About our new visiting researcher

Theofanis Kakarnias is a PhD candidate at the Political and Social Sciences Department of Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain. His research focuses on the Europeanisation of candidate states, while revisiting the role of EU conditionality through both a theoretical and empirical perspective, covering topics such as the External Incentives Model, rule of law, and the roles of public opinion and political elites. He is part of EURONCP, a research project at the Barcelona Institute of International Studies examining the Europeanisation of national competition policies, while also acting as teaching collaborator for courses in the areas of international affairs and research methods.

Theofanis has gained experience working in Brussels from 2011 to 2019 including at the European Parliament, APCO Worldwide, and RTL Group in areas such as international development, EU foreign and digital policy, and copyright. He holds an MA degree in European Public Policy from University College London, UK, and a Bachelor´s in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Athens, Greece.

His research at the IEE-ULB

Theofanis’ supervisor at IEE-ULB will be Assistant Professor Seda Gürkan. While at IEE-ULB, Theofanis aims to utilise the institute´s strong expertise in the areas of his study to receive feedback and ultimately improve his two research papers in working progress (“Reconstructing the theoretical foundations of the External Incentives Model for explaining the Europeanisation of candidate states”, and “Understanding domestic determinants of rule of law Europeanisation in the Western Balkans and Turkey”).

Becoming a visiting researcher at the IEE-ULB

The IEE-ULB regularly welcomes visiting researchers whose work focuses on its main lines of research.

Interested candidates are invited to submit their applications which must contain: an up-to-date CV, a research project highlighting the link to one or several of the IEE’s four research themes, the proposed research period, and the name of the IEE-affiliated professor who has agreed to act as the researcher’s supervisor.

Applications should be send to Prof. François ForetDominique Dembour, and Dr. Marta Matrakova.

Decisions on visiting research applications are taken by the Council of the IEE, which gathers five times per year. For the 2023-2024 academic year, the dates are:

  • in 2023: 16 October 2023 and 18 December 2023
  • in 2024: 11 March 2024, 13 May 2024 and 20 August 2024.


For any questions about a visiting research stay at the IEE, please contact the IEE’s Research Logistic Coordinator, Dr. Marta Matrakova.