Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world


I am a Research Associate working as part of the NORFACE research project entitled 'Welfare State Futures: Our Children’s Europe' (WelfSOC). This innovative project, co-ordinated by the University of Kent (Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby, Dr Heejung Chung and myself), involves international partners from Denmark (University of Aalborg), Slovenia (University of Ljubljana), Norway (NOVA) and Germany (Humboldt University Berlin).

I hold a PhD in Politics from the University of Edinburgh, a LL.M. in European Law from the University of Kent and a BA in Political Science from the University of Namur (Belgium). Prior to joining the WelfSOC team, I worked as a Teaching Fellow in Politics at the University of Bath, and as a guest researcher at the ARENA Centre for European Studies (University of Oslo). Besides my involvement in the WelfSOC project, my research also focuses on Euroscepticism, differentiated integration in the European Union and the emergence of new political movements.

About WelfSOC

How European welfare states will develop is hard to predict. People’s current aspirations, ideas and assumptions will be important drivers of change and persistence and of the extent to which conflict and solidarity surround change. This project uses innovative methods (deliberative democratic forums, before/after surveys and a qualitative cross-national focus group survey) to develop understanding of people’s aspirations for the Europe their children will inhabit.

The interactive and discursive methods proposed deal directly with people’s ideas, but are rarely used in comparative welfare studies. The project is essentially forward-looking. It will contribute to theoretical work on the main cleavages and solidarities driving social policy in different European welfare states and to more practical consideration of the parameters of acceptable policy change. It will supply new findings relevant to the politics and sociology of welfare and provide data for reanalysis and as a base-line in future studies. The team have led major cross-national projects and will press home findings in national and EU-level policy debate.


Contact Information


Room CW NE 216
Cornwallis North East
University of Kent
Kent CT2 7NF

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Leruth, B. (2016). Book Review: Claudia Hefftler, Christine Neuhold, Olivier Rozenberg and Julie Smith (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of National Parliaments and the European Union. Political Studies Review [Online] 14:294-295. Available at: 10.1177/1478929916630921g.
Edited book
Fitzgibbon, J., Leruth, B. and Startin, N. eds. (2016). Euroscepticism as a Transnational and Pan-European Phenomenon The Emergence of a New Sphere of Opposition. London: Routledge.
Leruth, B. and Lord, C. eds. (2015). Differentiated Integration in the European Union. London: Routledge.
Leruth, B. and Lord, C. (2015). Differentiated integration in the European Union: a concept, a process, a system or a theory? Journal of European Public Policy [Online] 22:754-763. Available at:
Leruth, B. (2015). Operationalizing national preferences on Europe and differentiated integration. Journal of European Public Policy [Online] 22:816-835. Available at:
Total publications in KAR: 5 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

My research interests include:

Differentiated integration in the European Union

and more particularly the differential relations between the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway and the European Union. I co-edited a special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy on this topic, together with Christopher Lord.

Euroscepticism in comparative perspective

with a particular emphasis on party/government preferences on European integration. My co-edited book entitled “Euroscepticism as a Transnational and Pan-European Phenomenon: The Emergence of a New Sphere of Opposition” examines to what extent the pan-European dimension of Euroscepticism is becoming increasingly influential. I am also the co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Euroscepticism. In this video Nick Startin and I discuss both volumes.

European social and public policy

Public attitudes towards the welfare state in Europe and their implications on the decision-making process, as well as policy responses to the Great Recession.

Comparative European politics

I am particularly interested in the European dimension of party politics, and parties’ affiliations to European political groups (with a particular focus on the European Conservatives and Reformists). I am also very interested in political developments in the Nordic countries, especially Iceland.

Pirate politics

I am currently working on a monograph analysing the emergence of Pirate Parties across Europe, with a particular focus on three case studies: Sweden, Germany and Iceland (to be published by Routledge in 2017).


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Prior to joining the University of Kent, I gave a series of lectures at the Universities of Edinburgh, Adger (Norway) and Bath. These covered a range of topics such as: Democracy in Comparative Perspective; French Business Environment; Contemporary European Leadership; International Marketing and Communications; Differentiated Integration in the European Union; Culture and National Identity; and Belgian Politics.

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Several media interviews and contributions with:


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I have contributed to articles in the LSE EUROPP blog, The Conversation and OpenDemocracy

I have also conducted several editorial and research projects, such as:


  • Guest editor, Journal of European Public Policy (Volume 22 issue 6, April 2015);
  • Written evidence on the future of European Union enlargement for the UK Government's Balance of Competences Review;
  • Written evidence on European Union enlargement for the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union;
  • ARENA Report: 'Differentiated Integration in the Nordic States: a Comparative Study of Finland, Sweden and Norway', ARENA Centre for European Studies, June 2014 (as part of the EuroDiv research project).


  • University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES)
  • Political Studies Association (PSA)
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Telephone: +44(0)1227 823072 Fax: +44(0)1227 827005 or email us

SSPSSR, Faculty of Social Sciences, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

Last Updated: 31/05/2016