Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Explaining Decision-Making in the European Union

Our project focuses on the analysis of decision-making processes in the European Union (EU) and explores how approaches and tools to understand decision-making found in both the Natural and the Social Sciences can be linked, knowledge between these traditions exchanged and synergies utilized. To explore and forecast decision-making processes, within a NIAS theme group, we applied tools and methods developed in the Natural Sciences, such as computer modelling and simulations, and applied them to politics with the goal to enhance our understanding of these processes in the field of Political Science.

Duration
2015  -   2016
Contact
Madeleine Hosli
Partners

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research

Our project focuses on the analysis of decision-making processes in the European Union (EU) and explores how approaches and tools to understand decision-making found in both the Natural and the Social Sciences can be linked, knowledge between these traditions exchanged and synergies utilized. To explore and forecast decision-making processes, within a NIAS theme group, we applied tools and methods developed in the Natural Sciences, such as computer modelling and simulations, and applied them to politics with the goal to enhance our understanding of these processes in the field of Political Science.

Our group consisted of Madeleine Hosli (Chair), Bela Plechanovov√° (Charles University Prague) Erik Pruyt (Technical University of Delft), Paul Schure (University of Victoria) and Amy Verdun (University of Victoria). Approaches and tools to understand decision-making can be found in both the Natural and the Social Sciences, but rarely is knowledge between these traditions exchanged and are synergies utilized. To explore and forecast decision-making processes, we apply tools and methods developed in the Natural Sciences, such as computer modelling and simulations, and apply them to politics. As input we use, for example, information on actor preferences, voting weights, decision thresholds and institutional rules more generally. It is fascinating and promising, for example, to benefit from such synergies in the study of processes of decision-making in the EU. As input we use information on actor preferences, voting weights, decision thresholds and institutional rules more generally. The NIAS theme group partially built on our earlier DEUBAL project (September 2010 to August 2012) in which Hosli and Verdun and others were partners. Together with our two new team members, we have significantly added to data collection and analysis efforts and are preparing publications to be submitted to high-ranking journals. In order to prepare an edited volume or special issue by this group of researchers and other scholars focused on the EU, based in the Netherlands, a research stay by Prof. Verdun at Leiden University in the last four months of 2015 would be tremendously helpful. The alternative would be to work from a distance. That is possible but in our experience hands-on editing and writing is best done when the scholars are in the same place, or in very close geographic proximity so that it is easier to focus the attention to the work.

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