25 Aug

ECPR General Conference, Hamburg 2018

12th General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research in Hamburg

From 22-25 August 2018, the University of Hamburg hosted the General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR). I participated as discussant for Panel 123 “Don’t Stop at the Water’s Edge: Exploring the Role of Political Parties in Foreign Policy” (Chairs: Wolfgang Wagner & Fabrizio Coticchia), with papers from Afke Groen, Magdalena Góra, Wolfgang Wagner et al., Sandra Destradi & Johannes Plagemann, and Valerio Vignoli & Fabrizio Coticchia.

Full documentation of the conference can be found here.
















15 Jun

British International Studies Association, Bath 2018

43rd Annual Conference of the British International Studies Association (BISA) at the University of Bath

On 13-14 June, I took part in the BISA Conference, participating in a roundtable on “Researching Non-State Actors in International Security: Methodological Challenges and Advances”, where I talked about my chapter on “Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and the Study of Non-State Actors” from an edited volume published with Routledge in 2017, edited by Andreas Kruck and Andrea Schneiker.

The roundtable was joined by Ismene Gizelis (University of Essex), Joakim Berndtsson, (University of Gothenburg), Berit Bliesemann de Guevara (Aberystwyth University), and Ingvild Bode  (University of Kent).

A pre-print version of my QCA chapter can be accessed as PDF.

For information on BISA and the Bath conference see here.

10 Jun

EISA Workshops Groningen 2018

European Workshops in International Studies at the University of Groningen

From 6-9 June 2018, I attended the 5th EISA European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS) at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. The EWIS format of the European International Studies Association allows scholars to engage in sustained, in-depth discussion over the course of several days, which makes them ideal to explore new topics and ideas. I participated in the workshop “The Politics of Foreign Policy Change – The Role of Policy Entrepreneurs”, co-organized by Tim Haesebrouck and Jeroen Joly (both Ghent University, Belgium). I presented a paper on “Leaders and the Politics of Foreign Policy Change”. The workshop comprised contributions from a group of 14 researchers from Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and the United States.

The workshop program can be accessed here.

06 May

Interdisciplinary Conference on Role Theory and German Foreign Policy

Tagung: Von der Zivilmacht zum Europäischen Hegemon? Bundesdeutsche außenpolitische Rollen aus geschichts- und politikwissenschaftlichen Perspektiven

At the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, I participated in an interdisciplinary conference on role theory and German foreign policy. The two-day conference, co-organized by Klaus Brummer (International Relations) and Friedrich Kießling (Modern and Contemporary History), equally comprised contributions from historians and political scientists. The group of 20 participants included researchers from Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. My own contribution focused on “Roles, Role Performance, and Public Opinion in German Security Policy”. The participants are currently working on a joint publication.

The conference program can be accessed here.

22 Apr

New Podcast at Willy Brandt School

Brandt School initiates The Bulletin Podcast series – first episode with an interview of Dr. Patrick A. Mello

For the first episode of the new podcast series of the Willy Brandt School at the University of Erfurt, host Maria Brackin did a 30-minute interview with me on research, teaching, academia at-large, and much more. Listen to the first episode of The Bulletin Podcast here: [MP3]

The Brandt School also runs a blog, which you can read using this link.

08 Apr

ISA San Francisco 2018

59th Annual Convention of the International Studies Association, 4-7 April 2018, San Francisco

At the Annual Convention of the ISA in San Francisco, I was involved with papers in two panels. The first panel on parliaments and security policy featured articles from our a special issue of the British Journal of Politics and International Relations (co-edited with Dirk Peters). The other panel focused on the politics of multinational military operations:

Parliaments in Foreign Policy Analysis

The Politics of Multinational Military Operations

I also took part in a methods café and a roundtable, and served as discussant for one session of the Junior Scholar Symposium. The methods café was an ISA Innovative Panel that brought together scholars that represent diverse methods and approaches in foreign policy analysis (co-organized with Falk Ostermann). The methods café format provides an informal setting where participants can meet panelists at separate tables to discuss methods-related questions. The roundtable sponsored by the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States looked into US-Canadian relations after the first year of the Trump Administration (organized by Carolyn C. James).

