My research interests include European Union politics and policy-making, comparative European politics, non-majoritarian agencies, Justice and Home Affairs policy, as well as EU external relations and EU aid and development policy.

My research focuses on the insertion of Justice and Home Affairs considerations in the EU’s security practices with its Mediterranean neighbours. I have conducted extensive fieldwork in Morocco, Egypt and Jordan. I follow closely EU migration and border practices with North African countries. Rule of law promotion, border management (Frontex), the external relations of EU agencies, the Arab revolts and transatlantic homeland security are some of the recent and current projects I am working on.

My work draws from new institutionalism and in particular from rational-choice-historical institutionalist approach that I have applied to the study of the externalisation of EU Justice and Home Affairs policy to Arab countries. I am also drawing from the policy instrument literature.

My current projects include:

  • The study of EU’s engagement with political actors in North Africa before and after the Arab Spring. This project is financed by the Leverhulme Trust Fellowship (2014/2015). Until the Arab revolts, security concerns, and Islamist political parties’ alleged non-adherence to Western liberal values, explained the lack of EU engagement. Nonetheless, empirical evidence has shown regular EU engagement through its foreign policy. Drawing from literature on risks and policy networks, Dr Wolff intends to demonstrate that domestic specificities, rational preferences and past legacies contest this security-Political Islam-‘one-size-fits-all’ argument. This project will also inform EU foreign policy in the Arab world by furthering research on religious-oriented political parties.
  • Thanks to the Fulbright-Schuman award (Summer 2014), in collaboration with the Transatlantic Academy, I will research whether religion matters in transatlantic partners’ engagement with Islamist political parties.This research project will seek to demonstrate that networks of engagement exist between transatlantic partners through looking at two case studies: (i) a comparative analysis of the European External Action Service and State department foreign policies since 2011, and (ii) a comparative analysis of the US National Endowment for Democracy and the European Endowment for Democracy.
  • EU migration policies with Mediterranean countries after the Arab Spring.

Research Funding

  • 2014/2015 Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship
  • Summer 2014 Fulbright-Schuman award
  • 2012 Early Career Leverhulme Fellowship (declined) The conditions of EU (non)-engagement with Moroccan and Tunisian political opposition
  • 2010/2011 Jean Monnet Research Activity European Commission on EU Agencies and their External Relations- which way forward? Grant obtained together with A. Schout, Head CESP, Clingendael
  • 2006/ 2008 Fellow “European Foreign and Security Policy Studies” Programme– Joint programme from Compagnia di San Paolo (Italy) Rijksbankens Jubileumsfond,(Sweden)  and Volkswagen Stiftung (Germany)
  • 2005/2007 Postgraduate LSE Student Research studentship
  • 2000/ 2001Scholarship from the Rhône-Alpes Region
  • 2000/2001 Erasmus Scholarship

© 2013 Sarah Wolff. All rights reserved.