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Ileana Serban

I have recently completed my PhD in Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick. My doctoral research was fully funded by the Warwick Chancellor’s Scholarship and addressed the interregional cooperation between the European Union and Latin America. Since then, I have taken up a Lectureship in International Security and Public Policy at the University of Comillas in Madrid.

My research interests include:

  • International Development, Triangular and South-South Cooperation
  • Norm and policy entrepreneurship
  • EU and Latin America as normative actors
  • Interregionalism and regional integration.

Background information

Before joining the Politics and International Studies Department at the University of Warwick, I have worked at the European Parliament, focusing my work on foreign and environmental policy, at the European Commission and in the think tanks sector, being in charge with research on the EU external policy and trade agreements. I hold two Bachelor’s Degrees in Sociology and International Relations having graduated as Valedictorian from both. I have also a Master’s Degree in Security Studies and a Master’s Degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from the Diplomatic School of Madrid, where I was awarded a full scholarship by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

PhD Research

The doctoral thesis questions and updates the way of looking at the European Union as a normative actor. It does so by analysing how the norm entrepreneur and the norm interpreter interact, highlighting the limitations of previous research in recognising the agency of the norm interpreter and the complex interactions between the two actors. Normative encounters is coined as a central concept for understanding how the EU as norm entrepreneur creates normative dialogues with its interlocutors, in this case Latin American regional organisations. Two dynamics are proposed in order to show how normative encounters happen or are prevented from doing so. On one side, an analysis is made of cases in which the norm entrepreneur attempts to diffuse its norms, related to interregionalism and regional integration, to the norm interpreter that localises the norms which are then incorporated (or not) in concrete policies through policy entrepreneurship. On the other side, an equally important dynamic starts with the norm interpreter that creates new norms though norm subsidiarity, diffuses this new normative content and creates a need for the initial norm entrepreneur to adapt its normative approach and to make it visible to the norm interpreter through concrete policies.

Fieldwork has been conducted in Brussels, interviewing EU representatives from the European External Action Service, European Commission (DG Trade and DG DEVCO) and the European Parliament, as well as Latin American policy makers working in the Missions to the EU, and representatives from think tanks and NGOs. This work has been funded by the King Baudouin Foundation under the David Constant Fellowship.

Further filedwork has been conducted in Madrid and New York, mainly with public authorities involved in EU delegated cooperation and with Latin American Embassies and Missions to the UN.


´The European Union Cooperation for development policy. From building walls to opening doors´, Comillas Blog of International Relations, 2018,

'Europe and Latin America: the state of the question', OpenDemocracy (available also in Spanish), 2017,

‘EU-Latin American Cooperation: An Affair of One?', Atlantic Community (republished by ISN ETH Zürich), 2015,

‘The transatlantic cooperation and the public opinion influence’, Cuadernos de la Escuela Diplomatica, no 49, Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2013,

'Demilitarisation effects- democratisation or social chaos? A case study: El Salvador’, Research and Science Today, no 2, 2011

’Public diplomacy- political instrument for the USA as smart power- causal analysis’, Research and Science Today, no 1, 2011

‘Environmental diplomacy and the principle of subsidiarity- realities and perspectives’, Romanian Journal of International Relations and Security Studies, no 1, 2011

Academic conferences and events

FLACSO Quito Annual Conference, Ecuador, Quito, 2018

ISA Annual Conference, USA, San Francisco, 2018

ISA Annual Conference, paper in the panel ‘After Brussels: Perspectives of the EU-Latin American Relationship', USA, Atlanta, 2016

ISA Annual Conference, paper in the panel ‘The Other Transatlantic Relationship: Latin America and Europe’, USA, New Orleans, 2015

Global Re-ordering: Evolution through European Networks. Towards the next generation of scholarship, presented the paper ‘Discourses on an extended transatlantic partnership’, Belgium, Brussels, 2014

GR:EEN-GEM PhD Summer School on EU policies in the context of multilateral governance, interregionalism and global networks, presented the paper ‘The Politics of Interregionalism: the transatlantic triangle and the role played by the EU and Latin America in redesigning frameworks of interregional cooperation’, Belgium, Brussels, 2014

Pharmaceutical Industry Meeting, presented the paper 'Measures and debates in Brussels and their implications for non-European countries. The ENVI Committee in the European Parliament', Bolivia, La Paz, 2013


English, French, Spanish, Portuguese

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Ileana Daniela Serban

I dot D dot Serban at warwick dot ac dot uk