I am a PhD graduate from the European University in Florence, where I defended my thesis in November 2019. Presently too, I am a tutor at the University of Dundee, where I teach and will lecture on politics. My main interest relates to the governance of the EU and international relations, particularly how and why states structure their relationships over time.
What underpins my interest in politics is a desire to understand how co-operation occurs between states, where it is going, and why. I was born during the time of the Maastricht Treaty, where globalisation was the talked about idea. I then saw the push-back after the Financial Crisis and wanted to know what the effect of it was and whether globalisation was continuing or stopping. Part of this interest comes from a belief in interational co-operation, part of it from a genuine wonder of how and why it is changing over time.
I grew up in the North East of Scotland, where I was interested in politics from a young age, although I thought of politics as something you should be interested in rather than something I was unusually interested in. Growing up, I was lucky enough to have my school support a distance learning course so I could study a Higher in Politics as well as having the chance to start up and run a youth council in Kirriemuir. I received an invitation to the Queen's Garden Party for my activism.
At University I initially applied to study Geography, but ended up studying for and earning an Upper-Second degree in Politics. During this time, I also refounded the Strathclyde University Labour Club and eventually became Chair of Scottish Labour Students. This gave me the experience of participating in and helping to organise a national body as well as campaign events during the 2012 Council Elections. It also opened the opportunity for me to work as a researcher in the Scottish and European Parliaments.
In my Masters I decided to focus more on my studies than activism. As a result, I managed to achieve a Distinction in European Politics from the University of Glasgow and earn the Altiero Spinelli award for highest mark in the European Politics programme.
In 2014 I started studying for my PhD at the European University Institute in Florence. My thesis covered a concept called 'communitarisation', a mode of integration specific to areas close to the state's sovereign functions (defence, foreign affairs, budgets). In it, I conceptualised and explained why the Member States of the EU begin co-operation in these fields loosely and intergovernmentally before adopting closer and more supranational structures in this field.
At present I am a part-time tutor at the University of Dundee and am developing the next stages of my career.