Centre for European and International Studies Research

The role and impact of experts and expertise in policy-making

‘The Experts Group’ (2010-15) was an umbrella research project which explored the role and influence of experts and expertise on policy-making at national and international levels.


Angela Crack (Project Lead): Dr Angela Crack is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations. Her research interests include non-governmental organizations, transnational social movements, globalization, global governance, and international relations theory. 

Wolfram KaiserWolfram Kaiser is Professor of European Studies at the University of Portsmouth. His main research interests are in contemporary European history and politics, especially the process of European integration since 1945. He is particularly interested in the linked processes of supranational integration and transnational society formation. 

Karen Heard-LauréoteDr. Karen Heard-Lauréote is a Reader in European Politics at the University of Portsmouth. Her main research interests lie in transnational networks and their role in and impact on regional integration. 

Carine GermondDr Carine Germond joined the University of Portsmouth in September 2012 as a Marie Curie Fellow. Her main research interests lie in the field of Contemporary/Modern History and European Studies. Her core research areas are comparative and transnational history of the 20th century and European (integration) History.


The group project comprises three focused research streams:

The first explores EU-based networks of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) and International Organisations (IOs) and investigates resource exchange relations between experts and the diffusion of expertise. The aim is to explore IO and INGO interactions though networks, resource exchange relations between these two sets of actors and diffusion of accountability and transparency agendas and practices.

The second explores experts and expertise in European integration across time and policy sectors. Using mixed methods and frames, the aim is to examine from a temporal comparative perspective the role and nature of experts and expertise in select European Communities/EU policy areas; involving contemporary historians working on the  1970s/1980s and political scientists for the more recent period; examining sectors such as e.g. agriculture, environment, transport, health and the economy.

The third focuses on experts, international organisations, and the diffusion of policy ideas. The aim is to examine IOs and diffusion and the role experts play in this via for example the diffusion of policy ideas within IOs and across regional integration schemes. Additionally, it explores the role of experts as transnational mediators of expertise and the qualities that make experts good translators of expertise.

Our wider research environment

We are a research project of CEISR, with links to the  Transnational Europe research cluster. Professor Wolfram Kaiser is also a Permanent Fellow of the Kolleg-Forschergruppe.

Engagement/Impact Related Activities

Wolfram Kaiser’s work on networks and narratives in European history museums involves advising museums and museum projects on transnational and European dimensions of their permanent and temporary exhibitions, including the House of European History in Brussels. He also contributes to the Inventing Europe project and website (http://www.inventingeurope.eu/) – a co-operation between historians and major European science and technology museums. He has recently been consulted by the European Commission over its ‘A new narrative for Europe’ initiative. Wolfram also regularly contributes to national and international media.

Karen Heard-Lauréote is Special Advisor to the European Coalition on Eye Health and Vision providing expertise and consultancy on routes to securing EU funding for coalition development. Karen has also acted as consultant for the development and modernisation of teaching and research in European Studies for the EU Centre at the University of Kazan, Russia. Portsmouth University is the International Associate this EU Centre which is financed by a grant under the European Neighbourhood Policy fund. The Centre aims to promote the EU and European Studies in Tatarstan and the Upper Volga region of Russia.

Carine Germond has provided consultancy for the Committee of the Regions (CoR) on agricultural policy at EU level. She has evaluated multi-level governance practices in the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU in the second edition of the CoR-commissioned “Scoreboard for Monitoring Multi-Level Governance in the European Union3 (2012).

Angela Crack has worked with INTRAC (International NGO Training and Research Centre) to produce research into the accountability of humanitarian and development INGOs, resulting in joint conference presentations and publication in INTRAC materials aimed at practitioners. She has also been commissioned to produce research on threats to civil society space in fragile states by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). This research was produced in conjunction with INTRAC and EADI (European Association of Development and Training Institutes). Angela recently secured a major grant from the AHRC to conduct research into the language and translation policies of development NGOs with INTRAC and the University of Reading. Angela Crack has also served as a trustee for Amnesty International (AI) UK, and been a delegate to the AI International Council Meeting.


A process of (dis)integration?: Citizens’ attitudes towards, and participation in, national and EUropean politics

10-11 September 2015, University of Portsmouth. CEISR, with the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Standing Group on Citizenship, held a workshop exploring citizens’ attitudes towards, and participation in, national and EUropean politics. Please read more or contact Nora Siklodi for more details.

External links


Expert Group members have been involved along with colleagues for the European University of St. Petersburg and Kazan University in a successful bid under the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument to establish an EU Centre for the Upper Volga Region in Kazan, Russia.The University of Portsmouth is the International Associate for the Centre which aims to promote the EU and European Studies in Tatarstan and the Upper Volga region of Russia. The first venture was a conference in Kazan on 30th-31st May- co-organised by Portsmouth and Kazan universities on "The EU in Uncertain Times: Implications for the EU-Russia Relationship". Expert Group members gave papers at the conference. This was followed on 1st-4th June by a Summer School attended by 30 lecturers from higher education institutions in the Upper Volga region with sessions devoted to the development and modernisation of the teaching and research in European Studies. Lectures and workshops were held by Paul Flenley, Karen Heard-Lauréote and Mike Mannin. As was the intention of the EU grant the idea is that the European Studies expertise at Portsmouth will have maximum impact in regions in the heart of Russia i.e. beyond the centres of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Insert link to VOICES


Expert Group members have been active in establishing teaching and learning links with international higher education institutions as well as research links. These include the conclusion of Erasmus bilateral agreements with the Universite Libre de Bruxelles and Maastricht University.

BISA working group on NGOs

Angela Crack established the British International Studies Association Working Group on NGOs in 2013 (co-coordinator Dr Erla Thrandardottir, University of Manchester). It includes numerous scholars and practitioners from around the world, and exists to facilitate networking and collaboration on NGO-related research.

EU-Russia network

Paul Flenley is part of a work group on Modernisation within the EU-Russia network supported by UACES ( University Association for Contemporary European Studies) and BASEES (British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies). Insert link to network

House of European History

Wolfram Kaiser has close links and an informal consultancy role with the House of European History project in Brussels and with the European Cultural Foundation. Wolfram is also involved in the creation of a virtual exhibit which brings together academics and large European (science) museums in the connecting objects and stories about them in an interactive virtual environment that will target a wide audience including pupils and students.

EU open days

Chris Huggins was selected as a finalist to present his research in the form of a poster for the Regional Studies Association and DG REGIO early career researcher competition at the annual EU open days in Brussels in October 2012. His research was presented to a range of academics, policy practitioners and experts in the field of regional policy.