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IACES President

Giada Lagana

(Cardiff University)

IACES Vice-Presidents


John O'Brennan (MU)

Niall Robb (QUB)

Committee Members
Gavin Barrett (UCD)

Etain Tannam (TCD)

Louis Brennan (TCD)

Viviane Gravey (QUB)

Michael Holmes (ESPOL)

Ben Tonra (UCD)

Federica Fazio (DCU)

Shamsoddin Shariati (MU)

New Members

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Giada Lagana

Dr Giada Lagana is a Lecturer in Politics at Cardiff University, School of Law and Politics (LAWPL). She is the author of The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process (2021), published by Palgrave McMillan. The book demonstrates that the role of the EU in the Northern Ireland peace process was much more significant than had previously been suggested. It also makes an original contribution to the theoretical literature on peacebuilding by developing an original framework that combines theories of metagovernance with the apparatus of strategic peacebuilding.


Since she has joined Cardiff University in 2019, Dr Lagana has been elected President of the Irish Association for Contemporary European Studies (IACES). She has published several articles with high-impact journals (e.g., European Urban and Regional Studies and Contemporary European History) and her research has secured funding from the Project House Europe at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Germany), the Irish Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFA), the Innovation for All Impact Fund of Cardiff University and the European School of Political and Social Sciences (ESPOL) in Lille (France).

Dr Giada Lagana

Niall Robb

Niall Robb

Niall Robb is an ESRC-funded PhD Candidate with Queen's University Belfast and Vice-President of the Irish Association for Contemporary European Studies (IACES). Niall's thesis investigates the role of interest groups in Northern Ireland and their influence on the terms of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union. His research interests include the relationship between Northern Ireland and the European Union, public policy studies and energy policy. Niall has previously worked in the Northern Ireland Civil Service in Brussels and Belfast. He is a member of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies Graduate Forum committee, a Postgraduate Research Associate of the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen's University; and a fellow at the Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action (SECA) at Queen's University.

Niall Robb

John O’Brennan

John O’Brennan holds the Jean Monnet Chair of European Integration and is Director of the Maynooth Centre for European and Eurasian Studies at Maynooth University, and Vice-President of the Irish Association for Contemporary European Studies (IACES). His research focuses on EU Enlargement policy and on Ireland’s relationship with the EU. He has published 15 articles in international journals including: Cambridge Review of International Affairs, the European Foreign Affairs Review, European Political Science, the Journal of European integration and Parliamentary Affairs. In addition to publishing 3 books on EU Enlargement, 25 book chapters, and he is also a regular contributor to international publications on European Union issues such as Europe’s World, Project Syndicate and Open Democracy. He has published more than 100 opinion articles on EU politics and appears regularly on Irish media platforms to discuss the EU. He is also a member of the Irish government’s Brexit Stakeholder Advisory group.

John O’Brennan

Ben Tonra


Ben Tonra is Full Professor of International Relations at the University College Dublin (UCD)'s School of Politics and International Relations. At UCD he teaches, researches and publishes in European foreign, security and defence policy, Irish foreign, security and defence policy and International Relations theory.


Outside the university Ben is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and has previously served as the chair of the Academy's Standing Committee on International Affairs. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Azure Forum, a Dublin-based think tank on security and defence studies and Director and Secretary (voluntary/non-remunerated) with the Irish Defence and Security Association (IDSA) CLG.


He worked previously at the Department of International Politics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, the University of Dublin (Trinity College) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Washington DC. 

Ben Tonra

Gavin Barrett

Gavin Barrett is a Professor specialising in European Union Law in the Sutherland Law School, UCD and the sometime Jean Monnet Professor of European Economic and Constitutional Law there.


A barrister, he is the author or editor of several books, book chapters and articles in leading law and political science journals on EU-law related subjects, parliamentary democracy and referendums.


His latest book, The Evolving Role of National Parliaments in the European Union: Ireland as a Case Study was published by Manchester University Press in 2018.


He has written in all of the major national newspapers and appears frequently on radio and television. He has spoken before parliamentary committees in several countries, including Joint Oireachtas Committees on sixteen occasions and the House of Lords EU Affairs Committee three times. His work has been cited by the German Federal Constitutional Court (in its Lisbon decision), in the Irish High Court, and in several House of Lords reports.

