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National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM)

 Contact details
Contact personDr John OBrennan
Lecturer and Director, European Studies 
StreetAuxilia House, North Campus, NUIM, 
Address Maynooth - County Kildare (Ireland) 
Phone00353 879018744 
EmailShow Email
 Organisation details
Employees (in Depart.)51-250 
Organisation TypeResearch Organisation 
 Research Focus

 Fields of activities:
» History
» Ethnic studies
» Economics
» Political science
» Journalism, mass media and communication
» Public affairs

 Brief description of your activity focus
An expert on the European Union, the EU institutions and the European Integration process, I navigate students and civil society groups through the se

 Details about Expertise / Competences / Technologies
- ongoing research into EU-related referendum campaigns in Ireland and elsewhere with analysis of public opinion and structural factors influencing voting behaviour.

- 15 years experience of university lecturing on European themes, in Ireland and Europe, including guest lectures at many leading universities and think tanks;

- extensive project management of EU processes and interaction with EU actors in Brussels, including Framework 7 Research programme;

- widely published in the international media, incl. newspapers such as Die Welt, El Pais, Europes World, the Guardian, the Scotsman, the Irish Times, the International Herald Tribune, Japan Times, Open Democracy, the Australian and many others;

-significant broadcasting expertise including BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service; France 24; CCTV China; RTE, Pat Kenny, RTE, The Business with George Lee; TV 3, Tonight with Vincent Browne, Sky News, Newstalk, the Dunphy Show, and The Right Hook as well as European media: Bulgarian, German, Hungarian, Bosnian, Serbian, Polish, Slovene, Maltese and Macedonian radio and tv among others;

-Wide consultation of and interaction with public and private actors and international organizations in Ireland, Brussels, EU-wide, the Balkans, Turkey and Eastern Europe.


EU integration and the EU institutions in Brussels; the Crisis of the Eurozone and its wider impact; media presentation of issues related to the EU, Irelands relationship with the EU and communication of the issues, referendums on Europe and the role of the Oireachtas in EU affairs, and more broadly, international politics, international relations, diplomacy and foreign policy issues.
 Research Activities

 EU Framework Programme related activities:
» Socio-economic development trajectories
» Regional, territorial and social cohesion
» Interactions & interdependences between world regions
» Participation and citizenship in Europe
» Wide socio-economic foresight on key challenges
» Focused thematic foresight

 Project participation
Project #1
Project TypeNational
Project TitleEU Deliver
AcronymFP7-SSH-2012-2 EU Deliver
Specific ThemeSSH.2012.5.2-1 - Enlargement and the integration capacity of the EU: past experience and future pros
CoordinatorProfessor David Phinnemore (Queens University Belfast)

 International and national projects beyond EU Framework Programme
My research leadership activities have encompassed both individual and collective efforts, both within the university and in international networks. In 2007-08 I was a founding member and then director of the Centre for the Study of Wider Europe (CSWE), instituted at NUI Maynooth as an inter-disciplinary centre of excellence in research and teaching on contemporary Europe. It is unique in the Irish context by focusing on Central and Eastern Europe and seeking to develop academic, student, diplomatic and professional links between Ireland and Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. It aims to publish high quality research in international academic publications and to engage with both government and civil society in a multi-perspectival critical examination of issues related to Ireland’s membership of the European Union, Ireland’s relations with the Wider Europe, and the European Integration process more generally. Its public role encompasses the staging of public seminars on European issues and engagement with a diverse range of media outlets on important themes such as enlargement, identity, migration and EU foreign policy. Currently the Centre is associated with a BA Politics degree and the BA European Studies programme at NUI Maynooth.

There is a long established engagement with European issues at the university and the CSWE is now at the forefront of efforts to deepen the NUIM commitment to European structures and programmes. It is in this context that we have worked with the European Parliament office in Ireland and with individual public representatives in seeking to “de-mythologize” the EU institutions to the student body and wider community. In its first three years the centre has hosted a number of major international conferences, built a postgraduate network of young scholars interested in EU engagement with Central and Eastern Europe, and held Europe Day receptions and a regular seminar series which have sought to reach out to the wider community and promote a deeper and more substantive understanding of European affairs in Ireland. The Centre has also secured significant funding in its first three years of operation.

A new stage in the Centre’s development will begin in 2012 under my direction when we will apply to the European Commission for formal designation as a Jean Monnet Centre of Research Excellence and for a Jean Monnet Chair of European Integration. This year I led and acted as Principal Investigator for the European Commission PRINCE project on EU Enlargement. This project encompasses partnership with Leiden University in the Netherlands and Koc University, Turkey, in a 250,000 Euros programme which seeks to communicate the content and significance of EU enlargement policy in Ireland, the Netherlands and Turkey. I will also act as leader and Irish Coordinator of a new FP7 Bid with Queen’s University Belfast on EU Enlargement policy: Past, Present and Future. This project will tie in partners from four EU member states and will seek a total of approximately 2, 500, 000 Euros.

My existing research collaborations with established institutions include: Leiden University (Netherlands), Koc University(Turkey), Sofia University (Bulgaria), Queen’s University Belfast (UK), King’s College (UK), Birmingham University (UK) and London School of Economics and Political Science (UK)and the University of Vienna (Austria). The establishment of the CSWE and its subsequent activities have allowed me to enhance NUIM connections to a range of European institutions and the Centre will actively seek to expand these contacts in the years to come.

I have acted as an academic reviewer for a range of well-established and prestigious academic journals including the Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of Contemporary European Research, Europe-Asia Studies, Journal of International Relations and Development, Irish Journal of Public Policy, Journal of European Integration, Quebec Journal of International Law, European Integration online Papers (EIoP), Slavic Review, and South European Politics and Society. I have also acted as referee for prestigious publishing houses: Oxford University Press, Palgrave MacMillan and Routledge.

I have held appointments as External Examiner in European and International Politics at the UCD School of Politics and International Relations, from 2008 to 2011, and last year was appointed as External Examiner to Athlone Institute of Technology, with the appointment for 2010-2013. I am also a member of the Royal Irish Academy’s International Affairs Committee, from 2009 to the present. Other positions include:

-Member Irish Association of Russian and Central and East European Specialists Committee (IARCEES), 2009-present.

-Member, University Association of Contemporary European Studies (UACES)

-Member – Political Studies Association of Ireland (PSAI)

-Evaluator for IRCHSS Postgraduate scholarship scheme in Political Science, 2006 – present.

-Chairman of Judging Panel Political Science and International Relations Panel, Undergraduate Awards of Ireland 2010 and 2011 http://www.undergraduateawards.com/awards/judges-2010

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