Centre for European and International Studies Research


Photo of Professor Wolfram Kaiser

Professor Wolfram Kaiser

  • Qualifications: Combined BA and MA (University of Hamburg), PhD (University of Hamburg)
  • Role Title: Professor of European Studies
  • Address: Milldam, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth PO1 3AS
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2215
  • Email: wolfram.kaiser@port.ac.uk
  • Department: School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
  • Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


Wolfram Kaiser's main research interests are in contemporary European history and politics, especially European integration and the European Union, and Europe's international relations past and present. He has just finished a major study on the European Parliament's role in advancing the institutional reform of the European Communities during 1979-89. His book Making the Rules for Europe: Experts, Cartels, International Organizations (Palgrave 2014, with J. Schot) de-centres the EU by taking a long-term approach to analysing European integration since the middle of the nineteenth century. In Exhibiting Europe in Museums. Transnational Networks, Collections, Narratives, and Representations (Berghahn 2014, with S. Krankenhagen and K. Poehls) he discusses if and how history museums become more transnational and/or Europeanized. His earlier monograph Christian Democracy and the Origins of European Union (CUP 2007) addresses the role of transnational party elite networks in European integration in long-term perspective. Wolfram Kaiser also has broader interests in ways of narrating European integration in different spheres, in processes of Europeanisation and globalisation in historical and contemporary perspective, and in the history and politics of international relations, esp. the political culture of internationalisation and global regional integration. He has authored and edited many books and articles for journals including Comparativ, Contemporary British History, Contemporary European History, Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht, Historical Journal, Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Journal of Contemporary History, Journal of European Integration History, Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Modern History, National Identities, and Revue d'histoire diplomatique. For more detail see his Pure profile (link below).

Wolfram Kaiser is a highly experienced PhD supervisor. He has supervised ten PhD theses to completion and supported several more as second or third supervisor. Several of his former PhD students now hold permanent positions at other universities in the fields of Modern and Contemporary History, European Studies and International Relations/Politics including at the universities of Leuven (Belgium), Witwatersrand (South Africa), the Institute of Education (Hong Kong), Westminster and Portsmouth (United Kingdom). Other former PhD students work for charities and EU institutions like the European Parliament Research Service in Brussels. Wolfram Kaiser also has wide supervisory experience at postdoc level and has acted as host for three EU-funded Marie Curie scholars who have gone on to permanent academic positions at the universities of Copenhagen, Trondheim, and Portsmouth.

Professor Kaiser is currently supervising five PhD students as first supervisor, some funded (ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training partnership, UoP bursary) and some self-funded. However, his self-funded PhD students have been exceptionally successful at obtaining external funding such as e.g. from the German Academic Exchange Service and many other UK and continental European funding bodies, to fund some or all of their fieldwork. Several of them have also obtained funding through paid teaching and research for funded projects. Research topics of current PhD students include e.g. the role of European trade unions in EC/EU trade policy-making and negotiations in the GATT/WTO since the 1970s, the reform of the European Parliament Research Service and its impact on its ability to provide expertise to MEPs, the European Commission, the constitutional crisis in Poland, networks of Mediterranean radical left political parties like Syriza and Podemos, and Public-Private Partnerships in the EU.

Professor Kaiser welcomes applications for PhD research across a wide range of thematic areas, both in Politics/IR and in Modern and Contemporary History including in particular, projects of an interdisciplinary European Studies type nature. They could address issues pertaining to e.g. historical or contemporary issues of European integration and EU politics, transnational European history, narratives of integration, politics of history in Europe and others.


Research Clusters

  • Co-leader of Transnational Europe (with Dr Angela Crack)

Discipline Areas

  • Area Studies
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Politics and Public Administration

Current Research Projects

  • Narratives and Representations of European Integration
  • History of the European Parliament and its Political Groups
  • Experts and Expert Networks in the European Union and International Organizations
  • International Organizations and European Integration: Transfer of Political Ideas and Policy Concepts
  • International Organizations and Holocaust Remembrance Policies
  • Political Culture of Internationalisation: World Exhibitions

Wolfram Kaiser is currently engaged in research on a number of different projects. One concerns the history of the European Parliament and its political groups, especially the European People's Party, work in line with his previous research on the transnational cooperation of Christian democratic parties in Europe. Another project (with Richard McMahon) deals with the role of narratives of European integration and European politics, which focuses on negative narratives of integration including in the context of Brexit and different disciplinary academic narratives of European integration and EU politics. Together with Anette Storeide he explores narratives of singularity of the Holocaust versus the totalitarian paradigm and their importance for the politics of history in the European Union and international organizations. Kaiser is also interested in competition and cooperation among international organizations and engaged in long-term research on the European Free Trade Association's so-called surcharge crisis in 1964 as a particularly pertinent example of such cooperation and competition in a crisis situation.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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