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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Cleo Davies

Cleo Davies
Cleo Davies
Politics and International Relations School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Research Interests
International Organisations, European studies, The politics of financial market supervision and regulation, International Political Economy

PhD Title

“Instrumentalism, Power Maximisation, or Legitimation? Understanding the European Commission’s Response to the Global Financial Crisis, 2008-10”


PhD in Politics, University of Edinburgh: “Instrumentalism, Power Maximisation, or Legitimation? Understanding the European Commission’s Response to the Global Financial Crisis, 2008-10"

Research project

I carried out an empirical analysis of the decision-making process that led to the creation of the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) of financial activities after the 2007 financial crisis in the European Union.  The thesis provides a theoretical framework to investigate different motivations guiding action: power-maximization concerns to increase influence, instrumental concerns to provide a solution to the problem revealed by the crisis, and legitimacy concerns to conform to  perceived expectations. Empirically, it is an investigation of organizational decision-making in a context of crises.

Master’s Degree in European and International Studies, Institute for European Studies, University Paris Vincennes - Paris 8, First class honors

Degree in History, University Denis Diderot Paris 7, 2:1 


2016-2018; Politics and International Relations Career Development PhD Scholarship 

2018 UACES funding for the research trip to the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU) at the EUI

Research Experience

Research Assistant, "Evaluating academic engagement with UK legislatures: Exchanging knowledge on knowledge exchange", University of Edinburgh (July-December 2019)

Research Assistant, What Works Scotland, University of Edinburgh (July -December 2016)


Guest Lecturer, Senior Tutor and Tutor

Undergraduate courses in the School of Social and Political Science: International Cooperation in Europe and Beyond (International organizations: WTO, UN and EU); International Political Economy; European Social Policy (comparative analysis of European welfare systems); Environment and Society (science and technology approach to environmental policy); Introduction to Politics and International Relations; European social Policy; British politics and the welfare state

Latest Conference Papers

UACES 49th Annual Conference, University of Lisbon, 1-4 September 2019

  • “A theoretical approach for understanding the European Commission motivations for action” 
  • “The Commission, “Wise Men” and the Single Market: Investigating the uses of High Level Expert Groups over time” 

Latest Blogposts and Think Tank Papers 

“The UK and the post-Brexit financial services regulatory and supervisory regime: From rule-maker to rule-taker?”, November 2019, the European Futures Blog on Europe from the Edinburgh Europa Institute (link to blogpost)

 “Reflecting on Archival Work - Visiting the Historical Archives of the European Union”, the UACES Blog, December 2018 (link to the blogpost

“Scotland and Brexit: Going beyond the emotional dimension in what distinguishes Scotland from the rest of the UK”, paper for Think Tank EuroCité, Paris, January 2017 (link to online publication)


  • Member of the Europa InstituteUniversity of Edinburgh
  • Member of SKAPE, the Center for science, knowledge and policy, University of Edinburgh
  • Member of UACES, The academic association for contemporary European Studies