I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University. My research focuses on the political development and contemporary practices of regulatory institutions in Europe and North America.
In my dissertation, which comparatively examines the historical development of competition law in the US and EU from the origin of each regime to the present, I explain the political and institutional reasons for why European competition authorities possess a much broader zone of discretion in the competition field than in the United States, where antitrust authority is comparatively circumscribed and permeable to elective institutions and private actors. Through a combination of case studies, and the quantitative analysis of thousands of enforcement actions over the last four decades, the study demonstrates that differences in the degree of discretionary authority and level of political insulation possessed by regulatory bureaucracies conditions the capacity of regulators to pursue common policy goals such as the liberalization of network industries, the rationalization of state aid, and the promotion of competition in new technology markets.
I have also completed a number of other politics on European regulatory policy. These include a forthcoming study on the politics of securities regulation since the global financial crisis in France, Germany, and the UK; a working paper that examines why private enforcement remains comparatively underdeveloped in Europe, even in areas where public enforcement practices have converged; and a study of competition law and the regulation of transport network companies.
With Jeff Frieden, I have written an article, recently published in European Union Politics, that uses Eurobarometer data to identify the economic, political and cultural factors that explain the decline of trust in government since the Eurocrisis.
I currently am affiliated with Harvard's Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies and the Multidisciplinary Program on Inequality and Social Policy. In Europe, I have been a Visiting Research Fellow at the WZB Social Science Center in Berlin, the Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies based at Sciences Po in Paris, and the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels.
I have experience teaching a number of courses in comparative politics, comparative political economy, and public policy, and have served as a Teaching Fellow in three graduate courses at the Kennedy School and three undergraduate courses at Harvard College.
Before pursuing doctoral studies, I earned a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School and spent four years as the director of an organizational coalition committed to electoral and campaign finance reform in North Carolina.
I can be reached by email at chasefoster (at) fas (dot) harvard (dot) edu.