Being located at the intersection of European Studies and Security Studies, my PhD project looks at how counter-terrorism policy, in particular preventive counter-terrorism, has come to be an important area of integration in EU enlargement towards the South East European accession candidate states. I am interested in how preventive counter-terrorism shapes and (re)orders political relations and networks in EU enlargement. My findings demonstrate that although EU enlargement is often depicted as a clear and linear process, it is rather embedded in a complex transnational structure that in turn impacts the content and development of enlargement and its areas of political integration.
A crucial part of a PhD project is not only the empirical research and the writing process but also the dissemination and presentation of its results. Particularly towards the end of a PhD trajectory, it is very important to disseminate and discuss findings and build a network at international conferences. With the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting many opportunities for in-person conferencing and networking, as it was the case for a significant part of my PhD project, such exchanges have become even more relevant now. The UACES Microgrant was a great opportunity and it enabled me to participate in the International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference held on 15-18 March 2023 in Montréal. The ISA Annual Conference is one of the largest annual gatherings of scholars working in the field of International Relations in which my research is embedded. After having attended some academic conferences in Europe, for example the UACES Annual Conference, the ISA conference was the first conference for me taking place outside of Europe. It was therefore an important occasion for me to present my research in a novel setting and to engage with a wider academic community than I had done before.
With the support of the UACES Microgrant, I was able to fund my attendance at the ISA conference and present my research on the underlying assumptions behind the EU’s approach to preventive counter-terrorism in EU enlargement. At the conference, I received valuable feedback and ideas regarding my research. Attendance at the ISA conference contributed to broadening my perspective on my research findings and to seeing potential ways of improving my argument. The comments and questions that I received as well as the inspiration that I got from attending other panels and discussions including the networking events will feed back into my writing process and will certainly improve my dissertation. I am therefore very grateful to UACES for funding my attendance at the ISA Annual Conference and for giving me the opportunity to connect with the International Relations community at a conference located outside of Europe.
About the UACES Microgrants scheme:
The UACES Microgrant scheme is aimed at supporting research for our Early-Career and Individual Members.
The microgrants scheme will provide grants of between £100 and £500 to UACES members to assist them to cover the costs of undertaking their research.