Faculty Spotlight: Liesbet Hooghe
Professor Hooghe is a political scientist. She calls herself a “comparativist,” which means that she tries to understand politics by comparing political phenomena—voting, protest, health care – across countries, regions, or continents. A central theme in her work is the integration and/or disintegration of societies at various levels, which can be described as multi-level governance—or the process whereby government authority is dispersed from the central government to governments within and above the state. This interest is a common thread that spans her career. Professor Hooghe has focused predominately on Europe, but she is also interested in Asia and Latin America. Her work has garnered notable recognition and awards.
Most recently, Professor Hooghe has been working with Professor Gary Marks on a five-year project (2010-2015), “Causes and Consequences of Multilevel Governance,” funded by the European Research Council (ERC). With ERC funding and the gracious support of UNC-Chapel Hill, Professors Hooghe and Marks were able to spend over two years researching in Berlin and Amsterdam. They were also able to fund a research and writing team that included many PhD students from UNC-Chapel Hill. The project has produced research for five planned books. The third book, “Measuring International Authority: a Postfunctionalist Theory, Vol. III,” is being published this fall.
Professor Hooghe has also been a part of the EUENGAGE European project. This is a collaborative effort to understand why European integration is currently in crisis and it involves researchers from several European universities: London School of Economics, Siena University, the University of Amsterdam, the VU University of Amsterdam, University of Mannheim, the Fundatia MRC in Bucarest, and the Unitelma University in Rome. Professor Hooghe is interested in understanding how globalization, European integration, and immigration shape competition among political parties in Europe. These issues are part of a deep divide about the meaning and implications of national community, and this divide has gained salience in Europe as well as in the United States. Brexit is just one manifestation of this. Many use the term “tribal” to describe the divide, and what is interesting is how this social divide has become sharply partisan. In Europe, it pits political parties that defend TAN values (tradition, deference to authority, nationalism) against parties that espouse GAL values (green, alternative, libertarianism). In 2017, as a result of her work with EUENGAGE, Professor Hooghe has co-authored several articles, which are available on her website: “Cleavage Theory and Europe’s Crises: Lipset, Rokkan and the Transnational Cleavage,” “Explaining the Salience of Anti-Elitism and Reducing Political Corruption for Political Parties in Europe with the 2014 Chapel Hill Expert Survey Data,” and “Dealignment meets cleavage theory.”
Professor Hooghe is also a Robert Schuman Fellow at European University Institute, Florence, where she conducts research over the summer months. Professor Hooghe says this is a wonderful opportunity to meet and work with some of the best and brightest among the next generation of academics. It is also a super venue for UNC graduates who seek to engage with top-notch research on Europe. Working with up and coming researchers is important to Professor Hooghe. It is a privilege and a pleasure.
Thank you Professor Hooghe for your work, and congratulations on your recent publications and honors!