Methods Café: Foreign Policy Analysis - Methods and Approaches

US Foreign Policy and Canada After the Elections: First Year Review

The Changing Politics of Foreign Policy

See the full ISA 2018 program here.

23 Jan

Parliaments in Security Policy

BJPIR Special Issue – Parliaments in Security Policy: Involvement, Politicisation, and Influence

The British Journal of Politics and International Relations (BJPIR) has published a Special Issue, guest edited by Patrick A. Mello and Dirk Peters: “Parliaments in Security Policy: Involvement, Politicisation, and Influence”.

The special issue focuses on the pivotal democratic institution – parliament – to study legislative involvement in security matters and its effects on policy outcomes. The  contributing articles employ a diverse set of theoretical perspectives and methods to explore the role of 11 different parliamentary bodies from a broad range of contemporary Western democracies.

BJPIR is a peer reviewed journal of the Political Studies Association of the UK with an Impact Factor of 1.423 (2016) and Rankings of 62/165 in Political Science and 24/86 in International Relations [More Information].

Abstract: “While parliaments have long been neglected actors in the analysis of security policy, a research literature on the subject is growing. Current research is focused primarily on how parliaments, relying on formal legal competences, can constrain governmental policies. However, this research needs expansion in three areas. First, informal sources of parliamentary influence on security policy deserve more systematic attention as the significance of parliaments often hinges on contextual factors and individual decision-makers. Second, we still lack a systematic understanding of the effects of parliamentary involvement on security policy. Finally, the role of parliaments for the politics of security is almost completely uncharted territory. When parliaments become involved in security policy, does it foster transparency and contribute to the politicisation of security policy so that security policy becomes a ‘normal’ political issue? The article reviews current research, derives findings from the contributions to this Special Issue, and spells out their wider implications.” [Read Further]

Introduction to the Special Issue:

Mello, Patrick A., and Dirk Peters (2018) ‘Parliaments in Security Policy: Involvement, Politicisation, and Influence’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745684.

Contributing Articles (in alphabetical order):

Hegemann, Hendrik (2018) ‘Towards ‘Normal’ Politics? Security, Parliaments and the Politicisation of Intelligence Oversight in the German Bundestag’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745683.

Kaarbo, Juliet (2018) ‘Prime Minister Leadership Style and the Role of Parliament in Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745679.

Kriner, Douglas L. (2018) ‘Congress, Public Opinion, and an Informal Constraint on the Commander-in-Chief’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745860.

Lagassé, Philippe, and Patrick A. Mello (2018) ‘The Unintended Consequences of Parliamentary Involvement: Elite Collusion and Afghanistan Deployments in Canada and Germany’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745681.

Oktay, Sibel (2018) ‘Chamber of Opportunities: Legislative Politics and Coalition Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745680.

Raunio, Tapio (2018) ‘Parliament as an Arena for Politicization: The Finnish Eduskunta and Crisis Management Operations’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745682.

Rosén, Guri, and Kolja Raube (2018) ‘Influence Beyond Formal Powers: The Parliamentarisation of European Union Security Policy’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117747105.

Schade, Daniel (2018) ‘Limiting or Liberating? The Influence of Parliaments on Military Deployments in Multinational Settings’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117746918.

Strong, James (2018) ‘The War Powers of the British Parliament: What Has Been Established and What Remains Unclear?’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745767.

Wagner, Wolfgang (2018) ‘Is There a Parliamentary Peace? Parliamentary Veto Power and Military Interventions from Kosovo to Daesh’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations https://doi.org/10.1177/1369148117745859.


14 Jan

Foreign Policy Analysis

Joining the Editorial Board of Foreign Policy Analysis

I am honored to be joining the Editorial Board of Foreign Policy Analysis, led by Editor-in-Chief Cameron G. Thies and Associate Editors Klaus Brummer, Juliet Kaarbo, Brian Lai, Deborah Welch Larson, and Arlene B. Tickner.

