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A Differentiated Europe and its Implications


A PhD Course

Key to understanding the EU is understanding differentiation and its implications. This June, ARENA offers a PhD course with expert lecturers on differentiation in Europe. The PhD course will run from 12 to 16 June 2023 at the University of Oslo. It is organised by ARENA researchers John Erik Fossum and Jarle Trondal.

The implications of differentiation

All modern political systems are differentiated; the EU is distinctly so. Precisely how and what the implications are for the EU and its member states remain contested.

This PhD course offers theoretical and empirical knowledge in the field of EU studies to better understand the implications of differentiation.

‘PhD students will gain access to state-of-the-art research on all relevant aspects of differentiation in the EU context. Differentiation is key to understanding the internal workings of the EU as well as how relations between the EU and the external world are structured and conducted’, John Erik Fossum explained when the course was held last year.

See also: Event: PhD course on a differentiated Europe


Lectures by leading scholars

The participants will learn about key features of differentiation within the EU, the relationship between differentiation, democracy and dominance, EU affiliations with non-members – as well as the consequences of Brexit and COVID-19. A new topic of this year is a lecture on European defense by Jozef Bátora.

2023 will be the third time ARENA organises a PhD course on differentiation with leading scholars in the field, from universities across Europe.

This year’s lecturers are: 

  • John Erik Fossum, Professor of Political Science, ARENA and EU3D Scientific Coordinator
  • Jarle Trondal, Professor of Political Science, ARENA and University of Agder
  • Dirk Leuffen, Professor of political science and international politics at the Department of Politics and Public Administration, at the University of Konstanz, and work-package co-leader in EU3D
  • Benjamin Leruth, Assistant Professor in European Politics and Society, University of Groningen
  • Vivien A. Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration, Professor of International Relations in the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and Professor of Political Science at Boston University
  • Sieglinde Gstöhl, Director of the Department of EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies and full-time Professor, College of Europe in Bruges
  • Jozef Bátora, Professor at the Department of Political Science, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia

The full schedule can be found here.


Discussions and student presentations

A key purpose of the PhD course is to give participants feedback and input on their ongoing work. All participants will give presentations on a paper or the conceptual framework of their PhD project. The students will receive feedback and discuss their work with the professors and other students.

To complete the course, participants will write an essay paper. Successful candidates will receive a certificate recommending 10 ECTS credits.

The presentations and feedback was highlighted as a positive aspect of the course by students in previous year’s courses.

‘I particularly enjoyed lectures from outstanding researchers within many different strands of EU research and with a wide range of methodological approaches. It gave me an overview of relevant ongoing research that I can relate to my own research,’ one previous participant also said.

Read more: Topical and well-received PhD course on a differentiated Europe



Further enquiries may be directed at John Erik FossumJarle Trondal or Silva Hoffmann.

12 - 16 Jun 2023 Oslo, Norway