Simon Hix
Room CON.H307
Government Department
LSE, Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7955 7657
Twitter: @simonjhix

Hix Homepage

Curriculum vitae
My PhD students




Simon Hix
Professor of European and Comparative Politics and Fellow of the British Academy
Head of Department of Government
London School of Economics and Political Science

My main areas of research and teaching are comparative democratic institutions, especially voting in parliaments and electoral system design, and European Union politics and the design of regional integration.

Websites and Datasets  Tracking voting in the European Parliament and the EU Council.  Vote on EU policy issues, and we tell you which MEP and party you're closest to.  Tracking opinion polls and forecasting the May 2014 European Parliament election.

Electoral system design data (John Carey and Simon Hix)
European Parliament roll-call voting data (Simon Hix, Abdul Noury and Gerard Roland)
European Parliament Research Group MEP survey data (David Farrell, Simon Hix and Roger Scully)
Party political make-up of the EU institutions data (Christophe Crombez, Simon Hix and Andreas Warntjen)

Evidence to Parliament

Evidence to the European Scrutiny Committee in the House of Commons on Possibilities for Reinforcing the Eurozone, 4 January 2012

(with Iain McLean) Evidence to the Joint Committee of the Commons and Lords on the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill, 23 September 2011

Evidence to the European Scrutiny Committee in the House of Commons on the Draft European Union Bill, 8 December 2010

Evidence to the European Union Committee of the House of Lords on the Implications of Codecision for National Parliamentary Scrutiny, 12 May 2009

Evidence to the European Union Committee of the House of Lords on the Impact of the Reform Treaty on the Institutions of the EU, 27 November 2007

Media and Public Engagement

Letter to The Economist on the battle for Commission President in 2014, 20 February 2014

Debate in European Parliament London Office on "The Future of the EU", 3 June 2013
Blog entry on
Why the 2014 European Parliament elections will be about more than protest votes (with C Crombez), 3 June 2013
"UK stands alone in Europe's third tier", letter in The Financial Times, 21 May 2013
"Can’t decide now on a relationship that is still in flux", letter in The Financial Times on EU referendum, 15 May 2013
Blog entry on David Cameron's EU speech, 26 January 2013
Letter in The Guardian on Jack Straw's call for abolishing of the European Parliament, 24 February 2012
Blog entry on "Victory for Europe, disaster for Britain", on Britain's isolation at EU summit, 9 December 2011

"The rights and wrongs of AV", letter in The Evening Standard on electoral reform in the UK, 1 April 2011
"Time to catch up with reality", letter in The Financial Times on electoral reform in the UK, 28 February 2011
Interview with on on United Kingdom EU bill, 23 February 2011
TV Interview on Launch of VoteWatch report on "Voting in the European Parliament Post-Lisbon", 26 January 2011
Why electoral reform is needed in the UK (but not AV), short interviews for the Constitution Society, 18 November 2010
"Structural Problems in the Eurozone", interview on BBC Radio 4, Today programme, 28 October 2010
"EU budget negotiations", interview on BBC Radio 5 Live, Wake Up To Money programme, 28 October 2010
"Electoral Reform: A Vote for Change?" (with Ron Johnston and Iain McLean), in Political Insight, vol. 1, issue 2, September 2010

"The State of European Democracy After Lisbon", video of talk at the IIEA, Dublin, 26 May 2010
"Putting the question of electoral reform in proportion", letter in The Guardian on electoral reform in the UK, 28 April 2010
"MEPs defend their voting records", BBC The Record: Europe interview on annual report, 24 February 2010
"The 2009 European Parliament Elections: A Disaster for Social Democrats", EU Studies Association Review, 3 November 2009
"Recognition at last for Political Science", letter in The Financial Times on the Nobel Prize for Elinor Ostrom, 15 October 2009
"EU is Flawed, But it Can be Fixed", article in The Daily Telegraph, 28 September 2009
LSE "Hot Seat" interview on the outcome of the 2009 European Parliament elections, 19 June 2009
BBC The Record: Europe discussion about the outcome of the 2009 European Parliament elections, 12 June 2009
BBC interview about website, 16 May 2009
"Viewpoint: A truly European vote?", BBC Website, 5 May 2009




Simon Hix and Bjorn Hoyland (2011) The Political System of the European Union, 3rd edn, Palgrave. (see).

Simon Hix (2008) What's Wrong With the European Union and How to Fix It, Polity. (see).


Democratic Politics in the European Parliament
Simon Hix, Abdul Noury and Gerard Roland (2007) Democratic Politics in the European Parliament, Cambridge University Press. (see). This book won the Richard F. Fenno Jr. Prize for the best book on legislative studies published in 2007, from the Legislative Studies Section of the American Political Science Association.


