ERC project History of EU (postdocs)

Postdoctoral Research Associate in International Economic History at the University of Glasgow (2 posts)

 Project description

The successful candidates will be part of the ERC-funded project The Making of a Lopsided Union: Economic Integration in the European Economic Community, 1957-1992 (EURECON) led by Dr Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol (See for more details). They are expected to begin on 1 September 2017, or as soon as possible thereafter (a few months’ delay is negotiable if need be).

The positions will be for 2 years, starting from September 2017 (or later if so negotiated). In addition to their salary, Post-Doctoral Researchers will receive an allowance for research missions and participation to international conferences of at least £2,500 per year.

 Description of the EURECON project

The goal of EURECON is to explore European policymakers’ views about how to make the organisation of the European Economic Community (EEC) fit for the creation of a single currency, from 1957 to 1992. It is often said that the euro has faults of conception. But how did this happen? How was the euro made in such a way that it nearly completely overlooked some critical aspects of monetary unions? The assumption is that in the run-up to the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, European policymakers just did not think properly about how to make the Euro work. Was this really the case? Did European policymakers really overlook the economic foundations of European monetary union?

The project aims to examine European policymakers’ debates and proposals, understand the reasons for their success or failure, identify the dynamics of political and economic trade-offs and compromises, shifting priorities, and alternative approaches that were abandoned at the time but recycled later. The project focuses on five work packages: macroeconomic policy coordination, fiscal transfers, capital market integration, banking harmonisation/supervision and the deepening of the common/single market. The project will examine the origins of the issues that are currently bedevilling the European Union (EU) by investigating the period between the creation of the EEC in 1957 and the decision to create a European single currency in 1992.

 The Postdoctoral Research Projects will focus on the role and influence of non-state, non-EEC actors and factors in the above discussions.

Postdoctoral Research Projects

Interested applicants should focus specifically on the role of one of the following actors/factor:

  • Commercial banks: Commercial banks were central actors in the development of European economic integration, in particular with regard to capital market integration, regulation/supervision, and the development of the common/single market. Did they support the creation of a common market in banking? Did they adopt specific lobbying strategies within their respective member states and in Brussels? How did they view the possible future creation of a monetary union in Europe?
  • Big business (other than banks): The implementation of the common/single market, the issue of EEC fiscal transfers, and macroeconomic policy coordination had an impact on the conduct of business in Europe. Did big business consider that these developments would improve their environment, in creating more business opportunities, easier financing and trade? The Roundtable of Industrialists famously lobbied for the Single Market Project; did big business aim to actively support or oppose other developments at different time periods?
  • Trade unions: Macroeconomic policy coordination, EEC fiscal transfers, and the development of the common/single market had an important impact upon labour relations. How did trade unions try to influence European economic policymaking? In particular, how did they promote European social policies and how did they cope with the challenges induced by European economic integration in a globalising world? The rise of unemployment in Europe from the 1970s as well as the reflections mentioned above about the introduction of an EEC-wide unemployment benefit provided an important points of interest for trade unions.
  • The spread and influence of economic ideas on the evolution of European economic cooperation and integration: Many economic ideas have influenced and competed over the development of European economic integration, including German ordo-liberalism, French planning, and neo-liberalism. Recent studies have shed light on the rise of neo-liberal politics in the evolution of thinking about deregulation and the free movement of capital. How did economic thinking evolve in the EEC and how did these influences permeate policymaking at the European level? This topic would more specifically focus on the intellectual history dimension of the economic integration of Europe by looking at one of these schools of thought. How did these ideas spread among European policymakers? How did these ideas change over time? What was their actual influence?

 The successful candidate is expected to:

  • Engage in independent scientific research that will result in high-quality publications in international peer-reviewed journals (individual and co-authored)
  • Be an active part of the EURECON project and work in close cooperation with other team members
  • Provide some organisational and administrative support, in collaboration with other team members, to the research activities of the EURECON project
  • Present papers at conferences
  • Participate in yearly workshops organised within the scope of EURECON.

 To apply for the position, applicants are required to submit (, Job Ref 016726):

  • Their CV,
  • The details of three referees
  • A cover letter explaining how their research experience fits the EURECON project,
  • A one to two-page description of the research they would like to undertake during their tenure, clearly mentioning: the scope of their project, the state of the literature, and the archival sources they would like to use.


Please upload your cover letter and one to two-page research document as ONE document.

Candidates must be fluent in English. A good command of another European language would be an advantage.

Candidates should have a PhD in History (or related discipline), or be close to completion.

Short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview to present their research proposal. It is anticipated that the interviews for these positions will take place in May/June 2017.

Interest applicants may contact Dr Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol ( for informal enquiries.