Associate Research Fellow
United Kingdom
Biographical Statement 

Edward Best is an Associate Research Fellow at UNU-CRIS within the Re-LAB Cluster. He is an external expert for the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), from where he retired as Senior Expert in May 2023

He holds a DPhil in international relations from the University of Oxford, and began his career in the regional security programme of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. After working in Spain on relations between Europe and Latin America, he moved to EIPA in 1988 to coordinate two multiannual programmes for the European Commission with Central America in support of public management and regional integration. From 1992 to 2000 he was Co-Director of the EU-Rio Group interregional training programme on regional integration. He also worked as principal consultant for the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in the Support Programme for Strengthening and Rationalizing the Institutional Arrangements of Central American Integration; and supported the review of the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM).

These activities were accompanied by pursuit of a conceptual framework for the comparative analysis of functional requirements for managing regional arrangements, and for appropriate institutional design and capacity-building strategies. This resulted in several publications, including a UNU-CRIS Working Paper and chapters on regional governance in two books: Assessment and Measurement of Regional Integration (2006) and The Regional Integration Handbook (2011).

From 2003 to 2023, he was responsible for successive multiannual contracts for training in EU governance issues with the institutions and agencies of the EU. He was also work package leader in EU-funded research networks led by the University of Cologne, as well as Senior Fellow of Maastricht University. In this context he has delivered courses and published on EU policy-making processes as well as on broader dimensions of EU governance such as transparency, citizen participation and interparliamentary cooperation. He has also addressed the range of arrangements for multilevel administration that have evolved in different policy areas in Europe, as well as the various mixes of regulatory and non-regulatory instruments, and practices of administrative capacity-building.

He is now working on a research project in which he aims to build on the earlier conceptual approach in the light of changes in the international context and of new approaches that have emerged in thinking about global governance and regional public goods; to go beyond empirical comparison within and between Europe and Latin America and to adopt a global perspective; and to contribute to thinking about how to support strategies and practices of regional capacity-building taking into account both functional requirements in terms of multilevel administration and integrated policy design, and the specific elements shaping the potential of regional governance in particular cases.