Elena Escalante Block at the Graduate Network Conference

Elena Escalante Block will present a paper at the 11th Graduate Network Conference in London on 10 April 2019.

The European Graduate Network brings together graduate students of social sciences from seven leading European universities. The network organises annual conferences to encourage collaboration and establish academic linkages across Europe. Elena will discuss the theoretical framework of her dissertation in the panel on political theory.

How do EU issues become politicised and depoliticised in Multilevel Governance (MLG)?

Elena Escalante Block, PLATO PhD researcher
Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics, Sciences Po Paris


The aim of my dissertation is to understand how state aid cases can serve as 'trigger moments' in the politicisation/depoliticisation and legitimation/delegitimation of the European Union. The main research questions of my PhD thesis are: when and how do state aid cases become (de)politicised? And what is the effect of the politicisation of state aid cases on the legitimacy of the European Union? Overall, the thesis uses a mixed method analysis to understand how these state aid cases become politicised and depoliticised. Through a regression analysis, the thesis evaluates how many times state aid cases appear in the media. The last stage involves a claims making and a qualitative analysis to understand the different legitimation/delegitimation claims of the EU.

The theoretical framework seeks to expand Colin Hay’s (2007) work on politicisation and depoliticisation by using theories of multilevel governance (MLG). The theoretical framework is the chapter that will be presented at the Graduate Network Conference.

This chapter discovers that the literature on politicisation and depoliticisation usually focuses on one level of analysis and this could be expanded by adding a multilevel governance approach. Processes of politicisation and depoliticisation might not be uniform across all levels of governance as different actors involved might have varied and sometimes antagonistic political agendas. Therefore, by looking at different levels of governance this study seeks to bring new insight to the study of politicisation/depoliticisation and legitimation/delegitimation of EU issues. The chapter starts with an overall look at the literature on politicisation and depoliticisation and their impact on the EU’s legitimacy. Then, it explains how these processes work at the nation state level by using Hay’s framework. Finally, it will propose to expand Hay’s work on politicisation and depoliticisation by including multilevel governance theory. The aim of this chapter is to theoretically understand how politicisation and depoliticisation work simultaneously at different levels of governance and what this means for the EU’s legitimation and delegitimation processes.


London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
When: 10-12 April 2019
Organiser: The European Graduate Network (EGN)
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The annual European Graduate Network conference aims at providing opportunities for doctoral researchers to present their research projects, discuss methodologies, and practice presenting and discussing academic work.

Published Apr. 5, 2019 12:26 PM - Last modified Sep. 11, 2020 4:53 PM