Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of ESPOL-LAB Research Centre

Thierry CHOPIN

Professor of Political Science and Deputy Director of ESPOL-LAB Research Centre


The ESPOL-LAB Research Centre for European and International Politics is composed of a team of researchers analysing public decision-making processes and contemporary transformations in the political sphere. Questioning the boundaries of politics and the relationship between politics and society is at the heart of ESPOL-LAB’s scientific project. What is the actual impact of political decision-making? What are its drivers? To what extent do policies still refer to the regulation of society?

The apparent fragility of the contemporary state, in conjunction with the fragmentation of identities, growing globalisation of economies, and the emergence of new forms of violence highlight the difficulty of organising social relations and giving meaning to societal life. Yet, while the modern state may no longer be seen as the exclusive framework within which common rules are developed and transformed, it nevertheless retains an unparalleled appeal and ability to guide and organise societies.

In this context, ESPOL-LAB research aims to help inform political decision-making processes, their normative underpinnings and the constraints they face, also including their continuously transforming relations to territory and violence. Our research team is composed of specialists in various political science fields, such as public policies, international relations, comparative politics, history of political ideas, and political theory.



Research at ESPOL-LAB focuses on changes in contemporary societies and political dynamics within multilevel settings. It is organised around three major research areas:

Europe constitutes a cross-cutting dimension of research at ESPOL which is present in each of these three areas.


Associate Professor of Political Science

1) The quality of democracy

Representative democracy has been put to the test for several decades, in Europe as in the rest of the world. Understanding the multifaceted causes of this crisis is one of the major challenges of social sciences and, more particularly, of contemporary political science. The role of political parties and governments is changing. In a globalized world, the position of nation states, including in the European Union is evolving. The forms and arenas of political participation are diversifying. The rise of so-called ‘populist’ movements challenges the political elites.


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Based on a reflection of the fundamental principles of democracy, this thematic research area aims to analyse the formal and procedural conditions of democracy, the capacity of political institutions to meet these criteria as well as the causes and consequences of democratic transformation. The research conducted on these issues goes beyond a strictly legalistic reading of democratic rules to include a theoretical reflection on the criteria of good governance with an empirical analysis of political processes.
Using the tools of political philosophy, political sociology and public policy analysis, the work of this research area focuses specifically on:
– political representation, such as elections, parties and parliaments,
– new spaces of democracy, especially economic democracy,
– e-democracy.


Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of ESPOL-LAB Research Centre

2) Regulation and governance

This research area of ESPOL-LAB focusses on the transformation of the regulation of society. Adopting a broad definition, this term refers to the production and implementation of standards and action programmes in a given territory by institutions holding a certain legitimacy. In this sense, regulation includes both government activity and private norms aimed at organising a sector of society or social relations. Far from being a neutral or purely functional activity, regulation basically implies material and ideational conflicts which are underlying this development and/or result from it, which need to be analysed.

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Questioning politics by regulation implies a triple interrogation in terms of players, arenas of regulation, and finally, instruments. Regarding the stakeholders, the question is Robert Dahl’s famous “who governs?” , questioning the players influencing the production of standards and their implementation. These new players are also pushing regulation to change the arenas of government and governance, with the growing importance of infra-, supra- and transnational levels, and the development of public-private or private standards alongside national or international regulations. Public regulation at the national level, which has prevailed for a long time, is challenged by the importance of new global issues (for example, international conflicts, migration, environmental change, economic globalisation, etc.).
The research carried out at ESPOL-LAB focuses on this evolution of governance to analyse how the players themselves bring in and pursue their issues, but also to analyse the consequences of these public-private stakeholder constellations.
Finally, the form and nature of regulation depends on the issues at stake. Consequently, the modes of coordination between players as well as the instruments of regulation evolve. Among the sources of change, our research analyses the role of certain norms, such as neoliberalism or participative democracy, in changing these regulations. The fields of application are diverse: Security and defense, economy, environment and agriculture are all areas of regulation studied in ESPOL-LAB.
The work of this axis focusses in particular on:
– advances and limits of governance: in emerging areas (e.g. the environment) as in sovereign areas (e.g. as security and defense),
– reconfigurations of international law,
– the role of cultural policies in internationalization, especially in the construction of Europe,
– the legitimacy of international regulations.


Associate Professor of Political Science

3) Reconfigurations of the International

This ESPOL-LAB research area explores the contemporary transformations of the international stage. The latter is traditionally understood as an abstract space without an own territory where political and social phenomena would evolve either completely outside the state or between states. The International can however also be understood as a certain regime of limits, historically contingent, articulated around the spatial division between the internal and the external. From this, a whole series of normative and structuring distinctions of political practice and the very understanding of politics could be elaborated: a distinction between the citizen and the foreigner, between domestic and foreign policy, between crime and war, between the criminal and the enemy, between internal security and national defence, between the police and the armed forces etc.

