Arno Van Der Zwet

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PhD projects

Territorial politics Urban governance Policy and evaluation European Union Politics and Policy Identity and nationalism Brexit


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Personal profile


Arno joined the University in 2017 as a Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy. He has previously worked as a research fellow at the European Policies Research Centre at the University of Strathclyde. Arno's research interests are territorial politics, regional policy, territorial cooperation and identity studies. He has led ESRC funded projects as well as projects for the European Commission, European Parliament and World Bank. He has also conducted research for various national and regional governments (Scotland, Netherlands, Norway, Flanders). 

Area of academic expertise - outline

In 2012 I finished my doctoral research at the University of Strathclyde which focused on issues in relation to territorial politics and territorial identity, specifically examining the different conceptions of territorial identities in stateless, national and regional parties and their linkages to attitudes towards European integration and immigration. Following the completion of my PhD I was awarded a prestigious ESRC research fellowship. I have published various aspects of my doctoral research in international peer-reviewed journals and presented findings at international conferences.

In 2011 I was appointed a research fellow at the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC) at the University of Strathclyde which I held until my appointment at UWS in early 2017 (I continue to be a senior research associate at the EPRC). During this period I have developed an interest in territorial development policy in Europe. I have particularly conducted research in relation to European territorial cooperation policy and integrated, place-based economic development, often in an urban context

In 2018 I was the lead author of a major European Commission study (DG Regio) on integrated sustainable development strategies in the EU28. Previously I have led studies for the European Parliament (analysing European Parliament and European Investment Bank relations) and a Scottish Government funded project which examined Arctic cooperation. 

More recently and as part of ESRC funded projects I have conducted research that focuses on post Brexit EU-UK relations, particularly in the context of fisheries and regional development policy.

I have extensive experience in terms of engaging with policy makers and stakeholders at the European, national, regional and local level. I have presented my research findings at European Parliament committee, European Commission, Committee of the Regions and Dutch, Flemish, Scottish and Norwegian governments.

Current research activities

My current research stems for a large extent from the 2018 European Commission study on European territorial development strategies. I have continued to publish in this area and regularly act as a consultant for international organisations (European Commission and World Bank). 

Other research activities include:

  • a study funded by the UWS - Oxfam partenrship which looks at city region deals in Scotland. 
  • a study funded by Erasmus+, RUEU, which has developed a 'serious game' that allows students to explore European identity
  • an co-edited book (together with Professor John Connolly) which analyses public value reform in the UK. 

Desired research direction

My future research ambitions are as follow:

  • to develop regional and urban development research at UWS to inform policy making;

  • to conceptually develop 'public value' as a policy framework for the governance and implementation of regional policy;
  • to further develop research in post-Brexit EU and UK relations;
  • to collaborate with colleagues to further develop research on territorial politics and identity, particularly in the context of Brexit and debates concerning Scottish independence.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

External positions

Senior Research Associate, University of Strathclyde

6 Feb 2017 → …


  • JA Political science (General)
  • Territorial politics/policy
  • European policy
  • Regional policy
  • Territorial cooperation
  • Urban governance
  • Immigration


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