snow. Scroll down to read more about our plans. Hopefully, all of you can also enjoy a well-deserved break over the holidays. We are looking forward to seeing you in the next year! Stay tuned for our upcoming issues, debate sections and special issues. Follow us on Twitter (@jepp_journal), read and subscribe to our newsletter.

Season’s greetings and all good wishes,

Your JEPP team


Over the holiday, Berthold & Jess had every intention to spend as much time in the snow as possible, provided there is any left. There is reason to be hopeful: For the first time in a very long time, visiting a Christmas market in December in my upper Bavarian village required wearing a proper coat rather than a T-Shirt. But then came another round of Covid, and hence maybe looking at the snow will be just as fine. That’s also what Semih, the mouser-in-chief, prefers anyway. He and his buddy Valter (see picture) are ready to welcome 2023. Stay safe & take care, everyone!


Sonia and I will spend our usual Christmas at Akaroa, and hope to do the same Boxing Day walk as we did last year (see photo). Boxing Day is also BBQ day, though I have been demoted to serving only drinks this year. Alas, Tess and Molly’s partners are, respectively, Australian (Billy) and Kiwi (Iain), and so trump any Englishman in this fiercely competitive Australasian sport.  Our dog, Murphy, tells me he doesn’t give a bugger who runs the BBQ. It all tastes the same to him (and he always wins the ‘fastest eater’ prize anyway!).


Michael and his family are celebrating the return of Christmas markets – Glühwein & cotton candy – and will spend a week with his mother, sister & family in Erlangen, otherwise he stays in Munich. For Michael, this will probably be a very “normal” Christmas break – compared to the previous Covid-years and compared to his new Ukrainian neighbours. After the holidays, he looks forward to many new JEPP debate and research agenda section proposals.


Sarah and Alex are excited to be hosting some of the holiday celebrations in Innsbruck this year. The only thing that stands in the way of the festivities is the question about how to fit the extended family into the apartment. Once all the guests have left after the Christmas hustle and bustle, she will devote herself to Tilda’s new passion of sledging and hopefully find some time for skiing. Thus, as Berthold, she hopes for cold temperatures and lots of snow.

Detecting anticipatory design strategies: the case of asylum policy in Italy

Marco Di Giulio, Università di Genova
Marco Di Giulio, Università di Genova
Stella Gianfreda, Independent Researcher
Stella Gianfreda, Independent Researcher







Increasing levels of polarization enhance the pressure for policy regimes to change even if they are highly institutionalized. Based on this idea, Marco Di Giulio and Stella Gianfreda investigate how anticipatory policy design affects liberal migration policy regimes in times of growing securitization. Their analysis of the Italian asylum policy shows that anticipatory strategies of both “entrenchers” and “dismantlers” are relevant to understand the dynamics of change. Even in the Italian context where dismantling forces have profoundly shaped the national policy regime, entrenchment strategies (e.g., providing incentives to foster compliance) have proved effective in stabilizing and renovating liberal institutions. Beyond these insights that policy dynamics may emerge as in-coherent and stratified policy mixes, the article calls for further micro-level analysis to complement existing macro-level studies on migration policy change in order to shed light on how agency may or may nor shape future changes of policy regimes

Voting Green in European Parliament elections: issue voting in an electoral context

JeongHun Han, Seoul National University
JeongHun Han, Seoul National University
Daniel Finke, Aarhus University
Daniel Finke, Aarhus University






To what extent can national electoral contexts explain citizens’ vote for Green parties in EP elections? JeongHun Han and Daniel Finke argue that in EP elections, voters express their sincere environmental issue preference rather than their dissatisfaction with the performance of national mainstream parties. Analyzing voter survey data from the 2019 EP election, JeongHun and Daniel demonstrate that genuine environmental preferences indeed drive support for a Green party. Interestingly, green issue voting tends to be stronger for small Green parties than for large ones and if the Green party owns the environmental issue. Additionally, the party system matters: sincere voting for Green parties is particularly relevant in contexts in which mainstream parties also pick up environmental and climate policies. Overall, this research indicates that first-order motives become increasingly decisive for understanding vote choice in EP elections while previous second-order characteristics seem to lose some of their explanatory power.

