• Room 02.005 - 25 University Square

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD applications in the fields of:
- The Politics of Brexit
- Populism in Europe and North America
- Far Right Politics
- Right-wing violence in Europe
- Competition policy and single market governance

1993 …2023

Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


European Union Politics;

Competition Policy;

Northern Ireland -EU relationship;

Politics of the extreme right in Europe

and German politics.

Research Statement


Since entering the profession I have been committed to research and publishing the findings. I have been entered in all FIVE RAE/REF cycles in which I have been eligible, namely in 1996 (at UU where the unit scored 4), in 2001 (as part of the Institute of European Studies, QUB submission which scored 5, 2007, 2013 and most recently in 2021 (Politics at QUB).  Over the course of the last three decades I have developed both a national and an international reputation for expertise in the politics of the European Union with particular emphasis on competition policy and produced the first major work from political science on the EU competition regime. This was extensively rewritten (to account for major changes post 2000) for a second edition (in 2009) and has been followed by the first political science work on EU cartel policy for Edward Elgar in 2010. My works in the competition field have become standard texts and have helped to fuel a growing interest in this area not only among political scientists but increasingly among a new generation of both political scientists and competition historians. My work is continually cited and as of July 2021 (according to Google Scholar) I have over 1700 citations and an h-index of 18.


My research falls into three strands and is as follows:


Strand 1: My main area of research centres on one the EU’s few exclusive competences (as identified under the Lisbon Treaty), namely European competition policy. This policy area is one of the few examples of genuine supranational regulation and an area where the European Commission maintains sole responsibility for policy implementation and one that is effectively ‘federal’ in operation. I have published research in some of the leading Politics journals - such as Governance, Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Integration, Journal of European Publis Policy, European Journal of Political Research and perspectives on European Politics.  


Strand 2: The second research strand explored the impact of European Union membership for Northern Ireland under devolution after 1999. The research was prompted through the Labour government’s decision to re-introduce devolution to Northern Ireland in 1999. My research activities in this area were facilitated by two specific ESRC grants (outlined below) and have resulted in peer reviewed articles in journals such as Irish Political Studies and Regional and Federal Studies as weall as book chapters. I played an active role  before and after the EU referendum. I co-produced two briefing papers on Northern Ireland and the EU (2015 and 2016), gave evidence to committees from the House of Commons, the House of lords, The welsh Assembly and participated in numerous talks pre and post referendum to the international press, to the national press including BBC Radio 4 and Newsnight2, was asked to give talks in Moldova and Cyprus on the EU and attended a range of conferences taling about Northern Ireland (including Miami, Denver, Krakow and Lisbon. I also produced one of the first books on Brexit (for Palgrave in 2018). .

My research on strans 1 and 2 led me to secure a prestiguous Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration in 2016.

Strand 3: The third stream derives from my doctoral research which was concerned with the nature and role of right-wing extremism in Germany and especially the activities of neo-Nazi groups. The focus of the doctoral research was very much on exploring the characteristics and levels of right-wing violence. The initial research has been published in a book, several articles (e.g. 'Journal of Contemporary European Studies' and book chapter format. It also led to a successful grant application to the British Academy in 2010 to study the new far right grouping in the European Parliament.  Publications in this area are increasing and 2013-15 sees a series of articles in 'Parliamentary Affairs', 'German Politics' and the 'Journal of Anglophone Studies'. In addition, I have been approached to contribute to a new book on the far right in the UK.

This research had led direcyly to the creation of a research led to an extremely popular level 3 module on the Politics of the Far Right in Europe. It has also enavled me to establish links with other reseachers on the theme of the far right across Europe.      



Politics and Policyt of the European Union (level 2 UG convenor since 1999)

Politics of the Far Right in Europe and North America (level 3 UG convenor since 2012)

Issues in Contemporary Politics (LEVEL 1 UG convenor from 2021

The UK and Brexit (MA module since 2018)

Democratic Challenges (MA module since 2018)

Research Design (MA module since 2018)

Politics and Government in Northern Ireland.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development 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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Dive into the research topics where Lee McGowan is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or