Matthias Matthijs

Matthias Matthijs

Assistant Professor of International Political Economy
European and Eurasian Studies
Global Theory and History
International Political Economy

1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 742, Washington DC 20036


  • Europe
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • United Kingdom
  • Comparative Politics
  • Global Financial Crises
  • Globalization
  • European Union and Transatlantic Relations
  • International Organizations
  • International Political Economy
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German

Background and Education

Matthias Matthijs is Assistant Professor of International Political Economy. He teaches graduate courses in International Relations, Comparative Politics and International Economics. His research focuses on the politics of economic crises, the role of economic ideas in economic policymaking, the politics of inequality, the limits of regional integration, and the erosion of democratic legitimacy in the European Union. He is the recipient of a 2015 Johns Hopkins Catalyst Award in recognition of his work as a promising early-career investigator. At Johns Hopkins SAIS, he was awarded the Max M. Fisher Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2011 and 2015. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of the European Union Studies Association (EUSA).
He is editor (with Mark Blyth) of the book The Future of the Euro published by Oxford University Press in April 2015, and author of Ideas and Economic Crises in Britain from Attlee to Blair (1945-2005), published by Routledge in 2011. The latter is based on his PhD dissertation, which received the Samuel H. Beer Prize for Best Dissertation in British Politics by a North American scholar, awarded by the British Politics Group of the American Political Science Association in 2010. Matthijs is also the author of numerous peer reviewed articles published or forthcoming in journals like Perspectives on PoliticsPolitics & Society, Review of International Political Economy, GovernanceGovernment and Opposition, the Journal of European Public Policy, the Journal of European Integration, and The International Spectator. He has also written multiple articles and essays for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Journal of Democracy,  Survival, and Current History.

He previously taught at American University's School of International Service (from 2008 to 2012) in Washington, DC, and was a visiting assistant professor at SAIS Europe in Bologna (spring 2010). He has also served as a consultant for the World Bank’s Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS) from 2005 to 2007 and for the Economist Intelligence Unit from 2009 to 2011. He is a frequent commentator on international affairs in US and international media.

Google Scholar Profile here.

Download Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


Caging the Nation-State: Technocrats vs. Democracy in European Integration (Book Manuscript – draft in progress).

"Hegemonic Leadership Is What States Make Of It: Reading Kindleberger in Washington and Berlin” (Revise & Resubmit).
“Beyond Central Bank Independence: Rethinking Technocratic Legitimacy in Monetary Affairs" (with Erik Jones, forthcoming, Journal of Democracy, Vol. 30, No. 2, April 2019).
"Ever Tighter Union? Brexit, Grexit, and Frustrated Differentiation in the Single Market and Eurozone" (with Craig Parsons & Christina Toenshoff, Under Review).

"Polanyian Muscles in Hayekian Brussels: The European Union's Economic Authority in Comparative Perspective" (with Craig Parsons, research in progress).
"Mind the EU Identity Gap: Southern Exit, Northern Voice, and Changing National vs. European Loyalties" (with Silvia Merler, draft available).


The Future of the Euro (co-edited with Mark Blyth), New York: Oxford University Press, Published Hardcover/Paperback 2015.


  • By Anthony Payne in International Affairs 91 (6) (2015): Read it here.
  • By Daniel W. Drezner in The Washington Post (2015): Read it here.
  • By Herman M. Schwartz in Acta Politica 51 (2016): Read it here.
  • By Miguel Otero-Iglesias for EUSA Review of Books (2015): Read it here.
  • By Josef Hien for EuVisions (2016): Read it here.
  • By Randall Germain for CritCom (Council for European Studies, 2016): Read it here.

Ideas and Economic Crises in Britain from Attlee to Blair (1945-2005), London & New York: Routledge, Published Hardcover: 2011; Paperback: 2012.


  • By Barrie Dyster in The Economic and Labour Relations Review (2013): Read it here.
  • By Jim Tomlinson in The Economic History Review (2013): Read it here.

