Professor Simon Bulmer

Department of Politics and International Relations

Professor of European Politics

Picture of staff member Prof Simon Bulmer in Western Park
+44 114 222 1706

Full contact details

Professor Simon Bulmer
Department of Politics and International Relations
Elmfield Building
Northumberland Road
S10 2TU

I joined the Department in September 2007.

I took an undergraduate degree in European Studies at Loughborough University (1972-75), a Masters in European Politics at Hull (1975-6), and then took my PhD at the London School of Economics on European Policy-Making in the Federal Republic of Germany. I was lecturer in the Department of Economics, Heriot-Watt University (1979-83), in European Studies at UMIST (1983-9) and then joined the Department of Government at the University of Manchester, where I was promoted to a professorship in 1995 and was Head of Department 2001-4. I was awarded a Jean Monnet ad personam professorship in 1999. I was Head of the Department of Politics at Sheffield 2011-14. I am an Associate Fellow at SPERI.

My principal research interests are European Union-member state relations (especially Germany and the UK); German politics, EU governance; and new/historical institutionalism.

I now work on a half-time basis.

Research interests

Main areas of research

  • Germany and the EU, including during the EU crisis
  • Europeanisation
  • Critical integration theory
  • Economic governance in the EU
  • Domestic politics and EU governance
  • The politics of Brexit

Key projects

I have been principal or co-investigator on six ESRC-funded research projects on: the single European market; Germany and the EU; the impact of the EU on Whitehall; devolution and European policy-making in the UK (two awards) and policy transfer in the EU. I have also held research awards from the EU’s Jean Monnet scheme, the Spanish Ministry of Education, the German Academic Exchange Council, the European Commission and the Ford Foundation.



  • Bulmer S & Paterson W (2018) Germany and the European Union: Europe's Reluctant Hegemon?. Red Globe Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bulmer S & Paterson W (2014) The Federal Republic of Germany and the European Community (RLE: German Politics). Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bache I, Bulmer S, George S & Parker O (2013) Politics in the European Union. Oxford University Press, USA. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bulmer S & Burch M (2013) The Europeanisation of whitehall: UK central government and the European union. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bulmer S & Lequesne C (2013) The Member States of the European Union. Oxford University Press. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


  • Bulmer S (2020) Germany and the European Union, Handbuch Europäische Union (pp. 149-171). Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden RIS download Bibtex download
  • Armstrong KA & Bulmer S (2018) The United Kingdom: Between political controversy and administrative efficiency, Fifteen into one?: The European Union and its member states (pp. 388-410). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bulmer S (2018) Germany and the European Union, Handbuch Europäische Union (pp. 1-23). Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden RIS download Bibtex download
  • Bulmer S, Maurer A & Paterson WE (2014) The European policy-making machinery in the Berlin Republic: Hindrance or handmaiden?, New Europe, New Germany, Old Foreign Policy?: German Foreign Policy Since Unification (pp. 177-206). RIS download Bibtex download

Book reviews


Research group

I have supervised numerous PhD students to completion on an array of topics relating to the EU.

Topics have included:

  • Europeanisation of interest groups in Malta and Ireland
  • Fundamental Rights in the EU
  • Europeanisation of Turkish foreign policy
  • Corporate governance in the European Union
  • The EU, citizenship and disability policy.
  • Identity formation in the European Union – the case of Poland (2 students).
  • Common macroeconomic stabilisation policy in the Euro-Zone after EMU: a case of path-dependency?
  • Agricultural policy reform in the EU.
  • The path to a European Union sports policy.
  • Institutions, culture and (dis)integration: a comparison of the European Union and post-Soviet experiences.
  • The United Kingdom, sovereignty and the politics of European integration.
  • A comparative analysis of supranational and national SME-related policies in the European Community.
  • The EU and British central government: the impact of the Maastricht Treaty and of the Blair government.

I am currently supervising Dimitrios Argyroulis on economic governance in the Eurozone.

Teaching activities

I have a strong commitment to teaching and learning because of their centrality to universities’ work. I have taught a range of modules in the Department at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels: European Union governance and politics, Europeanisation, Britain and the EU, British politics, and Advanced Political Analysis. In 2018-19, I am offering an undergraduate module on German Politics: Domestic Contestation and Global Impact and a Masters module on Politics and Governance of the European Union.

With all my teaching I try to ensure students can see why the subject matters, both in the real world and in terms of developing analytical skills. In seminar work I seek to use student presentations and group work as methods to promote inquiry-based learning and the acquisition of transferable skills that can be of benefit beyond the university context. My teaching is informed by my research. I am also committed to writing accessible student textbooks relating to EU politics, such as Politics in the European Union, 4th edition 2015, co-authored with current and former members of the Department.

Professional activities

Simon has been a visiting scholar/academic/professor at the College of Europe - Bruges, University of Calgary, Harvard University's Center for European Studies, University of Massachusetts – Boston, the Institut für Europäische Politik, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), Germany’s leading think-tank, in Berlin and at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome.

He was elected an Academician of the Social Sciences in 2001. He is a member of the editorial board of Parliamentary Affairs. He co-edited the Journal of Common Market Studies from 1991-98. Together with Neill Nugent he is the editor of the European Union Series at Macmillan/Red Globe Press.