Academic Publications






This homepage presents my work as a political scientist based at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

My work focuses on the application of classical insights and conceptions from political theory to contemporary political challenges. In particular, I examine how the internationalization of politics, and European integration in particular, challenges established political theoretical insights.

Thus, key themes in my research are the EU democratic deficit, inter-parliamentary coordination, accountability in international politics, EU institutional reform, and transnational social justice. I publish on these issues in academic articles as well as in policy reports and commentary pieces.

Currently, I participate in the EU-sponsored RECONNECT-project, where I lead a work package on democratic principles in the EU and under what conditions these are threatened by new populist parties.

Earlier I worked at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels, the University of Twente and Research voor Beleid in Leiden, a firm for policy-oriented research and consultancy.


Ben Crum


Department of Political Science

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


De Boelelaan 1081

1081 HV  Amsterdam

The Netherlands


Tel +31 20 5986821

Fax +31 20 5986821





Forthcoming Co-Edited Volume

Populist Parties and Democratic Resilience focuses on populist parties as the main agents of populism and examines when these parties turn anti-democratic and when they remain loyal to the democratic system.

Co-edited with Alvaro Oleart, this volume contains in-depth analyses by a great selection of contributors of the trajectory of populist parties in eleven European Union countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and Spain). On this basis, we outline different ways in which European democracies can successfully accommodate populist parties through strategies that carefully navigate between the extremes of uncritical acceptance and outright ostracization.

Due February 2023, in the Studies in Extremism and Democracy series of Routledge publishers.






Recent Academic articles



Why the European Parliament lost the Spitzenkandidaten-process. Journal of European Public Policy(OnlineFirst 2022)



With Alvaro Oleart, Information or Accountability? A Research Agenda on European Commissioners in National Parliaments. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies.



Patterns of contestation across EU parliaments: four modes of inter-parliamentary relations compared. West European Politics, 45(2), 242-261.


More Academic Publications ...



Recent Commentaries and blogs



‘EU democracy beyond participation: Building an EU political space’. In G. von Sydow, & V. Kreilinger (Eds.), Making EU Representative Democracy Fit for the Future (pp. 18-21). SIEPS (Svenska institutet för europapolitiska studier).



With Abels, G., Alemanno, A., Demidov, A., Hierlemann, D., Renkamp, A., & Trechsel, A. (2022). Next level citizen participation in the EU: Institutionalising European Citizens’ Assemblies. Bertelsmann Stiftung.



It is time to resolve the Spitzenkandidaten conundrum’, RECONNECT Blog, 17 February 2022.



Making Democracy a Priority in EU Economic Governance: Four theses on the foundations of the T-DEM project (Piketty et al.)’, European Papers (2018) 3(1): 59-65.


More Commentaries ...





Democratie en integratie in de EU [in Dutch]. Online lecture for the Mr. Hans van Mierlo Stichting, The Hague.


EU Parliamentarism as a “Multilevel Parliamentary Field”, presentation at the PADEMIA-Workshop on ‘Multilevel Democracy’, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam/ACCESS EUROPE, 30 and 31 October 2014.


‘The Democratic Dilemma of Monetary Union’, presentation at the 2012 EUDO Dissemination Conference ‘The Euro Crisis and the State of European Democracy’, European University Institute, Florence, 22 and 23 November 2012.

[Accompanying slides]





Learning from the EU Constitutional Treaty 

This research monograph offers a comprehensive analysis of the making of the Constitutional Treaty and the subsequent Treaty of Lisbon. It uses this analysis to develop an original political theory of democratic constitutionalization beyond the nation-state, which maintains that international organizations can be put on democratic foundations, but only by properly engaging national political structures.



succeeds in blending normative and empirical insights in a manner that will make it an indispensable reference on the EU's constitutional debates of the past decade – and a worthwhile point of departure for those (inevitably) yet to come.

Robert Harmsen in the Journal of Common Market Studies


provides a good reconstruction of the EU’s journey towards increased legitimacy and makes a highly original contribution to the normative debate on the post-governmental legitimacy of the EU.

Diana Panke in West European Politics







Practices of Inter-Parliamentary Coordination in International Politics. The European Union and Beyond

This volume, edited by John Erik Fossum (ARENA/ U.Oslo) and me, provides a thorough empirical examination of how an internationalising context drives parliamentarians to engage in inter-parliamentary coordination and how it affects their power positions vis-à-vis executive actors, among themselves, and in society in general. Building upon these empirical insights, the book assesses whether parliamentary democracy can remain sustainable under these changing conditions. Indeed, if parliaments are, and remain, central to our understanding of modern democracy, it is of crucial importance to track their responses to internationalisation, the fragmentation of political sovereignty, and the proliferation of multilevel politics.