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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Andrew Byrne

Andrew Byrne
Andrew Byrne
Edinburgh UK
+44 755 489 3056


Andrew has a BA in History and Political Science from Trinity College Dublin and an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago. His research interests are the politics and institutions of the EU, EU-US Relations, and intergenerational politics.

In 2009 he managed the "Ireland For Europe" campaign in Ireland's second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. During this time he made media appearances on RTE (Ireland) and BBC (UK), and contributed to articles in The Irish Times (Ireland), Wall Street Journal (US), Der Spiegel (DE) and TIME Magazine (US).

As part of the EXACT - Marie Curie Network on EU External Action, he worked as a policy analyst at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels and the Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome.

In his free time Andrew enjoys triathlons, running, film and travel.


Thesis Title: US Elite Discourse on the EU's Global Role.

In Europe, the nature of the EU as a foreign policy actor is hotly contested; academics are divided as to whether the EU is a "soft power", "a normative power" "a market power" or no power at all. Integration since the 1970s has seen the institutions of the EU evolve in an attempt to give the EU influence on the world stage and EU officials point to the impact of EU enlargement policies, development aid spending and the deployment of CSDP missions overseas as evidence of international "actorness". Yet the preliminary content analysis undertaken for this study indicates a discourse of weakness and decline dominates US élite appraisals of the EU's role. So, why in spite of so many efforts does the discourse of weakness dominate among this influential Washington community?

The project examines US elite discourse on the EU's global role within a sociological institutionalist framework with two objectives in mind. Firstly, the thesis seeks to highlight the complex processes of discursive construction and competition that take part within this community and enable a particular discourse on the EU to assume dominance. Secondly, the thesis aims to illustrate the constraining effects that this discourse has on US foreign policy towards the EU.





"International Interests - the Common Foreign and Security Policy" (with John Peterson and Niklas Helwig) in: John Peterson / Michael Shackleton (eds): Institutions of the European Union (3rd edition), Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

"Building the Transatlantic Area of Freedom, Security and Justice: The Case of the Passenger Name Record Agreements" IAI Working Paper 12/06, March 2012. 

"The General Affairs Council: The Key to Political Influence of Rotating Presidencies"(with Piotr Kaczynski) CEPS Policy Brief No. 246, July 2011.



Newspaper Articles: 

"Young People Get Lip Service While Policies Cruelly Betray Them"  The Irish Times, Aug. 16 2012.


Other Conference Participation:

European Union Studies Association Conference, Boston, USA. (March 2011)

European Consortium for Political Research Conference, Reykjavik, Iceland. (August 2011)

EU Studies Conference hosted by Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Helsinki, Finland (September 2011)


Research Assistance:

Elizabeth Bomberg / John Peterson / Richard Corbett: The European Union: How Does it Work? (3rd edition), Oxford University Press, forthcoming.