Vivien A. Schmidt


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), the Free University of Berlin, the Free University of Brussels, Sciences Po in Paris, the European University Institute in Florence, Oxford University, and the Max Planck Institute, 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, Paris, and Italy. 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 on a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship. A number of research awards and grants, including most recently a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as 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. Recent honors include Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor, the European Union Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award, and an honorary doctorate from the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

My scholarly research is situated at the intersection of political theory, comparative politics, and international relations. My comparative work focuses on the changing nature of European politics and economics in a globalizing world, my theoretical work on the role of ideas and discourse in the dynamics of change (discursive institutionalism). In my Guggenheim project on the “rhetoric of discontent,” I extend my interests to the US in a transatlantic investigation of the populist revolt against globalization (and Europeanization).

I am the author of Democracy in Europe (Oxford, 2006), The Futures of European Capitalism (Oxford, 2002), From State to Market? (Cambridge, 1996), Democratizing France (Cambridge, 1990) and the forthcoming Europe’s Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone (Oxford, 2020).  I have also co-edited a number of works, including Resilient Liberalism in Europe’s Political Economy (Cambridge, 2013). Additionally, I’ve contributed over two 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 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.  My solo exhibition at Harvard’s Center for the Study of Europe focuses on Italian ‘Landscapes of History’ was on display September 2014 to September 2015, and has ever since been at Italian Consulate of Boston.  Please do visit it.  See my website for more information.

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