Sophie Meunier, Ph.D.

smeunier@princeton.edu

Princeton University

Phone: (609)258-4863

Country: United States (New Jersey)

About Me:

Sophie Meunier is Senior Research Scholar in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and Co-Director of the EU Program at Princeton. She is the author of Trading Voices: The European Union in International Commercial Negotiations (Princeton University Press, 2005)  and The French Challenge: Adapting to Globalization (Brookings Institution Press, 2001), winner of the 2002 France-Ameriques book award. She is also co-editor of several books on Europe and globalization, most recently The Politics of Interest Representation in the Global Age (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and Speaking with a Single Voice: The EU as an Effective Actor in Global Governance? (Routledge, 2015). Her current work deals with the politics of Foreign Direct Investment in Europe, notably Chinese investment. She was made Chevalier des Palmes Academiques by the French Government.

Research Interests

European Politics

Political Economy

Specific Areas of Interest

European Union

Foreign Direct Investment

Chinese FDI

Countries of Interest

France

China

My Research:

Sophie Meunier is Senior Research Scholar in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and Co-Director of the EU Program at Princeton. She is the author of Trading Voices: The European Union in International Commercial Negotiations (Princeton University Press, 2005)  and The French Challenge: Adapting to Globalization (Brookings Institution Press, 2001), winner of the 2002 France-Ameriques book award. She is also co-editor of several books on Europe and globalization, most recently The Politics of Interest Representation in the Global Age (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and Speaking with a Single Voice: The EU as an Effective Actor in Global Governance? (Routledge, 2015). Her current work deals with the politics of Foreign Direct Investment in Europe, notably Chinese investment. She was made Chevalier des Palmes Academiques by the French Government.

Publications:

Journal Articles:

(2017) The European Union and the Space-Time Continuum of Investment Agreements, Journal of European Integration

Tags: Political Economy, International Law & Organization

The 2009 Lisbon Treaty transferred the competence over Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy from the national to the supranational level. This article analyses the impact of this transfer on the content of international investment agreements and, more broadly, the shape of the investment regime complex. Is the competence shift expected to have an independent impact or simply reproduce and continue existing trends? Exploring these two conjectures through a combination of text analysis, primary materials, and interviews, we are making a Historical Institutionalist argument focusing on the timing and sequencing of international investment negotiations. While the competence shift has allowed the EU to innovate in developing its own approach to negotiating international investment agreements, notably with the proposal to create an Investment Court System, the novelty may be only at the surface as the constraints of past, current, and future negotiations restrict the options available to EU actors - we call this the space-time continuum. The result of this learning-and-reacting process is a new European approach which simultaneously duplicates and innovates and could eventually favour greater centralization within the investment regime complex.

(2017) Is France Still Relevant?, French Politics Culture and Society

Tags: European Politics

Is France still relevant? Asking this provocative question in honor of the late Stanley Hoffmann’s lifelong commitment to French studies, I examine the contemporary role of France in international affairs, in Europe, and in globalization. The article then analyzes the structural reasons for these shifts in relevance, as well as the possible political openings to break from the “stalemate society,” including the emergence of new “artists in politics.” I conclude by reflecting on how the current uncertain state of the world, which may be on the cusp of a tectonic shift precipitated by the advent of Donald Trump in the United States and the resurgence of nationalism in Europe, is both challenging what is left of France’s international relevance and providing it with renewed opportunities to play a meaningful role under the presidency of young, pro-European Emmanuel Macron.

(2017) Integration by Stealth: How the European Union Gained Competence over Foreign Direct Investment Policy, Journal of Common Market Studies

Tags: European Politics

How are policy competences allocated between different actors? This article contributes to the literature on institutional development through an in-depth case-study of the conditions under which the competence over the negotiation of agreements on foreign direct investment (FDI) was transferred from the national level to the European Union (EU) in the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. Most analysts assume that this competence shift was a rationally designed delegation, intended to maximize European bargaining power in international investment negotiations and conceived as an important element of a teleological drive to make the EU a meaningful external actor. This article tells a different story--one where the competence shift happened by stealth as a result of a combination of neo-functionalist Commission entrepreneurship and historical accident, against the preferences of the Member States. The article also assesses whether the conditions under which the competence was transferred have implications on the implementation of the new policy.

(2017) Yin and Yank: Relations between Public Opinion towards China and the US in Europe, Comparative European Politics

Tags: European Politics, Political Economy

Perceptions of the United States in European public opinion greatly improved around 2008, while perceptions of China simultaneously deteriorated. The Transatlantic and Sino-European relationships stem from radically different historical contexts. Yet could the image of China and the image of the U.S. be related in the eyes of Europeans? This paper examines whether attitudes toward China have contributed to determining attitudes toward the U.S. in Europe by analyzing data from the Transatlantic Trends survey taken in 2010, a critical juncture in Europe’s relations with both the U.S. and China. We investigate three hypotheses about this relation: the “yin and yank” or negative correlation (the more Europeans fear China, the more positive they become about the U.S.; the more favorably Europeans view China, the more negatively they see the U.S.); the “open vs. closed” or positive correlation (the more favorably Europeans see China, the more favorably they see the U.S.; the more negatively they see China, the more negatively they see the U.S.); and no relation (European attitudes toward China and the U.S. are independent). To the question of whether anti-Chinese sentiment has the potential for replacing anti-Americanism in Europe, our main conclusion is that positively correlated attitudes toward the U.S. and China reveal a deep cleavage in Europe between those who are “in” and those who are “out” of globalization.

Book Chapters:

(2018) Chinese Direct Investment in Europe: Economic Opportunities and Political Challenges, Edward Elgar

Tags: Political Economy, European Politics

Over the past decade, China has become one of the largest senders of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the world, including in the European Union (EU). Why did this rapid surge happen and how did European countries react politically to this new phenomenon, which some have presented as unprecedented and even dangerous? After surveying the recent evolution of Chinese FDI in Europe, this chapter analyzes the match between Chinese demand for European assets and European supply of assets after the outbreak of the euro crisis. The last section considers the political challenges raised in Europe by the rapid and ubiquitous rise of Chinese FDI and some of the policy responses to these challenges. .

(2018) Beware of Chinese Bearing Gifts: Why China's Direct Investment Poses Political Challenges in Europe and the United States, Oxford University Press

Tags: European Politics, Political Economy

From a non-existent player fifteen years ago, China has now become one of the largest senders of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows in the world. The exponential growth of Chinese direct investment, however, has also been accompanied in some cases by controversy and even resistance, What explains the political challenges posed by the recent explosion of Chinese direct investment in the United States (U.S.) and the European Union (EU)? How and why have attitudes and policies in the West changed over the past decade towards Chinese FDI? This chapter considers two alternative explanations for the political challenges triggered by Chinese investment in Western countries. The first is that Chinese FDI causes political unease because of its novelty. The second is the perception that there is something inherently different about the nature of Chinese FDI and therefore it should not be treated politically like any other foreign investment. These two explanations lead to a different set of predictions for the future of Chinese FDI in Europe and the U.S.