Representation in times of crisis: women’s executive presence and gender-sensitive policy responses to crises

Jessica C. Smith, University of Southampton
Jessica C. Smith, University of Southampton

Especially during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, women heads of government were praised for their seemingly better performance in leading their countries through this health crisis. Making use of the unique circumstances of the global pandemic, Jessica C. Smith sheds light on how the gender composition of government impacts national responses to the crisis. Based on data from the UN COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker, her analysis of 62 countries demonstrates that the presence of women in government matters in two ways. First, women-led countries have more gender diverse COVID-19 task forces compared to those led by men. Second, women’s participation in these task forces increases the likelihood that the policy responses will be gender-sensitive. Hence, in addition to normative reasons advocating for the representation of women beyond elected bodies, Jessica’s research provides evidence that women’s presence can ensure that measures implemented to cope with crisis situations take gender inequalities into account and thus make for better policies

NGOs as new Guardians of the Treaties? Analysing the effectiveness of NGOs as decentralised enforcers of EU law

Esther Versluis, Maastricht University
Esther Versluis, Maastricht University

The EU increasingly relies on national stake-holders such as NGOs to raise non-compliance issues before national courts. In particular the environmental sector has witnessed a shift from centralized infringement procedures initiated by the European Commission to decentralized enforcement by private actors. To shed light on the work and effectiveness of national enforcers, Konstantin Reiners and Esther Versluis analyze the actions taken by the German NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe to encourage compliance of German States with the Ambient Air Quality Directive. In their case study they show that the NGO mostly used litigation (i.e., initiating a high number of legal proceedings) to increase the salience of the topic in national debates and the media. The interplay of public pressure caused by increased issue salience of air quality and legal pressure has positively affected compliance by German states. Overall, these insights indicate that private actors such as NGOS can indeed play a crucial role as additional guardians of the Treaties to tackle national compliance deficits.


‘All hands on deck’ or separate lifeboats? Public support for European economic solidarity during the Covid-19 pandemic

Monika Bauhr, University of Gothenburg
Monika Bauhr, University of Gothenburg
Nicholas Charron, University of Gothenburg
Nicholas Charron, University of Gothenburg







To assist countries most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU launched the largest aid package in its history. Monika Bauhr and Nicholas Charron make use of this unprecedented course of action and analyze the factors that drive public support for international aid in times of crises. A vignette survey experiment conducted in 25 European countries provides evidence that elite cues are more consequential for public support than receiving information about the aid package. In particular, national governments’ endorsement for financial assistance increases the likelihood to support a European-wide response to the pandemic. By contrast, details on the package do not influence public opinion in either direction. The study thus implies that domestic governments can play a crucial role in swaying citizens’ opinion on redistribution within the EU as well as future EU integration.


From learning to influence: the evolution of collaboration in European Administrative Networks

Francesca Pia Vantaggiato, King's College London
Francesca Pia Vantaggiato, King’s College London

European Administrative Networks (EANs) are a distinctive feature of the EU governance system that aim to foster regulatory harmonization. Even though they have been operational for more than two decades, we know little about how they react to changes in their policy environment. To fill this gap in the literature, Francesca Pia Vantaggiato conceptualizes EANs as dynamic social networks. A Bayesian network model of the Council of European Energy Regulators’ structure shows that the collaboration has shifted from learning (i.e., exchanging information) to a cohesive structure of cooperation aiming to inform and influence EU policy-making. The article thus provides a first step towards conceptualizing and operationalizing the processes of evolution of EANs.


