GEM PhD School

Globalisation, Europe & Multilateralism

Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate

Justin BROWN

Justin BROWN


Transnational Elites and the Design of Europe's "Innovation Union"


Justin is an Erasmus Mundus Fellow in "Globalisation, the EU and Multilateralism" at the University of Warwick and l'Université Libre de Bruxelles. Justin graduated with First Class Honours from the Australian National University as a Hedley Bull Fellow (2005) and is a previous recipient of an Erasmus Mundus Fellowship for a two year postgraduate programme at the London School of Economics and the University of Wrocław (2006-08). His research focuses on transnational elites and the design of Europe's "Innovation Union".

Academic Degrees

PhD Candidate, Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick and L'Université Libre de Bruxelles, 2010-13.

MSc (Global History), London School of Economics and Political Science, 2007-08.

MA (Global Studies), University of Wroclaw, Poland, 2006-07.

MA (International Relations), Australian National University, 2004-05.

BComm (International Management), University of Melbourne, 2000-03.

Specific Research Title, Area and Promotor(s)

Title: Transnational Elites and the Design of Europe's "Innovation Union"

Area: International Political Economy

Supervisors: Professor Leonard Seabrooke (Warwick), Professor Jean-Frederic Morin (ULB)

Description of research work

How do the beliefs and practices of transnational elites impact Europe’s attempt to address its self-described “innovation gap” with the design of an “Innovation Union”? This question will be addressed by examining the governing board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and their mission to “develop a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs” through the creation of Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). The research focuses on how the beliefs and practices of the governing board and their advisory networks create meaning in the politics, policy-making and service delivery of the EIT and the KICs.

Methodologically, an ethnographic, or political anthropology, approach to the research has been adopted, which involves reconstructing the meanings and intentions of social actors through interviews and non-participant observation. The analysis will be supplemented with social network analysis. The approach closely follows R.A.W. Rhodes’ examination of the inner workings of the British Civil Service in Everyday Life in British Government (Oxford University Press, 2011).

The overall aim of the research is to make a contribution to constructivist scholarship in international relations in three ways. This will happen first through supplementing work by Emanuel Adler, Vincent Pouliot and Ted Hopf on “practice” and “habit” with more recent research in brain science. Secondly, the strategic autonomy of elite actors will be examined in accordance with Elliott Jaques’ “time-span of intention”, thereby introducing the work of Jaques to the discipline of international relations. Finally, the focus on ethnographic research on European elites will provide an empirical contribution to research in international relations.

Overview of Publications

"The Legacy of Elliott Jaques"International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 8(1): 89-94 (2011).

"Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning", working paper on (2010).