My research explores the causes and consequences of the territorial structures of political systems, from a comparative perspective across space and time.

Main projects and publications

Why Centralisation and Decentralisation in Federations? 

This project measures dynamic de/centralisation across 22 policy and five fiscal categories in six major federations – Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Switzerland, and the United States – since their foundation. It aims to explain why some federations become more centralised over time while others become more decentralised. I am lead investigator and project manager for this project, the rest of the team includes Professor John Kincaid (co-PI, Lafayette College, USA), Professor Alan Fenna (Curtin University, Australia), Professor André Kaiser (University of Cologne, Germany), Professor André Lecours (University of Ottawa, Canada), Dr Ajay Kumar Singh (Hamdard University, India), Dr Sean Mueller (University of Berne, Switzerland), and Stephan Vogel (University of Cologne, Germany). It is funded by the Leverhulme Trust (grant no. IN-2013-044), the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant no. IZK0Z1_155030), and the Forum of Federations.


2017. Dynamic De/Centralization in Switzerland, 1848-2010Publius: The Journal of Federalism DOI: 10.1093/publius/pjx056 (with Sean Mueller).



European Integration and State Restructuring 


This project investigated the causal connections between European integration and processes of state restructuring in Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, from 1950 to today. It was funded by the James Madison Trust.


2017. Restructuring the European State – European Integration and State Reform. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press





2014. European Integration, Party Strategies, and State Restructuring: a Comparative Analysis. European Political Science Review 6/2: 213-36





2012. Europeanization and the Unravelling of Belgium: a Comparative Analysis of Party StrategiesActa Politica 47/2: 181-209.




Federalism, Nationality, and Democracy in Switzerland 


This project investigated the nature and evolution of Swiss federalism from a comparative perspective. It dealt with a number of aspects, including its relevance for the evolving confederalism of the EU, the degree to which it is challenged by Europeanisation, its connections with democracy and with national identity. It was funded by Presence Switzerland, the Institut d’Estudis Autonòmics (now Institut d’Estudis de l’Autogovern), and the British Academy (grant no. OCG-44396).


2011. Multi-lingual but Mono-national – Exploring and Explaining Switzerland’s Exceptionalism. In Ferran Requejo and Miquel Caminal (eds), Federalism, Plurinationality, and Democratic Constitutionalism – Theory and Cases. Abingdon: Routledge



2011. The Acid Test? Competing Theses on the Nationality-Democracy Nexus and the Case of Switzerland. Nations and Nationalism 17/2: 357-76 (with Nenad Stojanović).



European Integration and Devolution in Scotland 


This project investigated whether and to what extent European integration influenced the demand for self-government in Scotland between the 1970s and the 1990s. It was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the London School of Economics.

MUP2013 [2005]. Between Two Unions: Europeanisation and Scottish Devolution. Manchester: Manchester University Press.




ps2005. Democratic Deficit or the Europeanisation of Secession? Explaining the Devolution Referendums in Scotland. Political Studies 53/2: 320-42.




2009. Europeanization as Heresthetics: Party Competition over Self-Government for Scotland, 1974-97Party Politics 15/1: 49-68.



Research mentoring and supervision


2018-date. Johanna Schnabel. An Instrument of Centralisation? The Politics of Conditional Grants in Federal States. Newton International Fellowship.


2017-date. Bizuneh Getachew Yimenu. Regional Autonomy in Ethiopia. PhD in Comparative Politics.

2016-date. Kieran Wright. Regional Nationalism and Party Competition. PhD in Comparative Politics.

2015-date. Guillermo Reyes Pascual. Unpacking the Centre-Periphery Cleavage. PhD in Comparative Politics.

2014-15. Meng Zhu. Religion and National Identity in China. Visiting doctoral reseacher in Comparative Politics from Peking University, China.

2013-14. Fabian Hayoz. Lobbying and Foreign Policy. Visiting doctoral researcher in International Relations from the University of Berne, Switzerland.

2009-13. Tom Vandenkendelaere. The Evolution of Polish-German Relations in the Context of EU Enlargement: the Limits to Europeanisation. PhD in International Relations.

2009-13. Sean Mueller. Why Centralisation? A Comparative Analysis of the Swiss Cantons. PhD in Politics & Government, awarded without corrections.

2006-07. Weiqing Song. Europeanisation of National Foreign Policy: the EU and UK’s Relations with China. Main supervisor. Visiting doctoral researcher in International Relations from the University of Siena, Italy.


2007-09. Rebecca Casson. Incentives, Opportunities and Constraints in Local Government Paradiplomacy: a Case Study of the Kent-Virginia Project. MA-R in Politics & Government, awarded without corrections.