Staff Profile


Dr Soeren Keil

Reader in Politics and International Relations

School: School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 923099

Profile summary

My name is Soeren Keil and I work in the areas of conflict resolution, territorial autonomy and European integration. 

I started working at Canterbury Christ Church University in September 2011, before that I have been working at the University of Kent. I have also been teaching courses at the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, the Centre for European Education (CIFE) in Nice (France), the University of Graz (Austria), Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) and the University of Passau (Germany).

I teach a variety of courses. At Canterbury Christ Church University I have been teaching courses on EU Politics, Introduction to International Relations, Foreign Policy Analysis, War and Conflict, Authoritarian and Totalitarian Regimes, Individual Study and Research Methods. 

I have also taught courses on other topics, for example:

Federalism and Conflict Resolution (CIFE, Germany and France, since 2016)

Authoritarian Regimes and Democratization in Southeast Asia (University of Passau, Germany, 2019)

The Bosnian Conflict in IR Theory (University of Passau, Germany 2016)

The Political System of the German Democratic Republic (Free University Berlin, Germany, 2015)

EU Enlargement Policy (University of Passau, Germany, 2015)

The Foreign Policies of Post-Yugoslav States (University of Graz, Austria 2014)

State-Building and Democratization in the Western Balkans (University of Passau, Germany, 2013)

Current Research on Diverse Democracies (University Pompeu Fabra, Spain, 2012 and 2014)

My research and teaching have a focus on territorial autonomy, conflict resolution, the Western Balkans and the EU. I am particularly interested in questions on institutional design in post-conflict societies, the process of democratization and EU enlargement. I have worked on countries within Europe (Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo), and in other parts of the world (Iraq, Ethiopia, South Africa, Myanmar, Nepal, Syria). I am currently advising in the Syrian peace process, and I also supporting the debates about federalism in Myanmar.  

Research and knowledge exchange

Current Research:

1. The foreign policies of the post-Yugoslav states. See:

2. Federalism in Myanmar/Burma with the Hanns Seidel Stiftung in Myanmar (includes training, publications, capacity building)

3. Kurdish Autonomy and a federal Syria with the European Centre for Kurdish Studies (includes training, advice, capacity building)

Knowledge Exchange/Review Activities:

I have advised numerous governments and non-governmental organisations on issues related to the Western Balkans.

I am a reviewer for leading academic publications such as: Journal of Common Market Studies, Europe-Asia Studies, and Publius. 

I have reviewed book proposals for leading publishers in the UK, including Routledge and Palgrave MacMillian.

I am a member of the Editorial Board of Ethnopolitics, Contemporary Southeastern Europe and the Croatian Review of International Relations.

I am regularly invited to assess major funding bids by UK, German, European and other international funding bodies. 

Current PhD Students:

Kumba Krubally 

Topic: EU Migration Policy

Francesco Violi

Topic: Asymetrical Federalism in the Eurozone

Saliha Smaine

Topic: Arab Solidarity and Syrian Refugees

Amel Lamri

Topic: Algeria and the African Union

Completed PhD supervision

Simon Bransden

Topic: Federalism and Crisis

completed 2017, now Quality Manager at the University of Suffolk 

Anastasiia Kudlenko

Topic: The Role of the EU in Security Sector Reform in the Western Balkans

completed 2018, now Research Assistant at SOAS

James Gates

Topic: Nostalgia and the Tea Party Movement

completed 2018

Paul Anderson

Topic: The Limits of Autonomy in Liberal Democratic States

completed 2019, now Lecturer in Politics at Canterbury Christ Church University

Amina M'lili

Topic: The Human Rights Discourse and US Foreign Policy in Bosnia

completed 2019, now Assistant Professor at the University of Algeria 

I welcome interest from prospective PhD students in these areas:

1. Territorial Autonomy, including federalism, decentralisation and minority rights

2. Politics and Developments in the former Yugoslavia

3. Power-sharing and democratization 

Teaching and subject expertise

I have a vast amount of teaching experience. For over 10 years, I have been involved in undergraduate and post-graduate teaching in Higher Education. I have taught in different countries and on a variety of topics. Broadly, my teaching experience covers four main areas:

1. International Relations

This covers courses on IR Theory, conflict resolution and Introduction to key concepts in International Relations. I have also taught a variety of courses on foreign policy analysis.

2. European Politics

this covers courses on the EU and its institutional design, as well as on EU foreign policy, EU enlargement policy and the role of the European Union as a conflict manager. Furthermore, this includes courses on West European Politics and the political systems of EU Member States. I have also been involved in courses on German politics and the political system of the German Democratic Republic.

3. Western Balkans Politics

This covers courses on State-Building and Democratization in the Western Balkans, EU enlargement, Current Research on Diverse Democracies, Power-sharing theories and their application, Conflict Resolution in the Balkans and the foreign policies of post-Yugoslav states.  

4. Federalism and Diversity Management

I have taught courses on power-sharing, federalism theory and federalism as a tool of conflict resolution. Since 2012, I run the summer school on "Federalism, Multinationalism and the Future of Europe" at Canterbury Christ Church University. 

