Department of Political Science


Susan Fuchs

PhD Candidate in Political Science

Susan Fuchs

Provisional Dissertation Title

The Impact of Changing Context on Bargaining Strategies and Influence in Negotiations Between Member States in International Organisations: The Case of the European Union Stability and Growth Pact Negotiations.

The aim of this thesis is to demonstrate whether international negotiations under different circumstances, and the resultant policies, can be expected to reflect the positions of some parties more than others. Put another way, this thesis will examine how the potential for negotiating parties to influence the outcome of negotiations relates to the negotiation context. Specifically, using the case of the EU, this thesis will consider the distinction between negotiations that take place in the presence of an established supranational policy and those that do not. In other words, whether the purpose of negotiations is to establish a EU-level policy or to reform it, and the impact this has on the outcome of negotiations vis-à-vis participants’ negotiating positions. As such, the research question this thesis seeks to answer is: Do differences between the original and reform phases in EU negotiations affect member state negotiation performance in each phase?

While there is a great deal of literature that examines the original phase of negotiations in the EU, focusing on a range of topics from why some states tend to be more successful than others at, to the relationship between negotiation success/failure and compliance, there is very little attention given to the reform phase. Further to that, there is almost total neglect of the question of similarities and differences between these two phases, let alone the potential for this to impact on member state negotiation performance in each. In filling that gap, this thesis will make an important contribution to this body of literature.

Further to that, as there is a general lack of literature that approaches the study of the EU from the standpoint of negotiation theory, which this thesis will incorporate into the analysis of EU negotiations, this project can expand on the current focus of the literature, and help to bridge the gap between EU studies and the broader study of international negotiations.

General Research Interests

  • International Relations/International Organisations
  • Negotiation Theory
  • Political Economy
  • Economic and Monetary Union