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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Benjamin Leruth

Benjamin Leruth
Benjamin Leruth
Research Interests
European Integration, European Union, British Politics, Comparative Politics, Regionalism, Nordic Politics

I now work at the University of Kent. My new contact details can be found here


Ph.D. thesis successfully defended on 12 June 2014

Examiners: Prof. Paul Taggart (University of Sussex) & Prof. Laura Cram (University of Edinburgh)


  • BA in Political Science, University of Namur (Belgium)
  • LLM in European Law, University of Kent (UK)

Research interests

"It is astonishing how poor our research and knowledge about the phenomenon is". These are the words of Holzinger and Schimmelfennig on the notion of differentiated integration in the European Union, in an article published in 2012.

Theories of differentiated integration have been developed in the recent years to replace the traditional "membership/non-membership" dichotomy, and interest on this topic is increasing. Moreover, further empirical studies of differentiated integration need to be conducted. The Nordic States constitute an interesting case to analyse. Indeed, while those States are considered as similar in many respects (some authors referring to the existence of a "Nordic Model"), each state has its own particular relations with the European Union. Benjamin's thesis aims at understanding these variations in differentiated integration among three of the five Nordic states: Finland, Sweden and Norway. The focus is put on governments' positions regarding differentiated European integration, and four types of policies are analysed: full EU membership; EMU; CFSP; and JHA. 

In 2012-2013, Benjamin was a guest researcher at the ARENA Centre for European Studies.

Research interests also include:

  • Comparative politics;
  • European Integration;
  • British politics;
  • Future enlargement of the European Union and the future of the EEA;
  • Broader concepts of European integration;
  • Electoral studies and voting behaviour in Western Europe;
  • Party systems in Europe.


Dr. Pontus Odmalm

Dr. Elizabeth Bomberg 


Yggdrasil scholarship (DEMOSREG project) from the Norwegian Research Council, academic year 2012-2013.

Letterstedt Society award for a project on Nordic cooperation, May 2013. 

University of Edinburgh Conference grant, May 2013.

Publications and Conference Papers 

Special issue on "Differentiated Integration in the European Union", co-edited with Christopher Lord, Journal of European Public Policy 22:5, forthcoming. 

Actors and Dynamics in the Emerging European Research Area: Extending the Research Agenda on Differentiated Integration (with Tatiana Fumasoli and Åse Gornitzka), paper presented at the workshop on Differentiated Integration, ARENA Centre for European Studies, 12 November 2013. 

The Nordic States and Government Preferences on Differentiated Integration: a Comparative Perspective, paper presented at the workshop on Differentiated Integration, ARENA Centre for European Studies, 11 November 2013. 

Book review: Leuffen, D., Rittberger, B. and Schimmelfennig, F., 2013. Differentiated Integration: Explaining Variation in the European Union, Political Studies Review 12:1. 

Differentiated Integration in Practice: the case of Norway, ISL Working Paper 2013:2, University of Agder.

The Icelandic "Big Bang"? Evolution of Domestic Politics and Public Opinion Between 2008 and 2013, paper presented at the 20th International Conference of Europeanists (CES), Amsterdam, 26 June 2013.

"Kyllä", "Ja" and "Nei": the Cleavage Model and Communication Strategies used in the Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian 1994 Referendum Campaigns on European Union Membership, Paper presented at the eighth HEIRS Conference, Humboldt University Berlin, 30 March 2012

Enlarging the European Union in times of Crisis? The case of Iceland, paper presented at the second JMCE conference, University of Manchester, 20 January 2012 

Iceland's application for EU membership: a political and socio-economic analysis, paper presented at the conference on "The Political Project of the European Union: Current State and Future Perspectives", Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 9 December 2011 

Blog Articles and Written Evidence

"As questions abound about the monarchy's role, Belgium's new King Philippe must now convince the public of his legitimacy and credibility", article for the EUROPP blog, London School of Economics, 25 July 2013

"Iceland's election results are not a vote against the EU", article for the EUROPP blog, London School of Economics, 30 April 2013

"Eurosceptic attitudes are widespread but varied in the Nordic states", Blog series on Euroscepticism, University of Nottingham and London School of Economics, 14 February 2013

Written evidence on EU enlargement (see p. 109) for the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union, 13 November 2012

 - Quoted in the Report on the Future of EU enlargement, House of Lords, 2013 

"Resolving Iceland's mackerel war may be crucial to the country joining the EU", article for the EUROPP blog, London School of Economics, 13 September 2012

 - Quoted in Iceland's national newspaper Morgunblaðið

"Iceland's economy has entered a period of recovery since 2011, however the on-going Icesave dispute has reduced public support for EU membership and the country's government", article for the EUROPP blog, London School of Economics, 14 August 2012

"Despite on-going accession negotiations, EU membership for Iceland is far from a certainty", article for the EUROPP blog, London School of Economics, 10 July 2012



Democracy in Comparative Perspective (SSPS) (2013/2014)

Office hours: by appointment only. 

Other activities

Research Assistant (for Dr. Richard Freeman), University of Edinburgh

Workshop co-organiser (with Christopher Lord), "Differentiated Integration in the European Union", ARENA Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo, 11-12 November 2013.

Panel convener and chair, "Differentiated Integration: a process, a concept, a system or a theory?" (with Sieglinde Gstöhl, Christopher Lord, Frank Schimmelfennig and Helen Wallace), UACES 43rd Annual Conference, Leeds, 3 September 2013

Conference organiser, UACES Student Forum 12th Annual Conference, Loughborough, 8-9 July 2013

Editorial Assistant, Journal of Contemporary European Research (2013)

Committee member and communications officer, UACES Student Forum, 2012-2014 

 - Also managing the EURORESEARCH mailing list and Twitter account

Volunteer for the BISA/ISA conference in Edinburgh, 2012 

Convenor for the Transatlantic Seminar Series, 2012

Member of UACES


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