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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Patrick Utz

Patrick Utz
Patrick Utz
27 George Square 1.06 Edinburgh EH8 9LD
Research Interests
Territorial politics, Party politics, Europeanization


PhD title

Europeanizing the party politics of minority - kin-state relations
Evidence from South Tyrol & Northern Ireland


Patrick investigates how Western European kin-minority parties respond to the opportunities and constraints created by European integration. Kin-minority parties are defined (1) by their claim to defend the interests of a particular national minority within a certain country, and (2) by their perception that the minority they claim to speak for is part of a larger nation that constitutes the majority in a neighbouring kin-state. Kin-minority parties thus define their policy goals and strategies in between the poles of two, potentially antagonistic, nation-building projects: the one of the kin-state, and the one of the host-state. This situation places kin-minorities within a triangular relationship in which the minority, the kin-state and the host-state interact with each other in complex ways.

This project inquires into how the multidimensional impact of European integration has modified each dimension of this “triadic nexus”, and how kin-minority parties exploit these changes. It is expected that the “softening” of borders and the narrative of a “Europe of the Regions” in the early 1990s led kin-minority parties’ to abandon irredentist claims in favour of other territorial demands (federalism, devolution), whereas prospects of “hardening” borders following the recent refugee crisis and Brexit are expected to reignite demands for border shifts.

Patrick empirically assesses kin-minority parties’ responses to European integration by analysing party positions in Northern Ireland and South Tyrol during several critical junctures from the 1980s to present. The kin-minorities under scrutiny constitute two dissimilar cases, that allow the evaluation of the EU’s impact on territorial politics, minority accommodation and cross-border cooperation under largely different circumstances. In doing so, this project extends the body of comparative literature on cross-border nations beyond its traditional focus on Central and Eastern Europe, and aims to shed light on the interplay of sub-state party politics and European integration in Western European border regions.

This research is kindly co-financed by UACES & James Madison Charitable Trust.


Michael Keating & Nicola McEwen

Other research activities

Besides his PhD project, Patrick also works as a research fellow at the Centre on Constitutional Change.


In the 1st semester of 2019/20, Patrick is a tutor on the following course:

PLIT08004 Introduction to Politics and International Relations

Office hours by appointment.

In previous semesters, Patrick taught on these courses:

PLIT08015 British Politics - Beginning of the End

PLIT08004 Introduction to Politics and International Relations

PLIT08012 Politics in a Changing World: An Introduction for non-specialists


Media & Blogs



2014-2016: University of Vienna, Austria
MA Political Science (with distinction)
"Re-integrating Tyrol? Regionalist parties in South Tyrol and their responses to European Integration" (shortlisted as best master's thesis 2016/17 by the Austrian Political Science Association)

2010-2015: University of Vienna, Austria;
Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

BA Romance studies (Spanish & Portuguese), (with distinction)

2010-2014: University of Vienna, Austria
BA Political Science (with distinction)


2015: Research assistant,
Department of Economic Sociology, University of Vienna, Austria

2014-2015: Tutor for scientific writing,
Department of Political Science, University of Vienna, Austria

2011-2016: Assistant Floor Manager,
Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF)