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Political Studies Association of Ireland


European Studies Specialist Group


Dr. Will Phelan, Trinity College Dublin. Email:

Dr. John O’Brennan, Maynooth University. Email:


The European Studies Specialist Group of the PSAI is a member of the European Studies Community Association (ECSA) network (see and has three main aims:

  1. The first is to formalise and build productive networks among scholars (from postgraduate students to established academics) in this field across the island of Ireland. ‘European Studies’ has been chosen as the title of this specialist group to encourage links among, and facilitate communication between, those working in a wide range of related areas (from EU policy-making to comparative regional studies).
  2. The second is to construct links between academics and practitioners in this area, not least to utilise and develop the policy relevance of research in this field.
  3. The third aim is to be a locus of communication between European Studies scholars in Ireland and similar groupings in this field in Ireland and beyond.


The European Studies Specialist Group will be an active source of scholarship and collaboration in this ever-changing field. The focus of such collaboration will be dedicated panels at the annual PSAI conference. It is envisaged that this will lead into combined proposals for larger conferences (such as PSA, British International Studies Association, and ECPR), annual workshops for practitioner/researcher interaction in Ireland, and shared research/publishing initiatives. The Group will therefore be used to disseminate knowledge to a wider audience as well to share expertise among a wide range of interested individuals and groups. It will be assisted to this end through association with university institutes (such as the Dublin European Institute), academic organisations (such as the University Association for Contemporary European Studies incorporating IACES) and those in the policy sector (such as the Institute for European Affairs).

Internal Communication

In order to facilitate a core aim of the European Studies Specialist Group, we have set up a gmail account (

The purpose of this email account will be strictly to communicate information of particular and significant interest to other ESSG members. This could include, for example, a notice about a relevant seminar in Ireland (North or South) or a request for expressions of interest for a panel proposal.

If you wish to send a message to ESSG members, please send it to either of the convenors (details above) who will then circulate it to the Group.


The European Studies Specialist Group welcomes members from across disciplinary areas and specialist areas within European Studies, including politics, law, economics, geography, and history. To become a member of the Group you must be a member of the PSAI, which you can join here.

You do not have to belong to an Irish university to be a PSAI member or to join the Group.