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The International has always been put to the test and also has continuously been transformed in the process of global integration, as suggested in the literature about the advent of a ‘global and borderless world’. Yet, the International has never totally dissolved in ‘world politics’ that would disregard or override the states. Rather than disappearing, the State is being transformed and, in this context, the International is also undergoing a transformation.

This third research area analyses the contemporary reconfigurations of the International. In a critical and reflexive perspective, these research works particularly question the reorientation of the historical construction of the modern state, the evolving notions of space, borders and the enemy, the contested (and yet continually reaffirmed) procedures of legitimising state sovereign authority and the transformation of the conditions for the exercise of violence. The topics that drive the work of this research area are in particular:
– international security and regional and international security organisations,
– armed conflicts, war and military strategy,
– terrorism and anti-terrorism.

Research projects


H2020 Project “Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law”

ESPOL-LAB is a partner in the RECONNECT (Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law) project. This 4-year multi-disciplinary project funded by the European Union under the framework programme H2020.





Towards “just conservation”: linking theories and practices of justice in biodiversity conservation

JUSTCONSERVATION is a 3-year research project led by ESPOL and funded by the Centre for the Synthesis and Analysis of Biodiversity (CESAB) of the French Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB).




Collaborative Observatory on Terrorism, Anti-Terrorism and Violence

ESPOL-LAB participates in the ‘Collaborative Observatory on Terrorism, Anti-Terrorism and Violence’ (O.C.T.A.V.). This is an initiative of scientists from various disciplinary backgrounds, supported and funded by LabToP-CRESPPA-Paris8-CNRS, ESPOL-ICL, REPI-ULB and CERI-SciencesPo/CNRS.




Former projects

Project “Reviving democratic participation in Europe: lessons from the crisis”

Professor Michael Holmes (Liverpool Hope University) completed a research stay at ESPOL-LAB, funded by the Regional Council Nord-Pas de Calais under their ‘Invited researchers’ programme. During his stay in Lille throughout the year 2017, Michael Holmes pursued a project on the impact of the Euro crisis on political parties as agents of democratic participation. Results of this work is an edited volume (to be published by Manchester University Press) to which Julien Navarro and Antonella Seddone contributed, and to the organisation of an international conference on Brexit in November 2017. Michael Holmes continues to collaborate with ESPOL-LAB as associate researcher.

Project “Between personalization and democratization”

From September 2015 to August 2017, ESPOL-LAB hosted a post-doctoral researcher, Antonella Seddone, to conduct her research project ‘Between personalization and democratization: the changing role of members within political parties’. As part of the ESPOL-LAB research area ‘Quality of democracy’, this project was funded under the programme ‘Accueil de Jeunes Chercheurs 2015’ by the Conseil Régional Nord – Pas de Calais. During her stay at ESPOL, the post-doctoral researcher published widely in collaboration with members of the research unit, especially with Giulia Sandri. Antonella Seddone continues to work with several colleagues as an associate researcher of ESPOL-LAB.

ESPOL-LAB team and network

The ESPOL-LAB team consists of 16 faculty members working on the transformation of European and global politics: twelve Associate professors, a Professor (HDR), a Lecturer, three Post-doctoral researchers. ESPOL-LAB is headed by Sabine Weiland (Director) and Thierry Chopin (Deputy Director).

ESPOL has also eight associate researchers. We welcome applications of interested researchers to become associated with ESPOL.

ESPOL-LAB is member of the ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research), the principal political science research network in Europe. The ESPOL-LAB team supports the Revue Internationale de Politique Comparée and the Politique européenne journal.


Director of ESPOL, Associate Professor of Political Science


Associate Professor of Political Science


Associate Professor of Moral and Political Philosophy

François BRIATTE

Lecturer of Political Science

Oriane Calligaro

Associate Professor of Political Science

Thierry CHOPIN

Professor of Political Science, Deputy Director of the ESPOL-LAB Research Centre


Associate Professor of Environment and Development, Head of the Master's degree programmes


Associate Professor of Political Science


Associate Professor of Political Science, Head of the Bachelor's degree in International Relations

Pierre-Yves NERON

Associate Professor of Economic and Social Ethics, Head of the Bachelor's degree in Political Science


Associate Professor of International Relations


Associate Professor of Political Science


Associate Professor of International Relations

Felix-Christopher von Nostitz

Associate Professor of Political Science, Head of International Mobility


Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of ESPOL-LAB Research Centre

Postdoctoral Researchers

Neil Dawson

Postdoctoral Researcher

Camille Kelbel

Postdoctoral Researcher


Postdoctoral Researcher

ESPOL-LAB Associate Researchers

ESPOL welcomes researchers to become associated with the School and, more specifically, with ESPOL-LAB, our Research Centre. The association of researchers serves the purpose of enriching the academic and intellectual life at ESPOL. We invite researchers with a scientific profile matching the research topics pursued at ESPOL to join us as associate researchers.

