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School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Paul Copeland, BA (Manchester), MA RES (Manchester) PhD (Manchester), PGcap (QMUL)


Reader in Public Policy

Telephone: 020 7882 5840
Room Number: Arts One, 2.22A
Office Hours: N/A - on Sabbatical leave


Paul joined the School in September 2012 having previously been a Hallsworth Research Fellow of Political Economy at the University of Manchester (2009-2012). Prior to this he completed his BA, MA (RES) and PhD all at the University of Manchester. He has also worked as an English language teacher in both the Czech Republic and South Korea. Between 2015-2018 he was elected as a committee member of the Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES). He was the founding director of QMUL’s Centre for European Research, which hosted the 2016 UACES Annual Conference and established EU studies within the Faculty.

Paul’s research and teaching focuses on the political economy of European integration, particularly with respect to the EU’s competence in employment and social policy. He also specialises in the UK’s relationship with the EU, Brexit, and the role of the British media in this relationship. In 2019 he was awarded one of QMUL’s Education Excellence Awards in recognition of his co-creative approach to teaching. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

He is regularly invited to provide expert opinion on these matters by the House of Lords, the European Parliament, the European Commission, and a wide range of media outlets. He has also provided consultancy work for Oxfam and the World Health Organization. He is often invited to provide both live and pre-recorded comment and opinion to broadcasting media outlets including: BBC; France 24; RTE; Public Radio International; Sveriges Television; Hrvatska Radiotelevizija. He has written blogs and articles for the Conversation, Policy Network, the Mile End Institute, and UK in a Changing Europe to name but a few.

Find Paul at:

Twitter: @PAULQMUL

Research Gate


Undergraduate Teaching

POL268 – The UK and the EU

Semester B *Research Leave*

Postgraduate Teaching

POLM059 – Approaches to Political Economy

Semester B *Research Leave*


Research Interests:

My research focuses on the political economy of European integration, with a specific emphasis on:

  • EU employment and social policy, as well as developments within the Member States;
  • The relationship between European economic governance, Europe 2020 and the European social dimension;
  • New modes of governance, the open method of coordination, and soft law;
  • EU policy negotiations and the roles played different by national and regional actors;
  • Britain’s relationship with the European Union and Brexit;
  • The role of the media in the UK’s relationship with the EU;
  • Political sociology, Karl Polanyi and European integration.

My work is interdisciplinary and analyses the EU by engaging with the different approaches and research methods found within both the social sciences and law.

Please email me if you wish to speak about any of these topics.

Examples of research funding:

£135,000, Hallsworth Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. Politics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL. 09/2009

£70,000, ESRC 1+3 award for M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Manchester. 09/2004



P. Copeland (2020) Governance and the European Social Dimension: Politics, Power and the Social Deficit in a post-2010 EU (Oxon: Routledge). 

P Copeland (2014) EU Enlargement, the Clash of Capitalisms and the European Social Dimension (Manchester: Manchester University Press: Manchester).

P. Copeland and D. Papadimitriou (eds.) (2012) The EU’s Lisbon Strategy: Evaluating Success and Understanding Failure (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

Journal Articles

A. I. Aybars, P. Copeland and D. Tsarouhas (Forthcoming) ‘Europeanization without substance? EU-Turkey relations and gender equality in employment’ Comparative European Politics. Available at:

P. Copeland (2019) ‘Why Brexit will Do little to change the contours of the European social dimension’, Politics and Governance 7 (3): 30-39. ***OPEN ACCESS* available at: 

P. Copeland and M. Daly (2018) ‘EU Social Policy and the European Semester’, Journal of Common Market Studies 56 (5): 1001-1018. 

P. Copeland and N. Copsey (2017) ‘Rethinking Britain and the European Union: Politicians, the Media and Public Opinion Reconsidered’, Journal of Common Market Studies 55 (4): 709-726.

P. Copeland (2016) ‘Europeanization and De-Europeanization in UK Employment Policy: Changing Governments and Shifting Agendas’, Public Administration 94 (4): 1124-1139.

C. Hood, W. Jennings and P. Copeland (2016) ‘Blame Avoidance in Comparative Perspective: Reactivity, Staged Retreat and Efficacy’, Public Administration 94 (2): 542-562.

P. Copeland (2015) ‘The European Union and the Social Deficit’, Representation 51 (1): 93-106.

P. Copeland and Beryl ter Haar (2015) ‘The Open Methods of Coordination as Amplifier for EU Soft Law’ Hungarian Journal of Legal Studies 56 (1): 14-29.

