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European Centre @ POLIS

Department of Politics and International Studies

Studying at Cambridge


Associated Doctoral Researchers

Léonie de Jonge

Léonie is a PhD candidate in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge. Before coming to Cambridge, she studied in North Dakota and Iowa, and holds a BA in IR from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, and an MPhil in IR and Politics from the University of Cambridge. Léonie works with Julie Smith on right-wing populist parties. She is specifically interested in the question why these parties are more successful in the Netherlands and Flanders than in Wallonin and in Luxembourg.

Among other things, Léonie has published blogs on First Brexit and now Trump: what is populism and how might we view it? and The Nationalist International: Is There a Brown Network in the Making?


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Vladimir Kmec

Vladimir is a Peterhouse doctoral researcher in Politics and International Studies. His research interests include the European Union (CSDP missions and operations), the United Nations, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, migration, religion and identity politics. He pursued research and studies at Trinity College Dublin, Humboldt University Berlin and Comenius University of Bratislava. He also pursued exchange studies at the University of Ottawa, Georg-August University in Göttingen, Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen and Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen-Nürnberg.

At Cambridge, he supervises in International Relations II: Ethics and World Politics. He is co-author of 'United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA)', published in the Oxford Handbook of UN Peacekeeping Operations (eds. by Koops J. et al. 2014). He has professional experience with the United Nations Secretariat (Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Mine Action Service), international NGOs and civil society organisations.


Profile pictureMolly Krasnodebska

Molly is a PhD student at POLIS, University of Cambridge. She has completed a BA in history and philosophy at the University of Hawaiʻi and a Master of Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California. Among others, she has interned at the European Parliament and the Polish Embassy in Kiev.

Her research interests are European integration, the transformation of the former Eastern bloc and the relationship between identity politics and security in Europe. Molly's current work concerns the role of former Soviet bloc states in the EU and NATO. Her dissertation focuses on Poland's foreign policy during its membership in the EU. She examine how membership in the EU affected Poland's norms and priorities in the area of foreign policy and how Poland projected some of its interest and norms upon the EU-level. This relates to a larger question about Western international institutions as 'agents of socialization' in the former Soviet bloc.


Sebastian Steingass

Sebastian is PhD candidate at POLIS, University of Cambridge. Before coming to Cambridge, Sebastian studied politics and economics in Osnabrück and Glasgow, specialising in European politics. He has worked as teaching assistant and completed an internship at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Bonn. In 2013, he was awarded an ESRC Studentship for conducting his doctoral research at the University of Cambridge.

His research interests range from European studies to political economy, specifically European integration, European Union politics, foreign and development policies, and economic development. Currently, Sebastian is working on aid and development policies within the European Union. This includes published work on the EU’s multi-level aid system, and the construction of the EU's approach to aid conditionality. His PhD thesis examines how and on what grounds EU member states collaborate in aid and development within the EU's institutional system.

Sebastian has been the coordinator of the center since October 2016.

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European Centre Seminar Series Michaelmas Term 2017

Oct 01, 2017

The European Centre @ POLIS is delighted to announce its seminar programme for Michaelmas Term 2017. Further information and full website update coming soon!

Dr Julie Smith, Director of the European Centre @ POLIS, blogs on Brexit

Mar 30, 2017

As the Prime Minister triggers Article 50, two new blog posts by the Centre's director Dr Julie Smith shed light on how we got here and where we go from here. Read 'Absent from the start: Britain’s leery relationship with the EU' and 'Opinion: The Road to Brexit, or the UK’s Journey into the Unknown'

Book Launch: Dr Julie Smith, The UK’s Journeys into and out of the EU: Destinations Unknown (Routledge, 2017)

Mar 03, 2017

Cambridge, 3 March 2017 - Dr Julie Smith launched her new book, The UK’s Journeys into and out of the EU: Destinations Unknown (Routledge, 2017), at Robinson College, in the presence of Lord Lisvane, former Clerk of the House of Commons, Prof David Yates, Warden of Robinson College, a representative from Routledge, and various members of the University of Cambridge and Robinson College

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