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Thomas Henökl

Associate Professor

HU001 ( Universitetsveien 25, Kristiansand )

Before coming to Norway in 2011, Thomas was working for the European Commission in Brussels (External Relations DG, later the European External Action Service, EEAS). In 2008, Thomas joined the Commission as Regional Security Advisor in DG External Relations, and later Security Policy Officer within the EEAS responsible for Asia and Africa (including a number of field visits to the regions). In this capacity, he was also in Cairo during the decisive moments of the ‘Arab Spring’ in January/February 2010 to report and to oversee the evacuation of European citizens.

Thomas has done research in the fields of international relations, European public policy and administration, on subjects such as the development of regional integration in Asia and inter-regional forums of cooperation, EU foreign and security policy or ethics and integrity management in the public sector. Recently, some of his work appeared in Journal of European Integration, European Foreign Affairs Review, and the Journal of Contemporary European Research. He was co-responsible of large-scale comparative studies on reforming public management in the EU member states and co-authored several studies on these subjects. At present, his work is bringing these two strands together in the study of Europe’s new external and diplomatic service, assessing the transformative impact on the EU central and the national administrative systems.

In April 2015, Thomas defended his PhD thesis, entitled “Inside the External Action Service: Unpacking the EU’s Foreign Policy Bureaucracy” at the University of Agder: http://www.uia.no/nyheter/disputas-nummer-100-har-eu-administrasjonen-som-tema

He holds Master’s degrees in Political Science from the Universities of Innsbruck (Austria), from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences-Po, Paris, MA European public policy), and a post-graduate degree from the International Christian University (ICU), Tokyo (MA Public administration and international organization). From 2002-2004, he was among the first students awarded the Rotary scholarship (http://rotary.de/panorama/global-gefragter-experte-a-6044.html) to study crisis management and conflict resolution, and was then writing on questions of East-Asian regional security and the perspective for the conflict on the Korean peninsula. During that period he was also working as an advisor in the Political and Economic Section of EU Delegation to Japan.

Academic interests

Having done research in the field of international relations, and more precisely on the development of regional integration in Asia and inter-regional forums of cooperation, Thomas has worked on European public administration, notably on large-scale comparative studies on the evolution of the civil service systems in the EU member states. At present, his work is bringing these two strands together in the study of Europe’s new foreign policy bureaucracy, assessing the transformative impact on the EU central and the national administrative systems.

Recently, the focus of his research has been whether and how the establishment of a relatively independent EU foreign policy administration, bridging different branches of the EU executive (European Council, Council of Ministers and Commission) makes a critical case for the transformation of the European political order; in that it, first, represents a transfer of capacity for action in an area of core-state competences to the EU level, and, second, because it profoundly affects how foreign policy makers at different levels and institutional actors embedded in the various EU and global governance layers are bound and coupled together, and how power and resources are distributed among and between them.

At the German Development Institute in Bonn, Germany (https://www.die-gdi.de/en/thomas-henoekl/) Thomas is working on the organizational dimension of EU foreign policy and international cooperation.


At the Institute for Political Science and Management Thomas is part of the study group on European public policy and multi-level administration (http://www.uia.no/en/research/samfunnsvitenskap/european-integration-and-governance). He also takes interest in Europe as a global actor, the EU’s role in international security and crisis management as well as transnational public administration and global governance.

Thomas' current research interests and questions include:

- The study of the emergence and development of cross-level and cross-sectorial policy networks, and their effects on existing (EU-level, national and regional) governance structures and processes;

- Identification of tendencies and patterns of change in these governance structures, i.e. to discuss not only whether governance models and structures change, but to pinpoint how and in which directions they might evolve;


- Examine tendencies of integration and centralization of core state powers in other crucial areas of sovereignty administration, notably in the field of security (defence, external border management, policing) or territorial governance but also in distributive policies, such as taxation and economic governance;


- Research the effects of MLA systems on states or territorial entities at the regional level as well as beyond the national level, and see how they are affected by cooptation of new politico-administrative arrangements via effects of executive centre formation and re-formation, evolving administrative spaces, cross-boundary governance and rule transfer;


- Compare new forms and examples of regional (dis-)integration, including (macro-)regional developments, particularly in areas of intersecting or conflicting territorial and transnational interests, such as the High North and the Arctic or the Eastern neighborhood;

- Contribute to the theoretical discussions, explaining alterations and transformation of political and socio-economic systems and administrative spaces in contemporary Europe.


Earlier, as a researcher at the European Institute of Public Administration (Maastricht, NL), he was involved in a series of quantitative research projects on EU and national public administration, notably a large scale comparative project ‘Regulating Conflicts of Interests for Holders of Public Office’ (with C. Demmke, M. Bovens and T. Moilanen, available at: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/policy_advisers/publications/docs/hpo_professional_ethics_en.pdf), as well as a number of other studies on the civil service systems in the EU member states. Dissemination of research and debate with students as well as professionals of public administration involved amongst others the European Public Administration Network (EUPAN), a forum bringing together the Director Generals responsible for the civil services of the EU member states. To present his findings and results, he was further invited to lecture at different international academic institutions in Europe and North America, such as the University of St. Gallen (CH), ENA (Strasbourg and Paris), University of Montreal (CA), George Washington University, Syracuse University, and the World Bank, Washington, DC.

Since 2012, Thomas is also Expert member of the Ethics Advisory Committee of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA, http://echa.europa.eu).

In July 2015 Thomas has been appointed Senior Researcher at the German Development Institute, Bonn (Deutsches Insititut für Entwicklungspolitik, DIE); see also: https://www.die-gdi.de/en/thomas-henoekl/

Scientific publications

  • Schumacher, Tobias; Henökl, Thomas (2018). The Routledge Handbook of the European Neighbourhood Policy. ISBN: 978-1-138-91372-1. Routledge. s 554.

Last changed: 20.12.2019 11:12