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have completed a teaching degree for Higher Education. 

In addition to numerous Golden Apple Teaching Award Nominations in recent years, I have also received praise and positive feedback for my teaching from students and fellow colleagues. I am involved in teacher training activities, particularly in peer-observation, and supporting young academics and PhD students in their engagement with students. 

External activities

Since 2009 I have regularly participated in the Annual Conference of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES) as a paper giver, discussant and panel organiser:

UACES Annual Conference 2014 in Cork, Ireland

Paper: Non-nationalist parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Panels Organised: The Europeanization of Party Politics in the Post-Yugoslav States I + II (with Jelena Dzankic)

For the 2015 UACES Annual Conference in Bilbao, Spain

Paper: The Europeanization of Contested States - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro in comparative perspective (with Jelena Dzankic)

For the UACES conference in 2016 at Queen Mary University London

Panel Organised: State-Building and Democratization in the former Yugoslavia

For the UACES conference in 2017 in Krakow, Poland

Panel: The Practical Implications of Brexit

Paper: Brexit and UK Constitutional Politics

Since 2011, I have also regularly participated in the Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN)

Most recently ASN Annual Conference 2014 at Columbia University, New York

Book Panel on Soeren Keil's "Multinational Federalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Panels Organised: The Politics of Numbers: Censuses in the Post-Yugoslav States I + II (with Valery Perry) 

For the ASN 2015 Conference at Columbia University, New York

Paper: The Territorial Dimension of Constitutional Reform in Bosnia

Panel Organiser: Bosnia -20 years after Dayton (2 panels with Valery Perry)

ASN 2016

Paper: The Rise of new Authoritarianism in the Post-Yugoslav States

ASN 2017

Paper: Citizenship Policies in the Post-Yugoslav Federations (with Jelena Dzankic)

ASN 2018

Equality and Inequality in Bosnia and Herzegovina 

ASN 2019

Book Panel on Dzankic, Keil and Kmezic - The Europeanisation of the Western Balkans

Paper: Montenegro's Rocky Road towards EU Membership

Other external activities include:

November 2013: Invited Keynote Speaker at International Balkan Week University of Passau

May 2015: Keynote Speech "Of Godfathers and Scarfaces - Explaining the Rise of Authoritarian Tendencies in the Western Balkans" (with Jelena Dzankic)

RRPP Annual Conference, Ohrid, North Macedonia

November 2018: Keynote Speaker at Workshop "Russia and Turkey as External Actors in Bosnia and Serbia" - Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina 

October 2019: Inivted Expert for OSCE and Speaker at 1-day conference on a new Strategy for "One Society for All" in Skopje, North Macedonia

I am the series editor (with Eva Maria Belser) for the "Federalism and Internal Conflict" book series at Palgrave MacMillian - see: 

I am the series editor (with Jelena Dzankic) for the "Balkan Politics and Society" series at Ibidem / Columbia University Press 

Publications and research outputs


Multinational Federalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ashgate, 2013

Statebuilding in the Western Balkans: European Approaches to Democratization, Routledge 2013 (edited)

The EU and Member State Building - European Foreign Policy in the Western Balkans, Routledge, 2014 (co-edited with Zeynep Arkan)


The Foreign Policies of Post-Yugoslav States - From Yugoslavia to Europe, Palgrave MacMillian, 2014 (edited with Bernhard Stahl)

State-Building and Democratization in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ashgate, 2015 (co-edited with Valery Perry)

Understanding Federalism and Federation, Ashgate, 2015 (co-edited with Alain Gagnon and Sean Mueller)

The Europeanisation of the Western Balkans - A Failure of EU Conditionality?, Palgrave MacMillian, 2018 (edited with Jelena Dzankic and Marko Kmezic)



'Imposed Unions and Imperfect States - The State Union of Serbia-Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina in Comparative Perspective' Irish Political Studies, forthcoming 2020. 

'Change amidst Continuity? Assessing the 2018 Regional Elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina' Regional and Federal Studies, Vol. 30/2020, (with John Hulsey)

'Ideology and Party System Change in Consociational Systems: The Case of Non-nationalist Parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina' Nationalism and Ethnic Studies, Vol. 25/2019 (with John Hulsey). 

‘The Business of State Capture and the Rise of Authoritarianism in Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia’ Southeastern Europe, Vol. 42/2018 59-82.


‘The Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo’ European Review of International Studies, Vol. 4/2 2017, 39-58.

‘The Rise of State-Sponsored Populism in Montenegro’ Journal of Balkan and Near East Studies, Vol. 19, No.4, 2017, 403-418 (with Jelena Dzankic)

‘Minority Nationalism and the European Union – The Cases of Scotland and Catalonia’ L’Europe en Formation Vol. 379, 2016, 40-57 (with Paul Anderson)

'Bosnia and Herzegovina twenty years after Dayton: complexity born of paradoxes' International Peacekeeping, Vol. 22, No.5, 2015, 471-489 (with Anastasiia Kudlenko)

‘The OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Testing the Limits of Ownership’ Nationalities Papers, 41/2013, 371-394 (with Valery Perry)


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 03:57:00