Articles and Book Chapters

"Of Paradigms and Power: British Economic Policy Making since Thatcher" (with Martin B. Carstensen), Governance 31 (3), July 2018, pp. 431-447.
"When Is It Rational to Learn the Wrong Lessons? Technocratic Authority, Social Learning, and Euro Fragility" (with Mark Blyth), Perspectives on Politics 16 (1), March 2018, pp. 110-126.
"Black Swans, Lame Ducks, and the Mystery of IPE's Missing Macroeconomy" (with Mark Blyth), Review of International Political Economy 24 (2), April 2017, pp. 204-231.
"Integration at What Price? The Erosion of National Democracy in the Euro Periphery," Government and Opposition 52 (2), April 2017, pp. 266-294.
"Democracy without Solidarity: Political Dysfunction in Hard Times" (with Erik Jones), Government and Opposition 52 (2), April 2017, pp. 185-210.
"Europe After Brexit: A Less Perfect Union," Foreign Affairs 96 (1), January/February 2017, pp. 85-95.
"The Euro's 'Winner-Take-All' Political Economy: Institutional Choices, Policy Drift, and Diverging Patterns of Inequality," Politics & Society 44 (3), September 2016, pp. 393-422.
"The Failure of German Leadership," in Hubert Zimmermann and Andreas Dür (eds.), Key Controversies in European Integration (2nd edition, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), pp. 236-243.
"Roundtable on Ideational Turns in the Four Subdisciplines of Political Science" (with Jeffrey Checkel, Jeffrey Friedman, and Rogers Smith), Critical Review 28 (2), 2016, pp. 171-202.
"The Three Faces of German Leadership," Survival 58 (2), April/May 2016, pp. 135-154.
"Powerful Rules Governing the Euro: The Perverse Logic of German Ideas," Journal of European Public Policy 23 (3), March 2016, pp. 375-391.
"A Barbarous Relic: The Economic Consequences of the Euro," Challenge 58 (6), December 2015, pp. 477-491.
“Introduction: The Future of the Euro and the Politics of Embedded Currency Areas” (with Mark Blyth), chapter 1 in Matthias Matthijs and Mark Blyth (eds), The Future of the Euro (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 1-17.
“European Integration Past, Present and Future: Moving Forward through Crisis?” (with Craig Parsons), chapter 10 Matthias Matthijs and Mark Blyth (eds), The Future of the Euro (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 210-232.
“Conclusion: The Future of the Euro – Possible Futures, Risks, and Uncertainties” (with Mark Blyth), chapter 12 in Matthias Matthijs and Mark Blyth (eds), The Future of the Euro (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 249-269.
"The Euro Crisis' Theory Effect: Northern Saints, Southern Sinners, and the Demise of the Eurobond" (with Kate McNamara), Journal of European Integration 37 (2), February 2015, pp. 229-245.
"Europe Reborn: How to Save the European Union from Irrelevance" (with R. Daniel Kelemen), Foreign Affairs 94 (1), January/February 2015, pp. 96-107.
"Mediterranean Blues: The Crisis in Southern Europe," Journal of Democracy 25 (1), January 2014, pp. 101-115.
“The Eurozone Crisis: Growing Pains or Doomed from the Start?” Chapter 14 in Manuela Moschella and Catherine Weaver (eds.), Handbook of Global Economic Governance (Routledge, 2014), pp. 201-217.
“The Dollar Paradox: America Caught Between Managing Decline and Enjoying Exorbitant Priviliges” Chapter 3 in John Harper (ed.), A Resolute Faith in the Power of Reasonable Ideas, David Calleo Festschrift, SAIS Bologna Center, January 2014, pp. 29-47.
"David Cameron's Dangerous Game: The Folly of Flirting With an EU Exit," Foreign Affairs 92 (5), September/October 2013, pp. 10-16.
“Crying Wolf Again? Western Economic Decline after the Great Recession,” The International Spectator 41 (3), September 2012, pp. 37-52.
“Global Economy and the United States,” Essay Entry Contribution to David Coates (ed.), The Oxford Companion to American Politics (Oxford University Press, 2012).
“Can Africa Leap into Global Network Trade?" (with Uma Subramanian), World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, No. WPS 4112, January 2007.
“Power and Preservation in the House of Saud” (with Gregg Johnson and Greg Lehman), The Bologna Center Journal for International Affairs, Spring 2002.


“Brexit, British Politics, and European Integration” (with Christina Toenshoff). In Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science. Ed. Sandy Maisel. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

Book Reviews

Review of Fractured Continent: Europe's Crises and the Fate of the West (W.W. Norton, 2017) by William Drozdiak, in The Washington Post (October 2017).
Review of From Convergence to Crisis: Labor Markets and the Instability of the Euro (Cornell University Press, 2016) by Alison Johnston, in Perspectives on Politics (Summer 2017).
Review of Resilient Liberalism in Europe's Political Economy (Cambridge University Press, 2013) by Vivien A. Schmidt and Mark Thatcher, eds., in EUSA Review of Books (November 2015).

