Jan Beyers

“Multi-level political institutions and the changing politics of interest representation”

Jan Beyers' research covers social science research methods, comparative political institutions and interest group politics. He studied political science at the University of Antwerp (BA and MA), the University of Leuven (PhD) and statistics at the Catholic University of Brussels. He held a visiting scholar position at the University of Oslo, ARENA (2000-2003). In 2003 he joined the Department of Political Science at the Leiden University (the Netherlands) where he taught theories of international relations, European Union Politics and research methods. His publications appeared in several top-tier journals such as International Organization, the Journal of Common Market Studies, the European Journal of Political Research, Comparative Political Studies, and European Union Politics. In 2005 he was (with Jarle Trondal) awarded the Vincent Wright Prize for the best article published in West European Politics vol. 27.

The central aim of this Odysseus project is to answer the following question: how do political organizations adapt to multi-level political opportunities in terms of internal organization, political strategies as well as their programmatic policy agenda? The answer to this question will contribute to a more fine-grained understanding of why some political interests are able to take advantage of the growing transnationalization of politics while other interests are on the loosing side. The project integrates a multitude of theoretical approaches including organization theory, different strands of institutionalism as well as population ecology. It is the combination of different frameworks into a systematic and well-integrated research design that will lead to a substantial empirical enrichment of ongoing theoretical debates. This ambitious enterprise builds on three interlinked empirical projects that each deal with the organization of political interests in different institutional contexts. The first project aims to establish a grounded understanding of the conditions under which multi-level venue shopping takes place. The second project investigates the development of the WTO transnational trade interest group system. Finally, a third project builds a theoretical framework in order to explain different forms of territorial representation at the EU-level.