More information can be found below


Michael Holmes

Senior Lecturer at Liverpool Hope University & Associate Research Fellow at ESPOL


Researcher at ETHICS, Lille Catholic University & Associate Research Fellow at ESPOL

Benjamin NEIMARK

Senior Lecturer at the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University & Associate Research Fellow at ESPOL

Stéphanie NOVAK

Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, & Associate Research Fellow at ESPOL

Kristin Reynolds

Associate Research Fellow at ESPOL

Antonella SEDDONE

Postdoctoral researcher at the Dipartimento di Culture, Politica e Società, Università degli Studi di Torino & Associate Research Fellow at ESPOL

Daniel-Louis Seiler

Full Professor emeritus at Sciences Po Aix-en-Provence & Associate Research Fellow at ESPOL

Diana Watts

Associate Research Fellow at ESPOL




24 janvier 2019 – Séminaire général ESPOL-LAB
Weapons of Mass Destruction and Global Security

Paolo ForadoriAssociate Professor, University of Trento

11 avril 2019 – Séminaire général
Pour une sociologie des inégalités environnementales
Dr. Valérie Deldrève
Directrice de la recherche, IRSTEA Bordeaux


18 janvier 2018 – Séminaire général
Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!” Popularity Gains as an Incentive to Legislate Frantically?
Etienne Farvaque et Mamadou BoukariLEM, Universités de Lille

25 janvier 2018 – Journée d’étude
La séquence électorale du printemps 2017

  • 2017 : un nouveau système partisan ?
    Florent Gougou et Simon Persico
    IEP de Grenoble
  • 2015-2017 : un retour à gauche des quartiers marginalisés ?
    Antoine HardinUVSQ
  • Le vote FN de 1992 à aujourd’hui
    Joël GambinUPJV /

25 janvier 2018 – Conférence
Constructivism and World Politics Today
Oliver Kessler
Erfurt University

8 février 2018 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Quasi-states in IR
Françoise Mengin
Researcher at CERI, Sciences Po Paris

15 février 2018 – Conférence
L’Europe face au défi de la mondialisation : de la crise pétrolière au marché unique (1973 – 1986)
Présentation de l’ouvrage « Governing Europe in a Globalizing World. Neoliberalism and its Alternatives following the 1973 Oil Crisis » (Routledge 2018)

Laurent WarlouzetProfesseur d’Histoire, Université du Littoral-Côte d’Opale (ULCO)

29 mars 2018 – Conférence
Les ressorts et limites de la primarisation de la vie politique française

Rémi LefebvreProfesseur de Science Politique, Université de Lille 2 (CERAPS)

28 septembre 2018 – Conférence
International Relations and Contemporary Global Problems
Prof. Thomas J. Biersteker
Gasteyger Professor of International Security, Director, Policy Research, The Graduate Institute (Geneva)

4 octobre 2018 – Journée d’étude
Retour sur la sequence électorale française du printemps 2017
Caterina Froio
Sciences Po Paris – Nonna MayerCNRS Sciences Po Paris – Julien TalpinCNRS Université de Lille – Annie LaurentCNRS Lille 2 – Clémentine BerjaudParis 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne – François Briatte et Giuila SandriESPOL

29 novembre 2018 – Conférence
China’s Outward Investment: Direct and Indirect Issues for Europe
Jean-Marc Blanchard
Distinguished Professor, School of Advanced International and Areas Studies, East China Normal University (ECNU – Shanghai, China)


14 septembre 2017 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
EU Energy Policy in Contemporary Context
Dr. Lyubimka Andreeva
Chief Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration, Sofia University

7 novembre 2017 – Conférence
Financialization and Inegality in the World Economy
Timo Walter
Post-doctoral Researcher, University of Erfurt

9-10 novembre 2017 – Conférence internationale
Europe after Brexit: New Opportunities for Democratic Politics?