P. Copeland (2014) ‘Central and Eastern Europe: Negotiating Influence in an Enlarged EU’, Europe-Asia Studies 66 (3): 467-487.

S. James and P. Copeland (2014) ‘New modes of Governance and the Intergovernmental Empowerment of the European Council’ Perspectives on European Politics and Societies 15 (4): 518-535.

P. Copeland and S. James (2014) ‘Policy Windows, Ambiguity and Commission Entrepreneurship: Explaining the Re-Launch of the European Union’s Economic Reform Agenda’, Journal of European Public Policy 21 (1): 1-19.

P. Copeland and M. Daly (2014) ‘Ungovernable and Ungoverned: Poverty and Social Policy in Europe 2020’, Policy and Politics 42 (3): 351-365.

P. Copeland and B. ter Haar (2013) ‘A Toothless bite? The Effectiveness of the European Employment Strategy’, Journal of European Social Policy 23 (1): 21-36.

P. Copeland and M. Daly (2012) ‘Varieties of Poverty Reduction: Inserting the Poverty and Social Exclusion Target into Europe 2020’, Journal of European Social Policy 22 (3): 273-287.

P. Copeland (2012). ‘EU Enlargement, the European Social Model and the Clash of Capitalisms’, Comparative European Politics 10 (3): 476-504.

B. ter Haar and P. Copeland (2010). ‘What are the Future Prospects of the European Social Model? An Analysis of EU Equal Opportunities and Employment Policy’, European Law Journal 16 (3): 273-291

P. Copeland (2008) ‘EU Enlargement, The Barroso Commission and a Shift to the Right? The Uncertain Future of the European Social Model in a Post 2004 Union,’ Political Perspectives 2 (2): 99-142. 

Book Chapters

P. Copeland and M. Daly (2015) ‘Social Europe: From ‘add-on’ to ‘dependence-on’ economic integration in A. Crespy and G. Menz (eds.) The Elusive Pursuit of Social Europe and the Eurocrisis (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

P. Copeland and B. ter Haar (2015) ‘The Coordinated Governance of EU Social Security Policy’ in F. Penning and G. Vonk (eds.) The Handbook of European Employment Law (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar). Co-author.  

P. Copeland (2012) ‘The European Union and Social Policy’, in P. Dwyer and S. Shaw (eds.) An Introduction to Social Policy pp. 156-170. (London: Sage).  

P. Copeland (2012) ‘Conclusion: 10 years of Lisbon’ in P. Copeland and D. Papadimitriou (eds.) Evaluating the EU’s Lisbon Strategy pp. 260-273. (Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan). 

Book Reviews

P Copeland (2017) ‘Exploring the EU’s Legitimacy Crisis: The Dark Heart of Europe’ in Global Policy. 

P. Copeland (2013) ‘The Future of European Social Policy’ in Perspectives on Politics 11 (3): 969-971.  

Working Papers

P. Copeland and B. ter. Haar (2011) ‘A Waterfall of Softness: EU Youth Policy’ Research Memorandum Hervorming Sociale Zekerheid 2011.02, University of Leiden.

P. Copeland (2010) ‘EU Enlargement, the European Social Dimension and the Clash of Capitalisms’ CIP Working Paper Series, University of Manchester. Revised version published in Comparative European Politics.     

P. Copeland (2009) ‘IPE and European Integration: Applying Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation’ No. 39. IPEG Working Papers in Global Political Economy.


I welcome PhD proposals in the following broad areas:

  • EU and member state employment and labour policy;
  • The political economy of European integration;
  • EU policy negotiations
  • EU governance
  • Britain and the EU
  • The relationship between media and politics

Current PhD Student(s)

Lorenza Madonna (2018-present) ‘A Critical Assessment of the Impact of Neo-Liberalism on Pan European Integration’

Previous PhD students

Tony McNaulty (2019) ‘Tales from the Riverbank: The art of government, policy-making, and politics – an insider’s view’.

Sean Parramore (2018) ‘Changing Land Governance in Quadruple Transition: Case Studies from Bosnia-Herzegovina & Kosovo’

Koen Slootmaeckers (2018) ‘From ‘Strategic Accession’ to ‘Tactical Europeanisation’? The Promotion of and Resistance to LGBT Equality in Serbia’s European Integration Process’.