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Derek Beach


Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae  

Derek Beach

Professor (permanent)

Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus

Bartholinsalle, 8000 Århus C



Email : methodmanpt@gmail.com

Google Scholar citations (Oct 2022) = 5500

Born December 04, 1970

US and Danish citizen 



Ph.D., Department of Political Science, University of Southern Denmark, January 2003.

MA, Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus, Denmark, October 1999.

MSc with Distinction, Department of Government, London School of Economics, November 1998.


Professor (permanent), Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus, Denmark. (from April 1, 2019) 

Academic co-convenor, ECPR Methods School (2013 – 2021) 

Assistant / Associate Professor / Professor with special responsibility (MSO), Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus, Denmark. (Jan. 2003 – April 2019)

Visiting Researcher

Visiting Research Fellow, American University and Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA (Jan. 2007 - Aug. 2007)

Visiting Research Fellow, John Hopkins University SAIS, Washington DC, USA. (Sept. 2004 - Nov. 2004)

Research focus

Further developing case study methods

I am at the forefront of research developing case study methods - and process-tracing in particular - as a case-based methodological approach that is distinct from variance-based approaches. I have recently received a large grant for a new project titled 'Mechanisms and Mechanistic Evidence in the Social Sciences' (2020-24), which will develop process-focused methods further. I have co-written the first book on Process-tracing (now forthcoming in a second edition), another co-written work on case-based methods more broadly, along with numerous articles and chapters. As recognition of my contributions, I have for example written encyclopedia articles on Process-tracing methods, including for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics.

Research on European integration

The principal focus of my substantive research has been investigating and explaining the dynamics of European integration, in particular how the EU has responded to crisis in the past decade. Having already made recognized contributions to the study of the history-making negotiations in the EU (e.g. Beach, 2004, 2005, 2007), I have recently concluded a larger project financed by the Danish Social Science Research Council (FSE) on the role of the European Council in crisis-governance in the EU. We argue that an important but overlooked explanation for the EU’s resilience in the past decade in the face of multiple existential crisis has been the informal collaboration between EU institutional actors behind the scenes in crafting solutions to the crises in what we term the machine room. Moving beyond the headline decisions and crisis summits, we revealed how EU institutions were effective behind the scenes in managing crises, shepherding highly politicized reform processes towards more ambitious reforms than otherwise would have been agreed. The project has resulted in articles published in Policy Studies Journal, European Journal of Political Research, Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Common Market Studies, and West European Politics. 


Books (peer-reviewed)

(2019) Process-tracing – foundations and guidelines. 2nd Edition. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. (together with Rasmus Brun Pedersen) (peer-reviewed) 

(2016) Causal Case Studies: Comparing, Matching and Tracing. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. (together with Rasmus Brun Pedersen) (peer-reviewed book) 

(2012) Explaining Foreign Policy – an introduction. Houndmills: Palgrave MacMillan. (peer-reviewed textbook) (contract for second edition)

(co-editor) (2007)Leadership in the big bangs of integration.Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. (with Colette Mazzucelli). (peer-reviewed)

(2005) The dynamics of European integration: when and why EU institutions matter. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. (peer-reviewed)

(2001) Between Law and Politics: The relationship between the European Court of Justice and EU Member States. Copenhagen: DJØF Publishing. (peer-reviewed)

Articles (peer-reviewed)

Beach, Derek and Daniel Finke (2020) ‘The long shadow of attitudes: differential campaign effects and issue voting in EU referendums.’, West European Politics. DOI: 10.1080/01402382.2020.1780829

Beach, Derek, and Jonas Gejl Kaas. (2020) ‘The Great Divides: Incommensurability, the Impossibility of Mixed-Methodology and What to Do about It.’ International Studies Review, DOI: 10.1093/isr/viaa016

Beach, Derek and Sandrino Smeets (2020) ‘The unseen hands – collaborative instrumental leadership by institutions in the British re-negotiation case.’, European Journal of Political Research. 59(2): 444-464.

