Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Daniel Kenealy

Daniel Kenealy
Daniel Kenealy
Lecturer in Public Policy and School Director of Quality
2.01 21 George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0) 131 650 4080
Research Interests
UK government and foreign policy, UK political history, Defence and national security policy, International Relations theory, Brexit, Archival research, Document analysis, Elite interviewing, Elite decision-making


After completing my PhD in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh in 2012 I joined the School, initially as a Teaching Fellow in Politics & International Relations. I joined the Social Policy subject area in April 2015. Since September 2017, I am the School's Director of Teaching Quality, having previously served as a Special Adviser to the Senior Vice Principal (2016-2017), Director of the Master of Public Policy (2013-2016), Deputy Director of the Academy of Government (2013-2014), and Deputy Director of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (2012-2013).


Between January and August 2018, please email me and we can arrange appointments as necessary.


Although my PhD employed classical realism to understand the history of European integration I spent the next five years (2013-2017) researching British constitutional politics. Specifically, I worked on the constitutional change process; devolution to Scotland and England's cities and city-regions; and Scotland's external relations (or 'para'-diplomacy).

As of 2018, I am returning to my earlier research interests in foreign policy and political history. Specifically, I am working on contemporary challenges facing British foreign policy in the context of Brexit and am also undertaking historical research on British foreign policy during the Heath, Thatcher and Major premierships. Theoretically, I work with classical realist and English School approaches to International Relations and the high politics and statecraft traditions within political history. My work involves a lot of travelling to interview policymakers and work in archives. 

I have presented my research at the University of Montreal, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Georgetown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the European Policy Centre in Brussels, and Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin. During 2013-14 I served as expert adviser to the Scottish Parliament's European and External Relations Committee and have presented oral evidence to that committee on several occasions, as well as to the House of Commons' Scottish Affairs Committee.


In the 2017-18 academic year:

  • Convener and lecturer, 'Social Policy and Society' (Undergraduate)
  • Convener and lecturer, 'Understanding Public Policy' (Undergraduate)
  • Personal tutor, 3rd year Social Policy students

Selected publications

2018. (ed.) The European Union: How Does it Work? 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [With J. Peterson and R. Corbett].

2017. ‘Negotiating Devolution in the Shadow of Whitehall: The Smith Commission and the Creation of a “Powerhouse” Scottish Parliament’, British Politics, online advance. [With R. Parry].

2017. ‘Releasing the Lockerbie Bomber: National Interests, Intergovernmental Relations and Para-diplomacy’, Scottish Affairs, 26(4): 411-34.

2017. ‘Brexit and the Future of Two Unions’, supplement to The European Union: How Does it Work? 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [With J. Peterson and R. Corbett].

2017. Elites, Publics and Constitutional Change in the UK: A Missed Opportunity? Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. [With J. Eichhorn, R. Parry, L. Paterson and A. Remond].

2017. ‘Perspectives on Small State Security in the Scottish Independence Debate’. In A. Neal (ed.), Security in a Small Nation. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers: 21-48. [With J. Kaarbo].

2017. ‘Precedents, Parliaments and Foreign Policy: Historical Analogy and the House of Commons’ Vote on Syria’, West European Politics, 40(1): 62-79. [With J. Kaarbo].

2016. ‘A Tale of One City? The “Devo Manc” Deal and its Implications for English Devolution’, The Political Quarterly, 87(4): 572-81.

2016. (ed.) The SNP Effect, 2007-2016, special issue of the journal Scottish Affairs, 25(1). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Including: ‘The Economy and the Constitution Under the SNP, 2007-2016’, Scottish Affairs, 25(1): 8-27.

2016. ‘No, Prime Minister: Understanding the House of Commons’ Vote on Intervention in Syria’, European Security, 25(1): 28-48. [With J. Kaarbo].

2015. (ed). The European Union: How Does it Work? 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [With J. Peterson and R. Corbett].

2014. ‘Sincere Cooperation, Respect for Democracy and EU Citizenship: Sufficient to Guarantee Scotland’s Future in the European Union?’, European Law Journal, 20(5): 591-612. [With S. MacLennan].

2014. ‘How Do You Solve a Problem Like Scotland? A Proposal Regarding EU Internal Enlargement’, Journal of European Integration, 36(6): 585-600.

2013. ‘Realist Visions of European Union: E.H. Carr and Integration’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 41(2): 221-46. [With K. Kostagiannis].

2012. ‘Commercial Interests and Calculated Compassion: The Diplomacy and Para-diplomacy of Releasing the Lockerbie Bomber’, Diplomacy & Statecraft, 23(3): 555-75.

2012. ‘The Scotland Bill: Whence and Whither?’, Scottish Affairs, 71 (Spring): 1-37.

2012. ‘Concordats and International Relations: Binding in Honour Only?’, Regional & Federal Studies, 22(1): 61-85.

Topics interested in supervising

I would be keen to supervise students interested in: the UK constitution and/or devolution; intergovernmental relations; the external relations and diplomacy of sub-national governments; UK foreign policy including the UK-EU relationship; central-local relations in the UK, contemporary and historical.

If you are interested in being supervised by Daniel Kenealy, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Politics; PhD in Social Policy; MSc (R) Politics; MSc (R) Social Policy