Moritz Wassum


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Personal Statement

After having completed my undergraduate studies in Political Science and Economics (BA) at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, I studied for a double degree in International Political Economy and Politics and Public Administration (MA) at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, and the University of Konstanz, Germany. Since October 2016 I am a PhD candidate in Politics at the University of Strathclyde’s School of Government and Public Policy (GPP) in Glasgow. As regarding my research interests, I am especially interested into new forms of regulatory governance, such as the governance through independent regulatory agencies (IRAs), and the comparative study of different forms of capitalism.

In my PhD thesis I focus on competition policy. Specifically, I explain cross-country and within-country variation in formal competition law provisions as well as enforcement activities by competition authorities over time. While there is broad consensus on the basic principles and goals to be pursuit by competition policy it remains considerable variation in the scope and strictness of competition laws and enforcement approaches. For example, the United States’ ‘substantial lessening of competition’ approach is often contrasted with the European Union’s ‘market dominance’ approach. Furthermore, controversy remains as to whether competition authorities enforce competition laws in a fair and consistent manner by focusing on economic criteria or whether other objectives (e.g., industrial policy and protectionist objectives) and pressures (e.g., political- and private economic interests) influence enforcement decisions. The thesis investigates these issues by the use of time series cross-sectional regression analysis. The main argument is that domestic-institutional factors (legal origin and varieties of capitalism) mediate and channel global pressures for the adoption of competition laws resulting in different enforcement approaches. Furthermore, despite a trend towards an economisation of competition policy, competition authorities continue to show responsiveness to other factors such as business cycles, industrial policy objectives, and political majorities, an aspect of competition policy whose pros and cons have not yet been fully addressed and understood in the literature.


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