Latest Working Papers (see more)

Jack Blumenau, Andy Eggers, Dominik Hangartner and Simon Hix, What Would be the Impact of Changing the Voting System in European Elections? (slide presentation of research and key findings, 24 July 2014).  We conducted an on-line survey experiment to look at the potential impact of introducing an "open-list" electoral system in European Parliament elections in the UK.  One of the key findings is that such a system would lead to many Eurosceptic citizens to vote for a Eurosceptic candidate rather than for UKIP, which they would do under the current (closed-list) system.

Christophe Crombez and Simon Hix, Legislative Activity and Gridlock in the European Union (version 5 May 2013).  This paper looks at legislative activity in the European Union.  We develop a game-theoretic model of EU policy making which suggests that EU legislative activity depends on the size of the "gridlock interval". This interval depends on two factors: (1) the preference configuration of the political actors; and (2) the legislative procedures in a particular period.  We also develop a method for measuring the size of the gridlock interval in the EU and find empirical support for our theory in an analysis of EU legislative activity between 1979 and 2009.

Simon Hix and Abdul Noury, Government-Opposition or Left-Right? The Institutional Determinants of Voting in Legislatures (version 7 March 2013).  We use roll-call voting data from 16 legislatures to investigate how the institutional context of politics - such as whether a country is a parliamentary or presidential regime, or has a single-party, coalition or minority government - shapes coalition formation and voting behaviour in parliaments. We use a geometric scaling metric to estimate the 'revealed space' in each of these legislatures and regression analysis to identify how much of this space can be explained by government-opposition dynamics as opposed to (left-right) policy positions of parties. We find that government-opposition interests rather than parties' policy positions are the main drivers of voting behaviour in most institutional contexts. In contrast, we find that issue-by-issue coalition-building along a single policy dimension only exists under restrictive institutional constraints; namely presidential regimes with coalition governments or parliamentary systems with minority governments. Put another way, voting in most legislatives is more like Westminster than Washington, DC.

Simon Hix, Abdul Noury and Gerard Roland, Is there a Strategic Selection Bias in Roll Call Votes? Evidence from the European Parliament (version 3 May 2013).  This paper looks at the magnitude and significance of "selection bias" in roll call votes . Prior to 2009, all roll call votes (RCVs) in the European Parliament had to be requested by political groups. Since 2009, an RCV has been required in all final legislative votes. We exploit this rule change and compare differences between final legislative votes and other votes before and after the change, using a difference-in-differences approach . Using data from the first 18 months of EP6 (2004-09) and EP7 (2009-14), we failed to find ANY significant difference in the level of voting cohesion for the main political groups. These results suggest selection biases in RCVs due to strategic choices are at best negligible.

Recent Academic Articles (see more)

Simon Hix and Bjørn Høyland (2013) ‘Empowerment of the European Parliament’, Annual Review of Political Science 16: 171-189. (pdf)

John Carey and Simon Hix (2013) ‘District Magnitude and Representation of the Majority’s Preferences: A Comment and Reinterpretation’, Public Choice 154(1-2) 139-148. (pdf)

Simon Hix, Roger Scully and David Farrell (2012) ‘National or European Parliamentarians? Evidence from a New Survey of the Members of the European Parliament’, Journal of Common Market Studies 50(4) 670-683. (pdf)

Simon Hix (2011) ‘Where is the EU Going? Collapse, Fiscal Union, a Supersized Switzerland, or a new Democratic Politics’, Public Policy Research (journal of the IPPR), 18(2) 81-7. (pdf)

Christophe Crombez and Simon Hix (2011) 'Treaty Reform and the Commission's Appointment and Policy Making Role in the European Union', European Union Politics, 12(3) 291-314. (pdf)

John Carey and Simon Hix (2011) 'The Electoral Sweet Spot: Low-Magnitude Proportional Electoral Systems', American Journal of Political Science 55(2) 383-339. (pdf)

Simon Hix and Michael Marsh (2011) 'Second-Order Effects Plus Pan-European Political Swings: An Analysis of European Parliament Elections Across Time', Electoral Studies, 30(1) 4-15. (pdf)

Simon Hix, Bjorn Hoyland and Nick Vivyan (2010) 'From Doves to Hawks: A Spatial Analysis of Voting in the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England', European Journal of Political Research, 49(6) 731-758. (pdf)

Hae-Won Jun and Simon Hix (2010) 'Electoral Systems, Political Career Paths and Legislative Behavior: Evidence from South Korea's Mixed-Member System', Japanese Journal of Political Science 11(2) 153-171. (pdf) (Replication files)

Simon Hix, Ron Johnston and Iain McLean (2010) Choosing an Electoral System, London: British Academy. (pdf)

LSE Political Science and Political Economy Group
European Union Politics
European Parliament Research Group
EP Animate