Shorter Articles

"Theresa May's Brexit Dilemma: It Comes Down to Country vs. Party," Foreign Affairs, Online, December 19, 2017.
"The Fate of Social Democracy Is Being Decided in Germany" (with Erik Jones), Foreign Policy, Online, December 12, 2017.
"Theresa May's horrible, no good, very bad day explains why democracy is better than technocracy" (with Mark Blyth), The Monkey Cage, Washington Post Online, October 5, 2017.
"This Was the Worst Possible German Election for Europe" (with Erik Jones), Foreign Policy, Online, September 26, 2017
"As the Reality of Brexit Sinks In, There Are No Good Options for the UK," World Politics Review, July 12, 2017.
"May's Bad Bet: What Losing the Conservative Party Majority Will Cost Britain," Foreign Affairs, Online, June 9, 2017.
"Worried about the decline in democracy? Worry about the politicians, not the voters" (with Erik Jones), The Monkey Cage, Washington Post Online, April 11, 2017.
"Goodbye To All That? Brexit and the Future of the United Kingdom" (with Andrew Whitworth), World Politics Review, April 4, 2017.
"Pulling the Trigger on Brexit and Passing the Point of No Return," Foreign Affairs, Online, March 29, 2017.
"The West Should Hope That Merkel Loses," Foreign Policy, Online, December 20, 2016
"Brexit's Path Forward: Why It'll Be No Cakewalk" (with Andrew Whitworth), Foreign Affairs, Online, November 30, 2016.
"Which Brexit Will May Choose? Save the United Kingdom or the Tories," Foreign Affairs, Online, July 18, 2016.
"Post-Brexit, the U.K. is in its worst political crisis since 1940, and the E.U. may be about to unravel," The Monkey Cage, Washington Post Online, June 29, 2016.
"Britain's Point of No Return: Europe's Democratic Dysfunction and the False Promise of Referenda," Foreign Affairs, Online, June 21, 2016.
"Dysfunctional Democracy and Referenda: The Case of Brexit," World Politics Review, June 9, 2016.
"Should It Stay or Should it Go? The Brexistential Crisis" (with R. Daniel Kelemen), Foreign Affairs, Online, February 29, 2016.
"When Destiny Meets Desire: The German Leadership Conundrum" essay contribution to AICGS Policy Report 63, October 2015.
"Cameron's EU Referendum: Lucky Gamble or Mission Impossible?" World Politics Review, June 26, 2015.
“Despite Anti-EU Rhetoric, Election Shows U.K.’s Continental Drift” (with Brian Fox), World Politics Review, April 15, 2015.
"Britain and Europe: The End of the Affair?" Current History 113 (761), 100th Anniversary Issue, March 2014, pp. 91-97.
"Trading Up or Trading Down? Emerging Markets' Changing Interests in the World Trade System," (with Pravin Krishna), SAISPHERE (Johns Hopkins University, SAIS), January 2014.
“Memo to Euroland: You Can’t Run a Gold Standard in a Democracy,” APSA European Politics and Society Section, Newsletter, Summer 2012.
“The World Waits for Germany” (with Mark Blyth), Foreign Affairs, Online, June 2012.
“White, Grey, and Black (Euro) Swans: Dealing with Transatlantic Financial Risk in 2012," Transatlantic Perspectives, AICGS: Washington, DC, April 2012.
“Why Only Germany Can Fix the Euro” (with Mark Blyth), Foreign Affairs, Online, November 2011.
“The Sons of Brixton: Cameron's Failed Politics of Austerity,” Foreign Affairs, Online, August 2011.
“Not Just a German Problem: Lessons from the EMU Sovereign Debt Crisis for Global Adjustment,” Crooked Timber, Online, January 2011.
“Brown and the New British Diplomacy,” SAISPHERE (Johns Hopkins University, SAIS), December 2007.
“US and EU Trade Policy towards the Middle East: A Comparative Assessment,” Conflict in Focus, Issue 20 (Amman, Jordan: Regional Centre on Conflict Prevention), August 2007.

2015-03-01 00:00:00 
Fall 2018 
This course is ...
This course is intended to bridge the gap between economics and politics as taught at SAIS. The first part of the course is an overview of the Classical Liberal, Listian/Marxian, Keynesian/Kaleckian, Polanyian, and Hayekian understandings of the economy. Each of these serves as both a primer to political economy and as an introduction to the main contemporary approaches. Following the introduction, the course engages with what many scholars argue is the major approach in comparative political economy: rational choice theory. By contrast the next section looks beyond the rationalist tradition, to the nowadays somewhat neglected historical tradition. Building upon the historical tradition, we next look at institutionalist approaches, explaining institutional change and stability over time through path dependence and earlier arrangements. We end with more social constructivist understandings of political economy, emphasizing the powerful role of economic ideas in the evolution of economic policymaking over time.
Spring 2019 
This course is ...
This course is intended as a capstone seminar in IPE for advanced second year students. The central aim is to bridge the gap between your knowledge of international economics and international relations. The course has been structured in a classic IPE “thematic” format. Part I (class sessions 1-4) deals with the various theoretical approaches to IPE. Part II (class sessions 5-7) deals with the political economy of international trade and investment relations and Part III (class sessions 8-10) covers the political economy of international monetary and financial relations. The last part, Part IV (class sessions 11-12), deals with the political economy of migration and the recent rise of populist sentiment. It is important to note that this is not an international economics course, even though it assumes all students have strong knowledge of the main international economic concepts from SAIS' international trade and international monetary theory courses (such as comparative advantage, factor endowments, impact of tariffs, real vs. nominal exchange rates, the balance of payments, etc.) and are more than comfortable with basic statistics and econometrics. But keep in mind that, for this course, most of the time, it’s NOT just the economics, stupid! – BUT it’s the politics, stupid! – that will matter for explaining actual outcomes.
December 15, 2016 
Matthias Matthi...

Matthias Matthijs, Assistant Professor of International Political Economy, wrote an article for Foreign Affairs entitled "Europe After Brexit. A Less Perfect Union ."

November 30, 2016 
Matthias Matthi...

Matthias Matthijs, Assistant Professor of International Political Economy, wrote an article for Foreign Affairs entitled "Brexit's Path Forward."