16 novembre 2017 – Conférence
The fate of IR in a rapidly changing world
João Pontes Nogueira
Professeur de Relations Internationales, IRI / PUC-Rico (Rio de Janeira, Brésil)


14 janvier 2016 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Political Parties between personalization and democratization
Antonella SeddonePost-doctoral Researcher, ESPOL

4 février 2016 – Conférence
La fracture politique de l’Europe : crise de légitimité et déficit politique
Thierry ChopinDirecteur des études, Fondation Robert Schuman

25 février 2016 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Violence and the Modern International: an Archaeology of Terrorism
Philippe BondittiAssociate Professor, ESPOL

10 mars 2016 – Conférence
Présentation du livre « Thinking about Political Reform: How to fix, or not fix, American Government and Politics »
John JohannesProfessor of Political Science, Villanova University

28 avril 2016 – Conférence
Le financement de la vie politique française. Quelques stratégies des candidats et des partis
Abel FrançoisProfesseur à l’Université Lille 1 (LEM), chercheur associé au LIEPP Sciences Po Paris et au LARGE Université de Strasbourg

1er juillet 2016 – Journée d’étude
Sciences Po Quanti

7 juillet 2016 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Saisir l’Etat par les statistiques : le cas du « nombre des fonctionnaires » en France au XIXe et XXe siècles
Emilien RuizMaître de conférences en Histoire Contemporaine, Université de Lille 3


12 février 2015 – Conférence
Présentation du livre « L’égalité au nom du marché ? Emergence et démantèlement de la politique européenne d’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes »
Sophie JacquotSciences Po Paris

5-7 mars 2015 – Colloque international (avec l’ULB)
The Quality of Democracy: the Challenges of a New Research Agenda

2 avril 2015 – Conférence
L’insécurité culturelle
Laurent BouvetUniversité de Versailles Saint Quentin

17 septembre 2015 – Conférence
Religion et politique dans l’Union européenne
François ForetProfesseur de Science Politique, Université Libre de Bruxelles

1er octobre 2015 – Conférence
La revanche des perdants ?
Olivier RozenbergAssociate Professor, Sciences Po Paris

5 novembre 2015 – Conférence
Présentation du livre « Le tournant environnemental de la politique agricole commune »
Matthieu AnsaloniPost-doctorant au Centre Emile Durkheim, Université de Bordeaux

12 novembre 2015 – Conférence
Présentation du livre « Capitalismes agraires. Economie politique de la grande plantation en Indonésie et en Malaisie »
Stéphanie BarralChargée de recherche en Sociologie, INRA / UMR LISIS

26 novembre 2015 – Conférence
L’Europe créée par les traducteurs
Domenico CosmaiChef d’unité, Conseil économique et social européen


16 janvier 2014 – Conférence
Politiques de l’engagement : Sartre, Aron et Camus
Aliocha Wald-LasowskiMaître de conférences en philosophie, Université Catholique de Lille

23 janvier 2014 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Vertus, conditions et limites de la démocratie délibérative : retour sur l’expérience Parlement & Citoyens
Claire de ChesséPhilosophe, responsable « Théorie, méthodes, recherche » de l’association Smartgov, vice-présidente de Philolab et membre fondateur de Parlement & Citoyens

6 février 2014 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
L’utopie de l’Islam : la religion contre l’Etat
Leïla Babès – Professeur de sociologie des religions et d’islamologie, Université Catholique de Lille

20 février 2014 – Conférence
Agriculture et mondialisation : un atout géopolitique pour la France
Thierry Pouch – Assemblée Permanente des Chambres d’Agriculture de France

6 mars 2014 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Les thèmes de l’extrême-droite à l’agenda de la presse écrite : une comparaison France-Pays-Bas-Finlande
Gaël VilleneuveEnseignant-chercheur en communication politique, ISCOM / LCP

20 mars 2014 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Le gouvernement représentatif vidé de son contenu ?
Ioannis PapapopulosProfesseur à l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques et Internationales, Université de Lausanne

3 avril 2014 – Journée d’étude
Démocratiser la sélection des candidats : quelles conséquences ?

22 mai 2014 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Giving impact to evaluation practice, an analytic narrative of three EC evaluations
Samuele DossiPolicy analyst, European Commission

12 juin 2014Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Are equality of opportunity and equality of outcome substitutable? Individual-based evidence
Raul Magni-BertonLecturer in Social Science, Sciences Po Grenoble

2 octobre 2014Conférence
Resisting soft law in the EU
Sabine SauruggerProfesseur, Sciences Po Grenoble

10 octobre 2014Conférence
Le travail parlementaire est-il récompensé dans les urnes ?
Julien NavarroESPOL

30 octobre 2014Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
The Merits and Perils of Intra-Party Democracy: Assessing the Effects of Party Organisational Reform in European Parties
Felix Freiherr von NostitzUniversité d’Exeter