I look forward to meeting everyone at ISA San Francisco (Editorial Board Meeting: April 4, 4:30 PM, Parlor 1-4278, Hilton San Francisco Union Square).

“Reflecting the diverse, comparative and multidisciplinary nature of the field, Foreign Policy Analysis provides an open forum for research publication that enhances the communication of concepts and ideas across theoretical, methodological, geographical and disciplinary boundaries. By emphasizing accessibility of content for scholars of all perspectives and approaches in the editorial and review process, Foreign Policy Analysis serves as a source for efforts at theoretical and methodological integration and deepening the conceptual debates throughout this rich and complex academic research tradition. Foreign policy analysis, as a field of study, is characterized by its actor-specific focus. The underlying, often implicit argument is that the source of international politics and change in international politics is human beings, acting individually or in groups. In the simplest terms, foreign policy analysis is the study of the process, effects, causes or outputs of foreign policy decision-making in either a comparative or case-specific manner.” [Read More]

For the current issue of Foreign Policy Analysis, see here.

Reproduced with permission from cover image. Foreign Policy Analysis is published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Studies Association. All rights reserved. Available online at: https://academic.oup.com/fpa. For permissions contact Journals.permissions@OUP.com.
28 Nov

Organizational Structure and Agency Slack

German Research Foundation (DFG) Funds Multi-Method Research Project on Organizational Structure and Agency Slack

New DFG Project “International Bureaucracies as ‘Runaway Agents’? How Organizational Structure Affects Agency Slack”, Principal Investigator: Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt (TU Munich), 2018-2021

Project Summary: “Over the past decades states have delegated extensive decision-making authority to the administrative bodies of international organizations. These international bureaucracies are setting agendas, participate in decision-making processes, implement policy programs, represent states in international organizations, create new regulatory agencies, and even settle disputes among states. Their gradual process of empowerment has been accompanied by an increase in oversight mechanisms, as member states, in some cases, considered that international bureaucracies had undertaken actions contrary to their intentions and overstepped their mandates (agency slack). Accordingly, international bureaucracies are sometimes portrayed as “runaway agents” that escaped the control of their principals (member states). This prompts a key question for research on international bureaucracies in global governance: under what conditions do secretariats of international organizations engage in agency slack – deviating from their mandate and acting in a way unintended by their principals?

To address this question, this project takes a Multi-Method Research approach that is suited to test and further develop principal-agent theory. We employ fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis and fuzzy-set ideal type analysis for a systematic cross-case comparison and, subsequently, process-tracing for an in-depth study of selected international bureaucracies, each of which are analyzed for specific policies. We test our theoretical expectations on 27 international bureaucracies, where we gather data on four organizational characteristics: fragmentation, staffing rules, buffering, and permeability. The chosen approach will allow us to investigate necessary and sufficient conditions for the occurrence of agency slack, to identify underlying causal mechanisms, and to assess the plausibility of alternative explanations. The insights gained from the project will enable us to map different patterns of agency slack and explain under which organizational structures international bureaucracies act against their principals’ preferences. Showing how organizational structure matters by comparing different international bureaucracies will enrich principal-agent theory and help us bridge the gap between theoretical considerations and empirical work in the field.” [More Information] [DFG Gepris]

19 Nov

Contemporary Security Policy

Joining the Editorial Board of Contemporary Security Policy

I’m honored and excited to be joining the Editorial Board of Contemporary Security Policy, as recently announced by CSP Editor-in-Chief Hylke Dijkstra.

“One of the oldest peer reviewed journals in international conflict and security, Contemporary Security Policy promotes theoretically-based research on policy problems of armed conflict, intervention and conflict resolution. Since it first appeared in 1980, CSP has established its unique place as a meeting ground for research at the nexus of theory and policy.” [Read More]

Follow this link to see the current issue of CSP.