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School of Politics and International Relations

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


Professor in Public Policy

Telephone: 020 7882 5840
Room Number: ArtsOne, 2.22A
Twitter: @drpaulqmul
Office Hours: Thursday 14:00-15:00 and Friday 12:00-13:00 (in person or online, please book via the link below)


Paul joined the School in September 2012 having previously been a Hallsworth Research Fellow of Political Economy at the University of Manchester (2009-2012). 

His research and teaching focuses on two intertwined strands: 1) The political economy of European integration, particularly with respect to the politics and policy making of the EU and its competence in employment, social policy, the Single Market and economic governance; 2) and the UK’s relationship with the EU, Brexit, and the role of the British media in constructing Euroscepticism. His recent monograph ‘Governance and the European Social Dimension’ was shortlisted for the 2021 UACES best book prize. His research has featured in leading journals such as the Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Public Policy, Comparative European Politics, British Politics, European Law Journal, Public Administration. 

Between 2020-2023 he was Deputy Director (training and cohort development) of the ESRC-funded LISS DTP, and along with colleagues, successfully secured its second round of funding. He was also an elected as a committee member of the Academic Association for Contemporary European Studies (2015-2018). He was the founding director of Queen Mary’s Centre for European Research, which hosted the 2016 UACES Annual Conference and established EU studies within the Faculty. He is currently an elected board member of the James Madison Charitable Trust and in 2020 was a visiting fellow at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at the University of Oxford. In 2019 he was awarded one of QMUL’s Education Excellence Awards in recognition of his co-creative approach to teaching. 

He is regularly invited to provide expert opinion on 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, the World Health Organization, and the European Social Network. 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.

Office hour booking link

Undergraduate Teaching

Semester I: N/A

Semester II: POL268 The UK and the EU


Postgraduate Teaching

POLM097 From Blitz to Brexit – Britain and the EU


Research Interests:

Research Interests:

My research focuses on the political economy of European integration and the UK’s relationship with the EU 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.

I’m happy to supervise PhD’s in these broad areas - feel free to email me to discuss further.

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

P. Copeland (2023) Mind the gap! UK employment policy both during and beyond EU membership: from policy layering to policy drift. Journal of European Public Policy. Available at:

P. Copeland (2023) Poverty and social exclusion in the EU: third-order priorities, hybrid governance and the future potential of the field. Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research. Available at:

P. Copeland and M. Maccaferri (2023) ‘The UK, the EU, and Covid-19: Media reporting, the recontextualization of Eurosceptic discourse, and the fait accompli of Brexit’, Politics, 43 (1): 70-88.

P. Copeland (2022) ‘The Juncker Commission as a Politicising Bricoleur and the Renewed Momentum in Social Europe’, Journal of Common Market Studies, 60 (6): 1629-1644.

P. Copeland (2022) ‘The 2016 UK referendum on EU membership and the importance of remaining on point during the campaign’, British Politics. Available at:

P. Copeland and P. Diamond (2022) ‘From EU Structural Funds to Levelling Up: Empty signifiers, ungrounded statism and English regional policy’, Local Economy 37 (1-2) 34-49.

P. Copeland and R. Minto (2021) ‘European Networks, Domestic Governance and the Second-Order Effects of Brexit’, British Politics. Available at:

P. Copeland (2021) ‘The Ordinary Legislative Procedure in a Post-Brexit EU: The Case of Social Europe’, Politics and Governance 9 (1): 69-78.

A. I. Aybars, P. Copeland and D. Tsarouhas (2019) ‘Europeanization without substance? EU-Turkey relations and gender equality in employmentComparative European Politics 17 (5): 778-796.

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

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 (2021) ‘The Politics of EU Social Dialogue’ in B. ter Haar and A. Kun (eds.) EU Collective Labour Law (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar)

P. Copeland and B. ter Haar (2016) ‘How EU Employment Rights are Experienced in Different-Sized Enterprises and Why it Matters’, in E. Ales, F. Basenghi, W. Bromwich, I. Senatori (eds.) Employment Relations and Transformation of the Enterprise in the Global Economy (The Hague: Eleven International Publishing)

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 (2021) ‘Policy Controversies and Political Blame Games’ in Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis. 

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, A.L. Montero, E. Bokshi, M. KolczyƄska (2022) Putting People First: Investing in Social Services and Promoting Social Inclusion. Brussels: European Social Network.

P. Copeland, M. Daly, and A Leitch (2021) ‘A future Well and Fair: A Post-Covid Vision of the Welfare State’ Mile End Institute.

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)

Hyunpyo Hong (2020-present) ‘EU Trade Policy Post-Brexit’.

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’.




£12,000 James Maddison Charitable Trust. 04/2019

£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

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