Gavin Barrett

Etain Tannam

Etain Tannam is Associate Professor in International Peace Studies, Trinity College Dublin.


She is author of International Intervention in Ethnic Conflict: A Comparison of the European Union and United Nations (2014, Basingstoke, Palgrave) and Cross-Border Co-operation in Ireland (1999, Basingstoke, Palgrave) and has published various book chapters and international journal articles (see below).


Her research interests are in the areas of Northern Ireland and British-Irish relations, including the impact of Brexit, international organizations and conflict resolution, United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) politics. She is currently writing a book British-Irish Relations in the 21st Century, (2020, forthcoming, Oxford, Oxford University Press).

Etain Tannam

Louis Brennan

Louis Brennan is a Fellow of Trinity College and a Professor within the Trinity Business School at Trinity College. He previously served as Director of the Institute for International Integration Studies at Trinity College.


He was the founder of, and chaired from 2010-2014, a twenty six nation research network on the impact of investment by emerging economy firms on Europe.


He has two books on that topic: The Emergence of Southern Multinationals and their Impact on Europe published by Palgrave in 2010 and Emerging Market Multinationals in Europe with Dr Caner Bakir, published by Routledge in 2016. Along with Professor Philo Murray, he is the editor of the 2015 volume Drivers of Integration and Regionalism in Europe and Asia, published by Routledge in 2015.

Louis Brennan

Federica Fazio


Federica Fazio is a PhD Candidate with the School of Law & Government at Dublin City University (DCU). Her research focuses on EU-NATO cooperation and specifically the relationship between the two organisations' mutual defence commitments.


Until September 2023, Federica was also a Visiting Fellow with the University of South Wales, where she contributed to the Jean Monnet Network on EU Counter-Terrorism (EUCTER). Previously, she was a Trainee in Brussels, first with the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for External Policies of the Union (DG EXPO), and then the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) Brussels Liaison Office.


Her work has been published by Springer Nature, the Journal of European and American Intelligence Studies, the Atlantic Council, Fair Observer, the Aspen Institute Italia, the NATO Association of Canada, and the Italian Institute of Strategic Studies Niccolò Machiavelli. 

Federica Fazio

Viviane Gravey

Viviane Gravey is a Senior Lecturer in European Politics at the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen’s University Belfast, where she co‐chairs the Brexit & Environment network, investigating the impact of Brexit on the UK and EU environment.


She holds a PhD from the University of East Anglia. Her research focuses on the ambition and governance of environmental and agricultural policies in the UK and at EU level.

Viviane Gravey

Michael Holmes


Michael Holmes holds a PhD in Political Science from University College Dublin, as well as an MA in European Politics from the University of Essex and a BA in Political Science from Trinity College Dublin. His areas of research are mainly European politics and Irish politics. During his career, he focused on studying the impact of European integration on political parties and party systems. Regarding Irish politics, he decided to specialize in the foreign policy of his native country and its relationship with the European Union. Michael Holmes is a member of the Political Studies Association (PSA), the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES) and the Political Studies Association of Ireland (PSAI).

Michael Holmes
Shamsddin Shariati

Shamsoddin Shariati

Shamsoddin Shariati is a PhD researcher at the Department of Sociology at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. As a John Hume scholar, Shamsoddin has undertaken responsibilities as both a research and teaching assistant within the department. Beginning in 2022, he has been a pivotal contributor to the Maynooth Centre for European and Eurasian Studies, serving as a research assistant and spearheading initiatives for the EU-funded Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence project on European integration. A noteworthy accomplishment within this project was his leadership in organizing a significant conference titled "Ireland and the EU at 50."

His research is centered around topics like state capacity, the nuanced management of intricate challenges, trust-building mechanisms, and a detailed comparative study of the efficacy of COVID-19 pandemic responses across European nations. Through his scholarly endeavors, Shamsoddin aspires to illuminate strategies for bolstering governance and enhancing the ability to navigate multifaceted crises such as climate change and energy crises effectively.

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