The Faculty of Law of Maastricht University is looking for a PhD researcher – The interactions between global actors and the EU legal system (1,0 fte)

Updated: 6 months ago
Deadline: 20 Dec 2021


We are looking for 1 PhD researcher who will carry out research on the interaction between global actors and the EU legal system with the Maastricht implementation of the ‘sector plan’ for the Law Faculties (see below under “Research Focus”).

PhD researchers participate in the Maastricht University Graduate School of Law. At least 80% of the position will be dedicated to research and not more than 20% to teaching activities.


Law in a globalizing society: regulation and protection

The overarching question of the research plan is to analyse what role law has in a globalizing society, and, in particular, how globalization is challenging the potential of the law to regulate, protect and solve disputes. The process of globalization brings about a number of challenges in the legitimacy of decision-making processes, which are linked to 1) the level of governance involved in policy-making and the implementation of norms at local, regional and international level; 2) the type of instruments of regulation which is being used; and 3) in the type of actors involved in regulation.

With complexity in the level of governance, one should understand phenomena such as the phenomenon of global standards entering the EU legal systems, the Free Trade Agreements concluded between the EU and several third countries, international treaties on tackling and preventing crime, the various mechanisms of cooperation between EU authorities and national authorities in the implementation of EU law, or the regulation of internet governance and data flows. Often, this form of complexity comes with a varying degree of transnationality, ie the capacity of a norm to be applied and/or enforced outside the territory of the authority which issued it.

Complexity in the form of instruments can be seen both from the perspective of regulatory mechanisms which depart from traditional ‘command-and-control’ forms of governance towards ‘soft’ governance and market-based instruments, and from that of the progressive increase of regulatory setups combining different fields of law (private, administrative and criminal law) to achieve (global) policy goals, such as fair market competition, security or crime and harm prevention.

Complexity in the type of actors refers to mechanisms whereby regulatory tasks are (partially) delegated to third parties, as is the case with technical standards, civil and criminal justice functions, tasks linked harm reduction, risk management as well as harm and risk prevention, as well as code of conducts and other self-regulation mechanisms (such as certification).

The aim of the plan is to examine how, in a globalizing society, a sufficient degree of legitimacy of decision-making, of protection and effective conflict resolution can be ensured.

This overarching aim is operationalized through two main research questions:

1)    How, given the complexities in governance levels, instruments and actors, to ensure a sufficient degree of legitimacy in regulation?

2)    How, given the complexities in governance levels, instruments and actors, to ensure a sufficient degree of judicial protection and conflict resolution?

The interactions between global actors and the EU legal system

Over the years, various areas of EU law have experienced a progressive externalization and internationalization of many EU policies. Together with the process of globalisation leading to increasingly interrelation of markets, communication and traffic structures, in many policy fields regulation is ‘de-territorialised’, and rules and standards are increasingly set on global level.

We welcome proposals analysing the interrelations between actors operating at the global level (ISO, OECD, W3C and the like) and the EU legal system. Proposals can be submitted tackling questions on how global standards are produced, how they subsequently enter EU law and how they (dis-)respect the applicable principles of EU administrative law, such as transparency and participatory openness. We are also interested in the role of the EU in the globalized decision-making processes and we encourage proposals examining the EU’s participation in global institutions and the repercussions for the EU.

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