Elliot Posner

Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science


Mather House 217
Office Hours: Tuesdays from 12:00 - 1:30 in Mather House 107. Students need to notify Prof. Posner in advance if they plan to attend office hours.

Elliot Posner is a political economist whose research asks new and classic questions about market formation, international cooperation and interdependence, supranational political actors and regulation. He has written about the internal sources of the European Union’s external influence, the changing terms of transatlantic regulatory bargains, culpability and reform in the context of the 2008 Great Financial Crisis, and the long-term political effects of transnational voluntary standards. He teaches courses on international relations, political economy, the European Union and the international politics of technology.


Prof. Posner is currently working on a project about the politics of electricity systems. Originating in his outrage over a bribery scandal involving the Ohio General Assembly, this research is about wholesale electricity markets created over the last three decades in North America and Europe. Its focus is on the political fights that configure these markets and thereby shape key aspects of electric grids, such as their reliability, the fate of coal and nuclear power plants, and the pace of decarbonization.

He also maintains a longstanding interest in the politics of finance. “Financial Regulatory Conundrums in the North Atlantic” (European Journal of Political Research, 2023), co-authored with Lucia Quaglia, explains why stringent financial regulation adopted in Washington and Brussels after the Great Financial Crisis remains largely intact. Highlighting a post-crisis buildup of capacities to punish the other jurisdiction and its firms, the article engages with debates about sustaining global public goods. Voluntary Disruptions: International Soft Law, Finance and Power  (Oxford University Press, 2018), co-authored with Abraham Newman, is about the impact of non-binding financial regulatory agreements on the United States, the European Union and financial services industry groups. It investigates core theoretical topics about temporality, institutional context and power. The Origins of Europe’s New Stock Markets (Harvard University Press, 2009) is about the EU politics surrounding smaller company finance and venture capital. It addresses questions about the nature and origins of markets, their relationship to politics and bureaucracy, and institutional change and innovation. Other articles and book chapters have appeared in the European Journal of International Relations, Journal of European Public Policy, International Organization, the Review of International Political Economy, World Politics and edited volumes.

Background, interests and more

Before earning a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, Prof. Posner received degrees from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University (M.A.) and Brown University (B.A.) and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana, where he taught English and math to eighth and ninth graders. He was a resident fellow at Iméra, Institut des études avancées, Aix-Marseille Université (2018-19). The recipient of a European Union Affairs Fulbright research grant, he spent the 2011-12 academic year as a visiting scholar at Sciences-Po’s Centre d’études européenes in Paris and at Bruegel, a Brussels-based think tank. Through his active participation in the Organized Section on Qualitative and Multi-Method Research of the American Political Science Association, he supports the advancement of qualitative research.

Before coming to CWRU in 2007, he was an assistant professor of political science and international affairs at the George Washington University. From 2008 to 2021, he directed the Wellman Hill Political Science Internship Grants Program and has been Chair of the Department of Political Science since 2021. Posner is married to Professor Gillian Weiss, a member of CWRU’s Department of History since 2002.

Selected Publications and Papers

Financial Regulatory Conundrums in the North Atlantic,” European Journal of Political Research, released online July 30, 2023, https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6765.12616. (Coauthored with Lucia Quaglia)

“Research Ethics: Human Subjects and Research Openness” (Coauthored with Lauren M. MacLean, Susan Thomson and Elisabeth Jean Wood). Summary with link to the full report in “Qualitative Transparency Deliberation: Insights and Implications,” Perspectives on Politics, 19, 1 (2021).

Voluntary Disruptions: International Soft Law, Finance and Power (Oxford University Press, 2018). (Coauthored with Abraham Newman)

“Structuring Transnational Interests: The Second-Order Effects of Soft Law in the Politics of Global Finance,” Review of International Political Economy 23, 5 (2016): 768-798. (Coauthored with Abraham Newman.)

International Interdependence and Regulatory Power: Authority, Mobility and Markets,” European Journal of International Relations 17, 4 (December 2011): 589-610. (Co-authored with Abraham Newman.)

Sequence as Explanation: The International Politics of Accounting Standards,” Review of International Political Economy,17, 4 (October 2010): 639-664.

The EU and Financial Regulation: Power without Purpose?” Journal of European Public Policy 17, 3 (April 2010): 400-15. (Coauthored with Nicolas Véron.)

Making Rules for Global Finance: Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation at the Turn of the Millennium,” International Organization 63, 4 (Fall 2009): 665-99.

The Origins of Europe’s New Stock Markets (Harvard University Press, 2009). Ebook available.

Financial Transformation in the European Union,” in Making History: European Integration and Institutional Change at Fifty (State of the European Union, Volume Eight), edited by Kathleen McNamara and Sophie Meunier (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 139-156.

Sources of Institutional Change: The Supranational Origins of Europe’s New Stock Markets,World Politics 58, 1 (October 2005): 1-40.

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