Soeren Keil

Contact Soeren Keil

Soeren Keil, PhD is Reader (Associate Professor) in Politics and International Relations at Canterbury Christ Church University in the UK. He holds a PhD from the University of Kent (supervisors: Prof Michael Burgess and Prof Florian Bieber) and previously studied at the University of Würzburg in Germany. Since 2011, he has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Passau (Germany), the University of Pompeu Fabra (Spain), the University of Graz (Austria) and the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). He is regularly teaching in the MA programme of the Centre International de Formation Europeene (CIFE) in France, and in 2017 he was a Visiting Professor and Researcher at the Institute for Strategic Studies at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam (Netherlands).

He has written, edited and co-edited 6 books, including “Multinational Federalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina” (Ashgate 2013) and more recently “The EU and Member State Building – European Foreign Policy in the Western Balkans” (Routledge 2015, co-edited with Zeynep Arkan) and “Understanding Federalism and Federation” (Routledge, 2015, co-edited with Alain Gagnon and Sean Mueller). His most recent research focuses on new forms of federal systems in the post-Cold War era, the legacy of peace agreements in the Western Balkans and the use of territorial autonomy as a tool of conflict-resolution. As part of his work, he has been involved as an academic expert in the federal debates in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and more recently Myanmar (Burma) and Syria. He has furthermore given evidence to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation. In 2015, he worked as an adviser to the European Union for the Horizon 2020 programme.


Paul Anderson

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Paul Anderson is Project Lead of the ’50 Shades of Federalism’ project. He is a PhD candidate at Canterbury Christ Church University and holds master degrees from the University of Glasgow and the University of Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona). His research interests lie broadly in the study of nationalism, secessionism and territorial politics. Paul’s doctoral research explores the relationship between territorial autonomy and secessionism in plurinational states, particularly Scotland, Quebec and Catalonia.

Paul regularly contributes to various blogs commenting on aspects of Scottish, British, Catalan and Spanish politics. He has most recently published in Regional and Federal Studies, L’europe en Formation, as well as having authored several book reviews for Publius and the Political studies Review. In addition, he has co-authored (with Dr Soeren Keil) a book chapter on ‘Decentralization as a tool of Conflict Resolution’, for a forthcoming Handbook on Territorial Politics. Paul has presented papers at various conferences and workshops, most recently at a UACES-funded workshop at the University of Liverpool on ‘Transforming Politics in Spain’ (June 2016),  the International Political Science Association’s World Congress in Poznan, Poland (July 2016) and the ‘Constitutional Politics in Multinational States’ conference in Ottawa, Canada (October 2016).
In addition to his academic studies, Paul is also a free-lance translator (in Catalan and Spanish) and Communications Officer for the UACES Collaborative Research Network ‘Europe and the Everyday’.


Simon Brandsen

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Simon is in the final stages of writing a Ph.D. Thesis that examines the dynamic features of federal political systems in times of crisis, under the supervision of Dr Soeren Keil, Reader in Politics and IR at Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent (CCCU).

Simon’s research interests lie in the operation of federal political systems, in particular in relation to the dynamic and process based theories of Friedrich, Livingston et al., and how these dynamics alter in times of crisis to accommodate changing social contexts. He read Politics and IR at CCCU from 2009 to 2012, gaining a first class honours degree, before starting a Ph.D. on a scholarship at the same institution. Before this, Simon had a long career in the fresh produce industry, trading with EU countries – and as such had a first-hand experience of the changing context of the federalizing environment in which UK citizens and businesses lived and worked.

In addition to his research, Simon teaches as a sessional at CCCU, and also works for Perspectives on Federalism as linguistic editor.


Francesco Violi

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Francesco Violi is PhD candidate in Politics at Canterbury Christ Church University. He graduated in Economics from the University of Pavia in 2014 and in Diplomacy Studies from the Institute for Political Studies in Milan. His research interests include European federalism, regional integration and pro-European movements. Francesco’s PhD explores the asymmetrical trends of federalism in the EU, with a particular focus on the Eurozone as a federal system.

Francesco is also an active member of the organisation JEF (Young European Federalists). During his time with JEF, he has organised a number of seminars on European Federalism and served as a member of the National Bureau of JEF Italy (2013-2015). Currently, Francesco is a national delegate of the federal committee in the Union of European Federalists (UEF).


Aurora Patera

Aurora is the web designer of the 50 Shades of Federalism Team. She graduated in Communication Studies in 2010 and Journalism in 2013 at the University of Parma. She’s doing a PhD on the sustainability factors of local news media outlets at Canterbury Christ Church University.

She began working as a web designer and social media strategist in 2014 but she also has several years experience as a journalist and freelance graphic designer. You can look up her work on her website.