University of Oslo

ARENA Centre for European Studies

The University of Oslo is the oldest institution for research and higher education in Norway. ARENA Centre for European Studies is a multidisciplinary research centre at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Oslo. The centre conducts theoretically oriented and empirically informed basic research on the dynamics of the evolving European political order. Main research areas include legitimacy and democracy, organizational and institutional developments, constitutionalism, media and the public sphere, gender democracy, and foreign and security policies. ARENA engages in a series of international academic networks and coordinates several large multi-partner EU-funded projects.

Project management team at ARENA

John Erik Fossum

Professor of Political Science

EU3D Scientific Coordinator

Head of WP1 Analytical framework


John Erik Fossum's main fields of research include political theory, democracy, constitutionalism in the EU and Canada, as well as Europeanisation and transformation of the nation state. In the last two decades, Fossum has contributed extensively to the field of developing and applying federal and democratic theory to the EU as a distinct political system, and comparing the EU with Canada. Key contributions are co-edited and co-authored books such as the following with E. O. Eriksen, Democracy in the European Union: Integration through Deliberation? (Routledge, 2000), Rethinking Democracy and the European Union (Routledge, 2012), The European Union’s Non-Members: Independence under Hegemony? (Routledge, 2015), and The Constitution’s Gift with A. J. Menéndez, as well as a broad range of articles and book chapters. The work has informed and inspired a number of large research projects where Fossum has played a leading role, including Integration and Division: Towards a Segmented Europe? (EuroDiv), Reconstituting Democracy in the European Union (RECON), The Norwegian Constitution in a Changing European Context (NORCONE) and Reconsidering Complex Diversity in the EU and Canada (RECODE). He is co-editor of the Routledge series on Democratizing Europe.

Twitter: @JohnErikFossum

    Erik O. Eriksen

    Professor of Political Science

    Head of WP1 Analytical framewok


    Erik O. Eriksen is the Director of ARENA. His research interests include political, legal and normative theory as well as the European integration process. His interests revolves around democracy in the EU, governance and leadership, functions and limits of the state, trust, and deliberative democracy. Among his publications are Contesting Political Differentiation (Palgrave 2019), Rethinking democracy and the European Union co-edited with John Erik Fossum (Routledge, 2012), The unfinished democratization of Europe (Oxford University Press, 2009) and 'Political Differentiation and the Problem of Dominance' (European Journal of Political Research, 2018). 

    Chris Lord

    Professor of Political Science

    Head of WP3 EU-external differentiation


    Chris Lord's fields of expertise include the study of democracy, legitimacy and the European Union, with a particular focus on representation. His research lies at the interface of political philosophy and political science, applying questions raised by the legitimation of political power to the study of the EU. Beginning with the development of a framework for evaluating the EU against democratic standards – a Democratic Audit of the EU – his research has made several moves that go well beyond the state-of-the-art. His publications include 'An indirect legitimacy argument for a directly elected European Parliament’ (European Journal of Political Research, 2017), ‘How can parliaments contribute to the legitimacy of the European Semester?’ (Parliamentary Affairs, 2017), ‘The legitimacy of exits from the European Union’ (Journal of European Integration, 2017), and ‘Utopia or dystopia? Towards a normative analysis of differentiated integration' (Journal of European Public Policy, 2015).

    Agustín José Menéndez

    Research Professor of Law


    Combining his academic interests in law and European integration, Agustín J. Menéndez' research includes political and legal theories of democracy and fundamental rights, legitimacy, national and EU law, constitutional theory of the EU and the EU’s social dimension. He is editor-in-chief of the European Law Journal. His publications include ‘The refugee crisis: between human tragedy and symptom of the structural crisis of European integration’ (European Law Journal, 2016), ‘Which citizenship? Whose Europe? The many paradoxes of European citizenship’ (German Law Journal, 2014) and The Constitution’s gift: a constitutional theory for a democratic European Union, with John Erik Fossum (Rowman and Littlefield, 2011).

