Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

State Transformation in Europe


Dr. Marius Guderjan


This research project examines the transformation of the state in Europe, with a particular focus on the UK and Germany, through a series of workshop taking place at the  University of Cambridge between 2016 and 2018. The collaboration  brings together German and British academics to contribute to ongoing debates about the nature of 'state of the state' across the disciplines of political science, political economy, sociology, public policy and law.

The study of European integration has for a long time focused on the process of ‘ever closer union’, understood as a slow but steady transfer of authority from nation-states to the supranational institutions of the European Union. Integration since the signing of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 has confounded this assumption as we see ever more policy areas drawn into the remit of the EU but without accompanying transfers of power to supranational bodies. States remain at the heart of the European integration process, but scholars are increasingly aware that these are not the traditional nation-states of the 19th century. European integration is founded upon cooperation between rather different kinds of states, but there is little consensus on what this means.

German and British scholars have traditionally focused on the state from very different perspectives: a German emphasis on the legal dimensions of statehood contrasts with a more empiricist and policy-oriented British tradition. For all of these differences, dialogue between scholars has been limited, particularly in the field of political science. The identification of common or rival analytical perspectives on state transformation can be the basis for studying the transformation of states in Europe more generally, and not just the German and the British state.


The project is initiated by Chris Bickerton (Cambridge) and Marius Guderjan and part of the Cambridge Research Hub for German Studies funded by the DAAD.