Daniel Kenealy
Dr Daniel Kenealy
Social Policy School of Social and Political Science
University of Edinburgh
2.01 21 George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0) 131 650 4080
British politics Devolution and UK constitution Civil service UK foreign policy Brexit European integration


I am on research leave until 31 July 2020. For most of this period I will not be based in Edinburgh, but will be contactable by email. During September, October and November 2019 I will be a Visiting Fellow at SWP, a foreign and security policy think tank in Berlin.


I completed a PhD in Politics & International Relations at the University of Edinburgh in 2012. My research applied classical realism to the political history of the European Union. I joined the School, initially as a Teaching Fellow in Politics & International Relations and moved to the Social Policy subject area in April 2015. I have served as Deputy Director of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (2012-2013), Deputy Director of the Academy of Government (2013-2014), Director of the Master of Public Policy (2013-2015), Adviser to the Senior Vice Principal (2016-2017), and School Quality Assurance Director (2017-2019).


My research is both historical and contemporary, involving archival work in Edinburgh and London, elite interviews, and the analysis of government documents. Under the umbrella of a broad interest in British politics my research falls, topically, into two principal areas.


First, constitutional politics and devolution. Since 2013 I have researched and published on various aspects of the UK's constitutional politics including: intergovernmental relations, Scotland's external relations and its interaction with UK foreign policy, devolution to city-regions in England, and Scotland's relationship with the EU. In 2017, with colleagues at Edinburgh, I authored the book Publics, Elites and Constitutional Change in the UK.

I am currently working on a book reflecting on 20-years of constitutional change since 1999, possible future developments beyond Brexit and making the case for a new model of statecraft for the UK.

Second, UK foreign policy. Using role theory, I am exploring the conceptual development of "Global Britain" in the context of Brexit and the need to reinterpret the UK's place in, and relationships across, the world. Cross-cutting both areas of research is an interest in the machinery and structures of government, processes of decision-making, executive-legislative relations, and relationships between different levels of government. I also have an ongoing interest in European integration and am lead editor of the textbook The European Union: How Does it Work? 


I have published my research in journals including West European Politics, Regional and Federal Studies, Journal of European Integration, Millenium, European Security, European Law Journal, British Politics and Diplomacy and Statecraft. 

I have presented my research at the University of Montreal, the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Georgetown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the European Policy Centre in Brussels, and Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin. I have served as expert adviser to the Scottish Parliament's European and External Relations Committee and have presented oral evidence to that committee on several occasions as well as to the House of Commons' Scottish Affairs Committee.

Current teaching and administration

  • I am on research leave until 31 July 2020.