Beach, Derek and Sandrino Smeets (2020) ‘How the development of the new European Council-dominated crisis governance modus operandi paradoxically strengthened the role of EU institutions.’, Journal of European Integration.

Smeets, Sandrino and Derek Beach (2020) ‘Political and instrumental leadership in major EU reforms. The role of the EU institutions in setting-up the Fiscal Compact.’ Journal of European Public Policy. 27(1): 63-81. DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2019.1572211

Smeets, Sandrino and Derek Beach (2020) 'Intergovernmentalism and its implications: New Institutional Leadership in major EU reforms.', Journal of European Public Policy. 27(8): 1137-1156.DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2019.1699940

Beach, Derek, Sandrino Smeets and David Schäfer (2019) 'The past in the present – how policy makers learn to tackle wicked policy problems through analogical reasoning.', Policy Studies Journal. https://doi.org/10.1111/psj.12372

Smeets, Sandrino and Derek Beach (2019) 'When success is an orphan. Informal institutional governance and the EU Turkey deal.' West European Politics. https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2019.1608495

Smeets, Sandrino, Alenka Jaschke and Derek Beach (2019) ‘The role of the EU institutions in establishing the ESM. Institutional leadership under a veil of intergovernmentalism.’ Journal of Common Market Studies. DOI: 10.1111/jcms.12842

Beach, Derek (2019) 'Multi-methods research: a review of recent applications and ways forward.' Government and Opposition. DOI: 10.1017/gov.2018.53

Beach, Derek and Benedict Wauters (2018) Process tracing and congruence analysis to support theory based impact evaluation. Evaluation 24(3): 284–305. https://doi.org/10.1177/1356389018786081

Beach, Derek and Ingo Rohlfing (2018) ‘Integrating cross-case analyses and process tracing in set-theoretic research: Strategies and parameters of debate.’ Sociological Methods and Research. 47(1) 3-36. DOI: 10.1177/0049124115613780

Beach, D. (2018) ‘Achieving Methodological Alignment When Combining QCA and Process tracing in Practice.’, Sociological Methods and Research.47(1): 64-99, DOI: 10.1177/0049124117701475 

Beach, Derek, Kasper Møller Hansen, and Martin Vinnæs Larsen (2018). How campaigns enhance European issues voting during European Parliament elections. Political Science Research and Methods6(4): 791-808.

Beach, Derek and Rasmus Brun Pedersen (2018) 'Selecting appropriate cases when tracing causal mechanisms.', Sociological Methods & Research. 47(4):837-871, DOI: 10.1177/0049124115622510

Beach, Derek (2016) 'It’s all about mechanisms - what Process-tracing case studies should be tracing.',  New Political Economy, 21(5): 463-472.

Schmitt, Johannes and Derek Beach (2015) ‘The contribution of Process-tracing to evaluations of budget support programs.’ Evaluation, 21(4): 429-447.

Beach, Derek (2014) ‘Kausalitet og kausalmekanismer.’ Politica., Volume 46, No. 1, pp. 26 – 41.  

Beach, Derek (2013) ’Finanspagten og issue-linkage inden for eurosystemet.’ [The Fiscal Compact and issue-linkage within the Euro’, Politik. Vol. 16, Number 1, pp. 31-40. (peer-reviewed journal article)

Beach, Derek (2012) ‘Taking mechanisms seriously’, European Political Science advanced online publication (30 March 2012) | doi:10.1057/eps.2012.5). 

Beach, Derek (2012) ‘Fremtidens ledersløse formandskaber.’ [The Presidency’s of the Future], Økonomi og PolitikSeptember 2012, 85(3): 63-74.

Beach, Derek and Rasmus L. Nielsen (2008) ‘Folkeafstemninger, vælgeradfærd og EU-forbehold.’ [Referendums and voter behavior on EU opt-outs], Økonomi & Politik, vol. 81 nr. 3, pp. 25-34. 

Beach, Derek (2007) ‘The European Parliament in the 2000 IGC and the Constitutional Treaty Negotiations: from loser to winner.’ Journal of European Public Policy, Volume 14, Number 8, 2007, pp. 1271-1292.

Beach, Derek (2005) ‘Why governments comply : an integrative compliance model that bridges the gap between instrumental and normative models of compliance.’, Journal of European Public Policy. Volume 12, Number 1, February 2005, pp. 1-30. 

Beach, Derek (2004) 'The unseen hand in treaty reform negotiations: the role and impact of the Council Secretariat.', Journal of European Public Policy. Volume 11, Number 3, June 2004, pp. 408-439.

Book chapters and encyclopedia entries

Beach D. (2018) 'Process Tracing Methods.' In: Wagemann C., Goerres A., Siewert M. (eds) Handbuch Methoden der Politikwissenschaft. Springer Reference Sozialwissenschaften. Springer VS, Wiesbaden. (peer-reviewed)

Beach, D. (2018) 'Referendums in the European Union.', in Oxford Encyclopedia of Politics. Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.503  (peer-reviewed)

Beach, D (2018) 'Process-Tracing Methods in Social Science.' Oxford Research Encyclopedias of Politics: Qualitative Political Methodology. Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.176 (peer-reviewed)

Reykers, Y., and Beach, D. (2017) ‘Process-Tracing as a Tool to Analyse Discretion.’ In T. Delreux and J. Adriaensen (Eds), The Principal Agent Model and the European Union. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 255-281.  (peer-reviewed)

Beach, D (2017) 'Denmark: A tale of two referendums - the contrasts between low and high salience referendums in Denmark.' i F Mendez & M Mendez (red), Referendums on EU matters. European Parliament - Constitutional Affairs Committee Study. pp. 174-187.

Beach, D. (2015) ‘Liberal International Relations Theory and EU Foreign Policy.’, in Jørgensen, Aarstad, Drieskens, Laatikainen and Tonra (eds) The Sage Handbook of European Foreign Policy, London: Sage, pp. 86-98.

Beach, D. (2015) ’Process-tracing methods.’ Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy, Third Edition. London: Taylor and Francis.

Beach, D. (2013) ‘The Fiscal Compact, Euro-reforms, and the Challenge for the Opt-Outs.’, in Danish Foreign Policy Yearbook 2013, pp. 113-133. (peer-reviewed)

Beach, D. (2013) ‘Agency and the role of the European Court of Justice in building the European Union – judicial agency in a comparative perspective’, in Bice Maiguashca and Raf Marchetti (eds) Contemporary Political Agency - Theory and Practice.London: Routledge, 52-71. (peer-reviewed)

Beach, D. (2012) ‘The Constitutional Treaty: The Failed Formal Constitution.’, in Finn Laursen (ed.) Designing the European Union: From Paris to Lisbon. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 217-243.

Beach, D. (2012) ‘A stronger, more supranational Union.’, in Hubert Zimmermann and Andreas Dür (eds) Key Controversies in European Integration. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 49-56. (peer-reviewed)

Beach, D. (2012) ‘Process tracing: Metode, design og forskningslogik.’, in Lotte Bøgh Andersen, Kasper Møller Hansen og Robert Klemmesen (red.) Statskundskabens metoder. København: Hans Reitzels Forlag. 2nd Edition, pp. 235-257. (together with Rasmus Brun Pedersen). (peer-reviewed)

Beach, D. (2010) ‘Leadership and Intergovernmental Negotiations in the European Union.’, in Michelle Egan, Neill Nugent and William E. Paterson (eds) Research Agendas in EU Studies – stalking the elephant.Houndmills: Palgrave MacMillan., pp. 92-116. (peer-reviewed)

Beach, D. (2009) ‘Danskerne og EU-folkeafstemninger: hvad kan vælgeradfærdsforskning fortælle os?’, in Jens Blom-Hansen and Jørgen Elklit (eds) Perspektiver på Politik. Aarhus: Academica, pp. 193-198.

Beach, D. (2008) ‘A New Pragmatism – the European Parliament’, in Finn Laursen (ed.) The Rise and Fall of the EU's Constitutional Treaty. Leider: Kluwer Law International, pp. 323-342. (peer-reviewed)

Beach, D. (2008) 'The facilitator of efficient negotiations in the Council – the impact of the Council Secretariat', in D. Naurin and H. Wallace (eds) Unveiling the Council of the European Union.Houndmills: Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 219-237. (peer-reviewed)

Beach, D. (2006) 'The Commission and the Council Secretariat in the negotiation of the 2000 IGC.' in Finn Laursen (ed.)(2006) The Treaty of Nice: Actor Preferences. Bargaining and Institutional Choice. Leiden: Leiden: Academic Publishers Brill, pp. 369-408.  (peer-reviewed)

Beach, D. (2004) 'EU institutions and IGC negotiations – how the negotiation process affects their ability to gain influence in IGC’s.', in Paul Meerts and Franz Cede (eds) (2004)  Negotiating European Union. Houndsmills: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Beach, D. (2002) ‘Negotiating the Amsterdam Treaty: When Theory Meets Reality.’, in Finn Laursen (ed.) The Amsterdam Treaty: National Preference Formation, Interstate Bargaining and Outcome, Odense: Odense University Press, pp. 593-638. 

Other publications

(2017) 'Denmark: A tale of two referendums - the contrasts between low and high salience referendums in Denmark.' in F Mendez & M Mendez (eds) Referendums on EU matters. Study for the Committee on Constitutional Affairs. European Parliament, pp. 174-187. 

(2015) ‘Global surgical care: directions for further research.’, The Lancet Global Health, Vol. 3, August 2015, p. 432.

(2012) ‘Review and critical comments on Gerring’s Social Science Methodology.’, Qualitative and Multi-method research, Spring 2012.

(2012) ‘Comments on Process Tracing’, part of forthcoming special section in European Political Science on process tracing methodology. (peer-reviewed)

(2011) Makten i Europa. Stockholm: SNS Forlag (Demokratirådets rapport 2011) (with Jonas Tallberg, Daniel  Naurin and Teija Tiilikainen.

(2006) ‘Irakificering: Vejen mod afgrunden?’, Udenrigs,2006(1), pp. 31-36.

(2003) ’EU-Konventet.’, Udenrigs, 2003(4), pp. 21-27.


Major research grants and prizes

5,000,000 DKK (ca 800,000 euro) 'Mechanisms and Mechanistic Evidence in the Social Sciences.' Danish Independent Research Council.

800,700 DKK (ca 120,000 euro) ‘Semper Ardens’ research grant from the Carlsberg Foundation to complete a book manuscript on studying mechanisms. Awarded November 2018.

377,500 DKK research grant from the Carlsberg Foundation to fund survey of voter opinions after the EU referendum in Denmark on the Danish JHA opt-outs, principal investigator. Awarded 8 October 2015.

3,749.125 DKK research grant from the Danish Social Science Research Council to fund the Building a New Europe project. Principal investigator. Awarded June 2014.

2012 Sage Prize for Best Paper presented in qualitative methods to the American Political Science Association 2011 Annual Meeting – Paper ‘The Three Variants of Process-tracing’.

1,119,828 DKK research grant from the Danish Social Science Research Council to fund collaborative project ‘DK OPT – Danish opt-out referendum surveys – campaign effects and post-election survey’. Principal investigator. Research team includes Kasper Møller Hansen (KU), Claes de Vreese (SDU and Amsterdam), Sara Hobolt (LSE).

516,713 DKK research grant from the Danish Social Science Research Council to fund survey of voter opinions after the EU referendums in Denmark on the Danish opt-outs, principal investigator together with Prof. Palle Svennson. Date of award May 2008. (not utilized as no referendum has been held)

596,540 DKK research grant from the Danish Social Science Research Council to fund the project ‘Choosing Europe – Explaining governmental positions on EU constitutional reform.’, principal investigator. Date of award November 2005.

1,279,405 DKK research grant from the Danish Social Science Research Council to fund the Post-Doc project ‘Agents or actors – the influence of supranational actors in European rule-creation.’, principal investigator. Date of award June 2002.

Teaching experience

I have taught courses on following topics: qualiative research methods, international negotiation theory, US foreign policy, EU integration, and International Relations theory. These courses have ranged from introductory bachelor-level courses (large lectures), graduate-level seminars, to Ph.D. level courses.

Recent courses taught

Ph.D. course 'Social science as a craft.' 7 session, 10 ECTS all day ph.d. workshop on social science methods. Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus. Spring 2018.

ICPSR Summer School (Michigan), June 2016, 2017, 2018. Three day intensive course on Process-tracing.

IPSA Summer School, Sao Paulo, Brazil, January-February 2012 - 2018. Two week Ph.D.-level course on ‘case study methods in political science.’

ECPR Winter School, March 2018. One week intensive Ph.D.-level workshop on ‘Advanced Process Tracing’.

ECPR Winter School, February 2012 - 2017. One week Ph.D.-level course on ‘Advanced Process Tracing’.

ECPR Summer School, July-August 2012 - 2016, 2018. One week Ph.D.-level course on ‘Process-tracing’.

APSA Short Course on Process-Tracing, August 2013. APSA Short Course on Case study methods, August 2014, 2016, 2017.

Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies, Two day Ph.D.-level course in Process-tracing, March 2013, 2014, 2016-18. 

Institute of European Studies, Faculty of social and political sciences of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Two-day Ph.D. course on ‘Process-tracing’, January 16-17, 2014.

Introduction to International Relations, Spring 2011 - 2017, Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Workshop on Social Science Research, Concordia University, Three day course in case study methods in May 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, two days in 2012, 2013.

Three-day course in Process-tracing, University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, May 2015.

German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Two day course in Process-tracing, May 22-23, 2014, October 2014, June 2017. Two day course in causal case study methods, June 2015.

Graduate seminar, Advanced Political Analysis I and II, 2016-18.

Graduate seminar, 'Advanced EU Studies', Fall 2014, 2015, 2016, Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Graduate seminar, ‘Case study methods’, Fall 2012, Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

IPSA Summer School, Singapore, June 2012. Two week Ph.D.-level course on ‘case study methods in political science.’

US Foreign Policy since 1945, Graduate seminar, Fall 2007, 2011, 2013, 2016, Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus, Denmark

In-depth case studies, One week Ph.D. Course, Fall 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2017, Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

‘Introduction to International Relations Research’, Graduate seminar, American University, Summer 2007.

Experience with advising Ph.D. students

Completed: Rasmus Brun Pedersen (national preference formation in EU constitutional negotiations), completed June 2009, Ingvild Olsen (groups in the EU Council of Ministers), completed fall 2011, Henrik Jepsen (climate negotiations), completed fall 2012, Henrikas Bartesuvicus (causes of ethnic conflict), completed fall 2013, Aasne Aarestad (private security companies), completed fall 2016. Nicolas Burmester (BRIC cooperation), completed spring 2019. Jonas Gejl Pedersen (Russian foreign policy), competed fall 2018.

Ph.D. defense committees: European University Institute (May 2014), University of Bamberg (May 2018), University of Sheffield (September 2018), KU Leuven (October 2019)


Recent invited lecture 

Keynote speaker at Spring Conference 2019 of the Working Group “Methods in Evaluation” DeGEval – Evaluation Society “Causality and Plausibility – Evaluation between Science and Practice”, Vienna, Austria, June 2019.

