Meet the team

Our network is led by Marianna Lovato (UCD), Ana Juncos (University of Bristol) and Heidi Maurer (Danube University Krems). Sharon Lecocq (KU Leuven), Nicholas Wright (University of Surrey) and Carlos Bravo (IBEI) are part of the coordination team.

Marianna Lovato is a third-year PhD candidate at the School of Politics and International Relations (University College Dublin). Her PhD research revolves around EU foreign policy negotiations (especially in the context of CFSP/CSDP), negotiation theory and bargaining strategies in EU negotiations. She also contributed to the Oxford-based project Europe’s Stories as well as to the H2020 project JOINT. She is also working on European digital diplomacy (with Dr Federica Bicchi) and on the application of relational social theories to the study of EU negotiations (with Dr Heidi Maurer). Her work on Italy’s performance in EU negotiations has recently been published in the Journal of Common Market Studies. Marianna holds an MPhil in European Politics from the University of Oxford and a BA in Political Science from SciencesPo Paris.

Ana E. Juncos is Professor of European Politics at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol (UK). She holds a PhD in Politics, International Relations and European Studies from Loughborough University. Her research focuses on EU foreign and security policy, with a particular interest on issues of conflict prevention, peacebuilding and resilience. Between 2015-2018, she was Coordinator of the EU-funded project ‘Preventing and responding to conflict: developing EU Civilian Capabilities for a sustainable peace (EU-CIVCAP)’. She is author of EU Foreign and Security Policy in Bosnia: The Politics of Coherence and Effectiveness (Manchester University Press, 2013) and co-editor of EU Conflict Prevention and Crisis Management (Routledge, 2011). She has published articles in high-ranking journals such as Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Common Market Studies, and Cooperation and Conflict. She is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of European Integration

Heidi Maurer is a researcher at the Danube University Krems, Visiting Professor in European Diplomacy at the College of Europe in Bruges and Associate Fellow at GLOBSEC Bratislava. Her research focuses on European foreign policy cooperation, European diplomacy and the international role of the EU. She engaged with relational approaches for her Marie Curie project EuroDipl: European Diplomacy Practices post-Lisbon: Adding Value through Cooperation.

Carlos Bravo-Laguna is an Azrieli International Postdoctoral Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He just concluded his PhD at the Barcelona Institute of International Studies (IBEI). His doctoral thesis examines the role and weight of the European Union in the management of external crises. Carlos has been a visiting fellow at the University of Konstanz, the University of Tübingen, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research interests cover the study of governance, crisis management, European Integration, regulation, and networks. His work has been published in the Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management as well as the Journal of European Integration.

Sharon Lecocq is a PhD researcher at the Leuven International and European Studies (LINES) Institute and Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies (LCGGS) of the University of Leuven. She has academic and practical experience in diplomacy, European foreign policy and (natural resource) conflict analysis. Her geographic area of focus are the Middle East and Africa. Sharon currently works on a PhD revolving around the role of non-state actors as providers of governance in the Middle East in the context of the interdisciplinary CONNECTIVITY research project. Together with Prof. Stephan Keukeleire, she also focuses on adopting a decentred or non-Eurocentric approach to the analysis of European foreign policy and of international relations more broadly. Prior to her work academia, Sharon worked as a researcher for the International Peace Information Service, a guide in the Royal Art & History Museum in Brussels, and as trainee at the Belgian Embassy to Egypt. She holds Master’s degrees in Near Eastern Studies and Comparative and International Politics.

Nicholas Wright holds a PhD from the University of East Anglia and is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Surrey’s Centre for Britain in Europe. His research focuses on foreign policy and foreign policy-making systems, particularly the interface between national and supranational levels. He has published extensively on UK, German and UK foreign policy, including a 2019 monograph on UK and German engagement with the CFSP. His recent work focuses on the EU’s post-Lisbon foreign policy system (in collaboration with Dr Heidi Maurer); and on the impact of Brexit on UK and EU foreign policy (with Prof Amelia Hadfield). Between 2015 and 2021 he was a Lecturer in EU Politics at University College London.