6 novembre 2014Conférence
Le pouvoir de l’inaction : les sauvetages bancaires en comparaison
Cornelia WollProfesseur, Sciences Po Paris

14 novembre 2014Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Serial Transnational Activism: Grafting a Social Media Footprint Remotely onto Contemporary Protest Events
Dan MerceaLecturer, City University London

27 novembre 2014Conférence
Parlements, Démocraties et Gouvernance économique entre 2008 et 2014
Philippe PoirierUniversité du Luxembourg


22 janvier 2013 – Conférence
Démocraties libérales : le pouvoir des citoyens dans les pays européens
Raul Magni-BertonSciences Po Grenoble

5 février 2013 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Evaluation économique de la loi du 31 décembre 1970 réprimant l’usage et le trafic de stupéfiants : l’illustration par le cannabis
Christian Ben LakhdarMaître de conférences en Economie, FGES

12 février 2013 – Conférence
Le Front National : mutations de l’extrême-droite
Pascal Delwit – Université Libre de Bruxelles

19 mars 2013 – Conférence
L’Etat de la démocratie en Italie
Giulia SandriMaître de conférences en Sciences Politiques, ESPOLLuca Tomini– Université Libre de Bruxelles

29 mars 2013 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
The use of digital technologies in social movement protests
Dan MerceaSenior Lecturer in Politics, The Hague University

11 avril 2013 – Conférence
Le Passage à l’Europe : Histoire d’un commencement
Luuk van MiddelaaraCabinet du Président du Conseil européen

30 avril 2013 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Parties and party system in Poland
Maciej HartlinskiLecturer in Politics, Uniwersytet Warmińsko-Mazurski w Olsztynie

14 mai 2013 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Le cosmopolitisme de Bentham, un cosmopolitisme sans citoyen du monde
Benjamin BourcierChercheur au Département d’Ethique, Université Catholique de Lille

24 septembre 2013 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
The EU as an environmental actor in the Black Sea region
Tatiana Coutto – American Graduate School in Paris

1er octobre 2013 – Conférence
Les partis politiques européens : evolution institutionnelle et politique après le Traité de Lisbonne
Francesco CerasaniDocteur de l’Université La Sapienza (Rome) & assistant au Parlement européen

8 octobre 2013 – Conférence
Lutte contre le cancer et bureaucratisation de la maladie : une comparaison France-Angleterre
François BriatteESPOL & Sciences Po Grenoble

12 novembre 2013 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Avons-nous un problème avec la démocratie parlementaire ? De Carl Schmitt au « mariage pour tous »
Esther AbinDocteur en philosophie politique, Keele University

19 novembre 2013 – Colloque
Néo-libéralisme(s) et démocratie
Béatrice HibouCNRS-CERI / SciencesPo – Catherine HoefflerESPOL – Vincent ValentinUniversité Paris 1 / CERAP – François BriatteESPOL – Olivier GodechotENS / Centre Maurice Halbwachs – Franck Van de VeldeUniversité Lille 1 / CLERSE – Serge AudierUniversité Paris 4 / IUF – Gwendal ChâtonUniversité d’Angers / CJB – Jean SolchanyIEP de Lyon / LARHRA – Sébastien CarréESPOL – Gilles CampagnoloCNRS / GREOAM & Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques, Université Aix-Marseille – Renaud FilieuleUniversité Lille 1 / CLERSE – Daniel Mansuy HuertaUniversité de los Andes – Daniel-Louis SeilerIEP d’Aix-en-Provence et ESPOL


29 mars 2012 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Sous les outils, le sens : Ethiques environnementales et instruments de lutte contre la pollution
Sébastien CarréDirecteur de la licence en Science Politique, ESPOL

18 septembre 2012 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Les élus valorisent-ils le cumul des mandats ?
Abel François
Maître de conférences en Sciences Economiques, Université de Strasbourg

16 octobre 2012 – Conférence
L’intervention armée peut-elle être juste ?
Jean-François RiouxUniversité Saint-Paul à Ottawa

23 octobre 2012 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Elections nationales et régionales : la territorialisation du vote en Italie
Giulia Sandri – Maître de conférences en Sciences Politiques, ESPOL

20 novembre 2012 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Démocratie économique et démocratie de marché
Pierre-Yves NéronChercheur au Département d’Ethique, Université Catholique de Lille

11 décembre 2012 – Conférence
Pierre Bourdieu : Quand l’intelligence entrait enfin en politique !
Jean BaudouinUniversité Rennes 1

11 décembre 2012 – Séminaire ESPOL-LAB
Les Chrétiens d’Orient, entre la peur de disparaître et le risque d’exister
Isabel Rück – ESPOL