    Asimina Michailidou

    Senior Researcher of Political Communication


    Asimina Michailidou's research focuses on digital news and social media, the structure, actors and grammar of the European digital public sphere, Euroscepticism and crisis communication through digital media. Among her publications are Social media and European politics, with Mauro Barisione (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), Contesting Europe: Euroscepticism in online media coverage, with Pieter de Wilde and Hans-Jörg Trenz  (ECPR Press, 2013) and The Internet and European integration, with Hans-Jörg Trenz and Pieter de Wilde (Barbara Budrich, 2014).

    Twitter: @AsiminaMi

    Espen D. H. Olsen

    Senior Researcher of Political Science


    Espen Olsen’s research addresses European citizenship, EU integration, citizen deliberation, deliberative democracy, and the role of citizenship in the Euro crisis. He academic interests further include political theory focusing on citizenship and identity, as well as qualitative methods and process tracing. Among his publications are ‘Eurocrisis and EU citizenship’ in Europe’s prolonged crisis (edited by Trenz/Ruzza/Guiraudon, Palgrave, 2015), ‘From citizens’ deliberation to popular will-formation? Generating democratic legitimacy in transnational deliberative pooling’, with Hans-Jörg Trenz (Political Studies, 2014), and Transnational citizenship in the European Union: past, present and future (Continuum Books, 2012). 

    Twitter: @espendholsen

    Simona Piattoni

    Professor of Political Science


    Simona Piattoni is a guest researcher at ARENA and a Professor at the University of Trento. Her research interests include standards of democratic governance in the EU and contributions of the Committee of Regions to EU democratic governance and transformations in centre-periphery relations under the impact of European integration. She is the editor of the Handbook on Cohesion Policy in the EU (with Laura Polverari) (Edward Elgar, 2016) and author of Shaping EU Policy from Below: EU Democracy and the Committee of the Regions (with Justus Schönlau) (Edward Elgar, 2015).

    Guri Rosén

    Associate Professor of Political Science


    Guri Rosén is a guest researcher at ARENA and Associate Professor at Oslo Metropolitan University. Rosén's research focuses on legislative politics, with a particular view to political representation and democracy in the EU. She has worked on the role of European Parliament in the area of EU trade policy and the Common Foreign and Security Policy, making significant contributions to the understanding of the role of parliaments in foreign policy. Her publications include 'Contestation and co-optation: Why secrecy in EU external relations varies' (West European Politics, 2018)  and 'A match made in heaven? Explaining patterns of cooperation between the Commission and the European Parliament' (Journal of European Integration, 2016). 

    Twitter: @GuriRosen

    Helene Sjursen

    Research Professor of Political Science


    Helene Sjursen's fields of expertise include the role of norms in foreign policy, the EU as an international actor, transatlantic relations, and EU enlargement. Her publications on the normative power of the EU and EU enlargement has had significant impact. Among her key publications are ‘The Common Foreign and Security Policy: The quest for democracy’ (Journal of European Public Policy special issue, 2011) and ‘What kind of power: European foreign policy in perspective’ (Journal of European Public Policy special issue, 2006). 

    Twitter: @HeleneSjursen

    Jarle Trondal

    Professor of Political Science


    Jarle Trondal is an expert on the study of international public administration and the European executive order. His research interests further include public administration, the EU as a political system, administrative integration and transformation, the EU/EEA and Norway, the European Commission, and EU committee governance. He has published 'Researching European Union agencies: what have we learnt (and where do we go from here)?' with Morten Egeberg (Journal of Common Market Studies, 2017), 'Conceptualizing the European multilevel administrative order' with Michael W. Bauer (European Political Science Review, 2017), and Governance in turbulent times, co-edited with Christopher K. Ansell and Morten Øgård (Oxford Univeristy Press, 2016).

    Published Mar. 25, 2019 1:41 PM - Last modified Feb. 13, 2020 2:12 PM