Online Special Issue No 1-2022: EU Foreign Policy

We celebrate this year’s Europe Day with our online special issue on EU foreign policy. It compiles a small selection of eleven excellent articles on this topic published in JEPP during the last years. While in the broader public debates about the role of the EU and its foreign policy have attracted increased attention since the start of the war in the Ukraine, coverage of this topic in JEPP has been a constant fixture. Since the first article on the EU’s foreign economic policy was published in JEPP in 1994, almost 90 pieces refer to the term ‘foreign policy’ in the abstract and almost 60 prominently feature it in the title. So, believe us, when we say that it was very hard to decide which articles not to include in our virtual special issue. The result of our efforts brings together research about the making, the design and the consequences of the EU’s foreign policy, about the limits of the EU’s influence as well as about the role of (energy) relations with Russia. Our small collection of articles will be free access until 31 May 2022. We hope you enjoy reading!


Adrian Hyde-Price (2006) ‘Normative’ power Europe: a realist critique, Journal of European Public Policy, 13:2, 217-234, DOI: 10.1080/13501760500451634

Alexander Warkotsch (2008) Non-compliance and instrumental variation in EU democracy promotion, Journal of European Public Policy, 15:2, 227-245, DOI: 10.1080/13501760701817732

Anna Herranz-Surrallés (2016) An emerging EU energy diplomacy? Discursive shifts, enduring practices, Journal of European Public Policy, 23:9, 1386-1405, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2015.1083044

Antoaneta Dimitrova & Rilka Dragneva (2009) Constraining external governance: interdependence with Russia and the CIS as limits to the EU’s rule transfer in the Ukraine, Journal of European Public Policy, 16:6, 853-872, DOI: 10.1080/13501760903087894

Caroline Kuzemko (2014) Ideas, power and change: explaining EU–Russia energy relations, Journal of European Public Policy, 21:1, 58-75, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2013.835062

Kai Hebel & Tobias Lenz (2016) The identity/policy nexus in European foreign policy, Journal of European Public Policy, 23:4, 473-491, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2015.1047398

Maryna Rabinovych (2021) Failing forward and EU foreign policy: the dynamics of ‘integration without membership’ in the Eastern Neighbourhood, Journal of European Public Policy, 28:10, 1688-1705, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2021.1954066

Sophie Meunier & Kalypso Nicolaïdis (2006) The European Union as a conflicted trade power, Journal of European Public Policy, 13:6, 906-925, DOI: 10.1080/13501760600838623

Sophie Vanhoonacker & Karolina Pomorska (2013) The European External Action Service and agenda-setting in European foreign policy, Journal of European Public Policy, 20:9, 1316-1331, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2012.758446

Tom Delreux & Stephan Keukeleire (2017) Informal division of labour in EU foreign policy-making, Journal of European Public Policy, 24:10, 1471-1490, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2016.1216151

Wolfgang Wagner (2003) Why the EU’s common foreign and security policy will remain intergovernmental: a rationalist institutional choice analysis of European crisis management policy, Journal of European Public Policy, 10:4, 576-595, DOI: 10.1080/1350176032000101262


Single issue EU referendums: tying hands, domestic effects and the challenge of consentification

Dermot Hodson, University of London and Imelda Maher, University College Dublin

Referendums on specific EU policies or EU integration more generally have become a familiar feature of EU politics. Dermot Hodson and Imelda Maher consider three main explanations for governments’ increasing call for referendums: to secure bargaining advantages at the EU level, to enhance political standing domestically and to (de-)legitimize EU decision-making. Based on case studies of eight single issue referendums in five EU member states, they demonstrate that governments tend to call a referendum when the issue at stake can be approved under domestic law, but lacks political legitimacy. Government leaders use referendums either to manage internal party differences, gain electoral advantages over rivals or boost their personal popularity. In light of these results, Dermot and Imelda contend that referendums as a strategic instrument of direct democracy will remain a prominent feature of EU politics in the future.