Dr Nicola Chelotti

Lecturer in Diplomacy and International Governance

A photograph of Nicola Chelotti

Dr Nicola Chelotti's teaching and research interests focus on negotiations, diplomacy and regional/international organizations, the EU in particular. The underlying theme is to understand how informal practices emerge in international interactions and shape policy processes and outcomes.

Dr Nicola Chelotti's main research outputs so far have concerned the study of diplomacy in Europe. Using an original database of 138 questionnaires (around 36% of the entire population) compiled by national negotiators in EU foreign policy – while also conducting 37 in-depth interviews with them – Dr Chelotti investigated how EU states formulate a common foreign and security policy. Out of this research, he has, inter alia, written two articles (published in Cooperation and Conflict and West European Politics) and just published a book, The Formulation of EU foreign policy. Socialization, negotiations and the disaggregation of the state (Routledge, 2016). This research confirms the very important role that single negotiators play in the formulation and negotiation of the national position in the EU. Individual diplomats enjoy good amount of freedom in identifying the goals and the tactics of the state. Yet, if single officials are relatively autonomous from capital-based structures, while being in constant contact with colleagues from other states, the decision-making process does not regularly produce collectively legitimized policies.

Academic background

After completing his first degree in Political Science at University of Pisa (joint degree with Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies), Dr Chelotti attained an MA in International Affairs (Diplomacy/International Cooperation), at ISPI (Milan) and an MSc in EU politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He then went back for Italy for his PhD (University of Florence), which investigated the decision-making processes of EU foreign and defence policy. Before joining Loughborough University (in 2016) as Lecturer in Diplomacy and International Governance, Dr Chelotti was an LSE Fellow in the Department of International Relations, at the London School of Economics. He previously held teaching and research positions at University of Pisa, University College London and University of Aberdeen. At UCL and LSE in particular, he taught on numerous different modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, on the European Union, both in its internal and external components, and in the field of International Relations.

Current research and collaborations

Nicola’s research mostly investigates how international actors make decisions in international politics – the patterns, logics, and outcomes of international negotiations. In the past, he analysed in depth the formulation of EU foreign and defence policy and – together with Edoardo Bressanelli (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa) – the reform of the EU’s Economic and Monetary Union (2011-2013). At the moment, he is working on three main research projects.

First, he has been researching on Brexit since 2017 when he was part of a Loughborough-based team in an ESRC-funded project, ‘28+ perspectives on Brexit: A guide to the multi-stakeholder negotiations’. In particular, he has been analysing the role of the European Parliament in the Brexit negotiations and the European parties’ response to Brexit.

Second, he is writing one paper on the role of individuals in international negotiations. More specifically, the paper explains when and why individual diplomats enjoy substantial leeway in multilateral negotiations. It argues that the state is disaggregated twice: first, from the political to administrative layer, and second, within the latter, from capital-based bodies to single negotiators. It then shows that negotiation tactics are de facto chosen by single diplomats, and not by the wider national bureaucratic machinery.

Third, Nicola is starting to develop a project on the role of trust in international negotiations. More in particular, it aims to investigate to what extent national officials display trust in international negotiations, and how trust increases and/or decreases during the process. In this vein, it plans to analyse issues such as generalised traits of trust, trust in situational contexts and emotions and trust.

Current PhD / research supervisions

  • Alicja Prochniak – Myths and Identities in Polish Foreign Policy
  • Neil Mortimer – Experimentalist Governance in Europe

Nicola welcomes PhD applications in the field of: international negotiations; decision-making process in the European Union; United Nations diplomacy; regional organizations

Interests and activities

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