Jelle Leunis is a PhD student at the Political Science Department of the Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) on a PhD fellowship of the Research Foundation Flanders. He has obtained a Master of Arts in Philosophy and a Master of Science in EU Studies at Ghent University.
Jelle's main research topic is the democratic control of private military and security companies. Research questions include: how do private military companies fit into existing models of civil-military relations and how are private military companies held to account democratically? This research project is situated in the fourth work package of the EDGE project, where it contributes to an analysis of the democratic legitimacy of multilevel governance in the EU and its Member States. Since the military instrument is still one of the most potent tools of foreign policy, its democratic legitimacy is paramount in any analysis of the democratic quality of the multilevel governance of external policy. Empirical findings will inform the more theoretically and normatively oriented analyses of the fifth package, which may in turn contribute to the development theoretical models for the further study of democratic multilevel governance.