Speaker at Sapphire Series panel "Progress and Communication across Methodological Divides in International Studies.", International Studies Association Annual Conference, March 2019. Toronto, CA.

'Process tracing methods.', All day lecture at Antwerp Management School, Antwerp, January 2018.

‘Process-tracing methods.’, Lecture at Science Po, Grenoble, April 2016.

‘Process-tracing methods.’, Lecture/workshop at the University of Bergen, Norway, October 2015.

'Qualitative case methods.', Lecture at the PRIMO Summer School, October 2014, University of Hamburg, Germany.

German institute for Development Evaluation (DEval), lecture on Process-tracing, November 2013.

Fachhochschule Düsseldorf, lecture on Process-tracing, November 2013.

Graduate research workshop at the ISA-NE meeting, ‘Case-centric case study methods and IR’, November 3, 2012. (http://www.isa-ne.org/2012-methodologies-workshop.html)

Central European University, Budapest. March 2012, ‘The Dynamics of European Integration’. Lecture.

University of Konstanz, Germany. February 2012, ‘Process-tracing methods’. One day seminar.

Dalhousie University, Halifax, CA, ‘The Politics of Fear in EU Referendum Campaigns: Do voters decide based on the issues or based on the size of the consequences of a no vote”, November 30, 2009.

Research leadership experience

Principal Investigator, project ‘Building a New Europe’. Research team includes post-doc Sandrino Smeets.

Academic co-convenor of the ECPR Methods Schools Program since fall 2012.

Principal Investigator, collaborative project ‘DK OPT – Danish opt-out referendum surveys – campaign effects and post-election survey’. Research team includes Kasper Møller Hansen (KU), Claes de Vreese (SDU and Amsterdam), Sara Hobolt (LSE).

Co-editing special issue (2018) of Sociological Methods and Researchtogether with Ingo Rohlfing entitled ‘Combining set theory and process tracing in multi-method research.’

Co-editor of peer-reviewed submitted articles, Politica(Danish peer-reviewed political science journal).

Co-director ECPR workshop entitled ‘Process tracing methods’ at the ECPR Joint Session of Workshops, April 2012, Antwerp.

Co-directed ECPR workshop entitled 'The Role of Political Agency in the Constitutional Politics of the EU' at the ECPR Joint Session of Workshops, 14-19 April 2005, Granada. (together with Thomas Christiansen, EIPA, Maastricht). The project resulted in an edited special issue of Journal of European Public Policyin December 2007.

Co-edited book project with Colette Mazzucelli that resulted in edited volume published in 2007 entitled Leadership in the Big Bangs of European Integration (Palgrave MacMillan).


Professional service

Member of the Board of the Committee on Concepts and Methods, International Political Science Association (summer 2012 - 2016).

Program chair for the Committee on Concepts and Methods for the 2014 International Political Science Association meeting.

Program co-chair for annual American Political Science Association meeting (2014) for the Qualitative and Multi-method Research Section.

Chairman of the Danish European Studies Association (spring 2011 – spring 2013).

Head of the International Relations Section, Department of Political Science, University of Aarhus (fall 2010 – fall 2012).

Reviewer for: American Political Science Review, Brazilian Political Science Review, Comparative Political Studies, European Journal of Political Research, European Union Politics, Evaluation, Field Research, Governance, Identities, International Political Science Review, Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of European Integration, Lancet Global Health, Political Research Quarterly, Political Science Research and Methods, Policy Studies Journal, Political Analysis, Political Studies, Public Administration, Review of International Organizations, Sociological Methods and Research, West European Politics, Palgrave Macmillan, Routledge, University of Michigan Press.

European Research Council (ERC).


Consulting activities

External methodological expert, Impact evaluation ESF interventions “organizing differently”, Flemish government. Ongoing.

Academic fellowship, Independent Expert Group, World Bank Group, April 2020.

Member of reference group for expert report on methods for Swedish Expert Group for Aid Studies, 2019.