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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Daniel Kenealy

Daniel Kenealy
Daniel Kenealy
Lecturer and School Director of Quality
2.01 21 George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0) 131 650 4080
Research Interests
British government, British political history, UK foreign policy, Devolution and constitutional change in the UK, Realism and International Relations theory, Interviewing elites, Document analysis, Archival research

How to get in touch

From 18 September to 4 December I will be available as follows:

  • For students on Social Policy and Society on Mondays, 1.30-3.00;
  • For students on Understanding Public Policy on Mondays, 3.00-4.30.

If I am your personal tutor or programme director - of if you would like to meet to discuss ideas about teaching within the School - then please email me and we can arrange appointments as necessary.

My research interests

Although my PhD employed classical realism to understand the history of European integration I have, since 2013, spent most of my time researching British government and politics. Specifically, I have researched the UK constitutional change process; devolution to Scotland and England's cities and city-regions; and British foreign policy including the UK-EU relationship and Scotland's "foreign" policy. My interest in British government is both contemporary and historical and my work involves a lot of travelling to conduct elite interviews, document analysis, and work in archives.

I am currently working on two projects: 

  • The first is focused on the statecraft and territorial politics of the Thatcher government in the 1980s, and especially on relations between the UK government and Britain's cities.
  • The second applies classical realism to UK foreign policy, both contemporary and historical. Historically, I am undertaking research on the foreign policy of the Thatcher government. I am also working on the impact of the Iraq war on foreign policy discourse and debates since 2003.

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, and Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. I regularly offer comment and analysis on British and EU politics in Scottish, UK and European media outlets. 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.

My teaching

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
  • Programme director, MSc in Social Research (semester 1 only)

Current and previous roles

  • Director of Teaching Quality, School of Social & Political Science, University of Edinburgh, Aug 2017-present
  • Lecturer in Social Policy, University of Edinburgh, Apr 2015-present
  • Special Adviser to the Senior Vice-Principal, University of Edinburgh, Feb 2016-Mar 2017
  • Deputy Director and Lecturer, University of Edinburgh Academy of Government, Jan 2013-Mar 2015
  • Director, Master of Public Policy, University of Edinburgh, Jan 2013-Jul 2016
  • Deputy Director, Scottish Graduate School of Social Science, Aug-Dec 2012
  • Teaching Fellow in Politics & International Relations, University of Edinburgh, Aug-Dec 2012
  • Adviser to the Vice-Principal (Public Policy), University of Edinburgh, Aug 2011-Jul 2012
  • PhD in Politics & International Relations, University of Edinburgh, Sep 2008-Aug 2012

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