Author Archive

Kai Oppermann

Kai Oppermann is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sussex. He is a graduate of the Free University Berlin and obtained a PhD in Political Science from the University of Cologne in 2007. Before joining the University of Sussex in October 2013, he was a Lecturer in European and German Politics at King’s College London. He has been an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Political Science and European Affairs at the University of Cologne as well as the managing editor of a German-language journal on Foreign and Security Policy. Kai has recently been awarded the Venia Legendi in Political Science (2013) at the University of Cologne, on the basis of a professorial dissertation on the domestic sources of European integration and foreign policy. In 2010, he won a Marie Curie Fellowship for a research project on European integration referendums. He has also taught at the Free University Berlin, the Philipps-University Marburg and the Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE) in Nice. Before he took up his first academic position, he worked as a personal assistant in the German parliament, the Bundestag.

British Prime Minister David Cameron at the European Council meeting of 6th March 2014. Photo credit: The Prime Minister's Office.

The UK referendum on EU membership may be many months away but with David Cameron laying out his stall with other European leaders, we should be clear that we are embarked on the journey and already some way down the track. It is easy to think of referendums as one-shot deals but in reality they are not. Rather, referendums are long-term games and in this case the game was started in 2013. And it’s easy to think of this as a European process, but whatever grand meals may be consumed in other European capitals, this is very much a result of domestic British politics. The EU referendum is largely down to domestic drivers and the result will likely be shaped as much by the party politics between and within UK parties as by European factors.