Thanks for visiting my blog. I’m Vivien Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Europe at Boston University, where I have been teaching since 1998. I have appointments in both the International Relations and Political Science Departments. I am also Co-Chair of the Future of the EU Studies Group at Harvard’s Center for European Studies. Previously, I was Professor of Political Science and Management and Founding Director of the European Studies Program at UMass Boston, as well as Director of the Center for Democracy and Development in the McCormack Institute for Public Affairs. Over the years, I’ve held visiting and affiliate positions at a number of European universities including LUISS in Rome (currently), Sciences Po in Paris, the Freie Universität, Berlin, Oxford University, and the Max Planck Institut, Cologne.
I was born in New York, lived in Milan from ages 8 to 16, studied in Paris in my early 20s, and now divide my time between Boston and Paris. I did my undergraduate work at Bryn Mawr College and my MA and PhD at the University of Chicago in addition to spending a year at Sciences Po in Paris. A number of research awards and grants, including Fulbright Fellowships at Oxford University and the University of Paris and the Franqui Chair at the Université Libre de Bruxelles have enabled me to carry out a large portion of my research in Europe.
My work focuses on European political economy, institutions and democracy, as well as political and institutional theory. Presently, I’m looking at the impact of the European Union on the quality of member state democracy as well as the impact of the current economic crisis on European capitalisms and welfare states. I’m especially interested in explanations of institutional change, which is encompassed by the neo-institutionalist framework that I call ‘Discursive Institutionalism.’
My books include Democracy in Europe (Oxford, 2006), The Futures of European Capitalism (Oxford, 2002), and Democratizing France (Cambridge, 1990) as well as a number of co-authored and edited works, the latest of which is Resilient Liberalism in Europe’s Political Economy (Cambridge 2013). Additionally, I’ve contributed over a hundred book chapters and articles to journals such as the Annual Review of Political Science, World Politics, Political Studies, Comparative Political Studies, West European Politics, Comparative European Politics, the Journal of European Public Policy, and the British Journal of Politics and International Relations. I am a frequent commentator in public media on matters pertaining to the EU in addition to having often presented my views in European institutional and think-tank venues.
I have a lifelong interest in art and photography, and in the 1990s began pursuing photography in earnest. I have had a number of exhibitions throughout New England as well as in Tuscany, Florence, and New York City. My latest solo exhibition – Peaks and Valleys – at the New York Center for Photography and the Moving Image featured work from the US Southwest, the Italian Dolomites, and the Norwegian fjords.