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Research Areas & Staff

Security and Defence Policy Group

Researcher: Eoin O'Keeffe

Alan Dempsey

Professor Ben Tonra
H.E. Marie Cross
Professor Patrick Keatinge

About the Chairs:

The IIEA Security and Defence Policy group is co-chaired by Professor Ben Tonra, H.E. Marie Cross and Professor Patrick Keatinge.

Professor Ben Tonra is Jean Monet Professor of European Foreign, Security and Defence Policy. He lectures in and researches European foreign, security and defence policy and Irish foreign policy at the UCD School of Politics and International Relations. 

H.E. Marie Cross served as Irish Ambassador to the Political and Security Committee of the EU from 2006 to 2009. Her considerable diplomatic experience also includes the post of Ambassador to the Czech Republic and to Ukraine.

Professor Patrick Keatinge is Emeritus Associate Professor of Political Science at Trinity College Dublin. Professor Keatinge is considered Ireland’s foremost authority on Irish and European foreign and security policy.

About the Group:

This group analyses developments in security and defence policy at European and international level and their implications for Ireland and Europe. Topics explored include the changing nature of security and the emergence of transnational threats such as piracy, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and threats emanating from failed states, and the new comprehensive approach to such threats, incorporating diplomatic, military, development and other responses.

The work of the group on the evolution of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is complemented by a series of events featuring the heads of EU security institutions and crisis management bodies. Bilateral defence cooperation between EU Member States, USA, Russia and others are explored, along with multilateral activities through EU, OSCE, NATO and UN.

The group comprises leading members of the security, defence and policy communities in Ireland including members of the Oireachtas, senior officials from government departments, top-level representatives of the Defence Forces, academics, business leaders involved in the defence industry and the diplomatic corps. Regular meetings are organised with leading international and European figures, providing stakeholders in Ireland with an opportunity to gain insight and to influence the direction of future policy in this area.

Areas researched:

(A list of topics that are researched in this group)

Publications and Working Papers:

IIEA European Security and Defence Series

Download "European Security in the 21st Century" here

Download "European Security in the 21st Century: The EU’s Comprehensive Approach" here


Nov 2011 IIEA Security and Defence Policy Newsletter No.1

Jan 2012 IIEA Security and Defence Policy Newsletter No.2

Jul 2012 IIEA Security and Defence Policy Newsletter No.3

Sept 2012 IIEA Security and Defence Policy Newsletter No.4


The Security and Defence Policy Group is connected to the Foreign and Defence Policy theme. To view all blogs related to the Foreign and Defence Policy theme click here.

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Previous speakers: 


- Prof. Dr. Sven Biscop, Director of the 'Europe in the World Programme' at Egmont

- Dr. Jamie Shea, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General

- Walter Stevens, Head of the EEAS Crisis Management and Planning Directorate

- Leo G. Michel, U.S. Institute for National Strategic Studies

- Prof. Sean Kay, Chair of International Studies at Ohio Wesleyan University

- Dr. Agostino Miozzo, EEAS Managing Director for Crisis Response and Operational Coordination

- Vygaudas Ušackas, Special Representative and Head of EU Delegation in Afghanistan

- Roger Middleton, expert on piracy and Somalia


- Lamberto Zannier, Secretary General of the Organisation for Security Co-operation in Europe

- Delegation of Japanese security experts from the Research Institute for Peace and Security

- Ambassador Olof Skoog, Permanent Chair of the EU Political and Security Committee

- Benjamin Krasna and Oren Anolik, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

- Claude-France Arnould, Chief Executive, European Defence Agency

- Lieutenant General Ton Van Osch, Director-General, EU Military Staff

- General Håkan Syrén, Chair, EU Military Committee

- Sir Bill Jeffrey, former Permanent Under Secretary, UK Ministry of Defence

- Etienne de Durand, Director, Centre for Security Studies at Ifri


- H.E Keith McBean, Irish Ambassador to the EU Political and Security Committee

- Lieutenant General David Leakey, former Director General, European Union Military Staff (EUMS)

- Alison Kelly, Director for Disarmament and Arms Control, Political Division of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs

- Professor Sean Kay, Chair of International Studies and Professor in the Department of Politics and Government, Ohio Wesleyan University

- Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation


- Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General, United Nations

- Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, Secretary General, OSCE

- H.E. Marie Cross, Irish Ambassador to the EU Political and Security Committee

- Mika-Markus Leinonen, Head of Civilian Crisis Management, Council of the European Union

- Lieutenant General Pat Nash, Operational Commander of the EU Peacekeeping Mission in Chad

- François Heisbourg, Chair, International Institute for Strategic Studies

- Evaldas Ignatavicius, Deputy Foreign Minister of Lithuania

- Michael Semple, regional expert on Afghanistan and Pakistan


- Nils Daag, Head of Foreign and Security Policy of Sweden, lead nation in the Nordic Battle Group

- General Henri Bentégeat, Chair, EU Military Committee

- Knut Vollebaek, High Commissioner on National Minorities, OSCE

- Dennis Corboy, former EU Ambassador to Georgia

- Bruce Schneier, Security Technologist, BT

- Sir Roderic Lye, Chair, Chatham House

- Alex De Waal, British writer and researcher on African issues


- Mohamad El Baradei, Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency

- Tom McNulty, UK Minister of State for Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing

- H.E. Marie Cross, Irish Ambassador to the EU Political and Security Committee

- Professor Bruce Hoffman, Senior Scholar, Princeton University and Senior Fellow, Westpoint Military Academy

- Veronica Cody, Head of Civilian Crisis Management, Council of the European Union

- Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, Chair of the Conservative Party Security Policy Group and former Chair of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee

- Dr. Magnus Ranstorp, Research Director, Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defence Management

- Peter Clarke, UK National Co-ordinator of Terrorist Investigations and Head of the Metropolitan Police Force’s Counter Terrorism Command


- Minister Willie O’Dea, Minister for Defence

- Hans Blix, Chair, WMD Commission

- H.E. Paul Kavanagh, Irish Ambassador to the EU Political and Security Committee

- Kimmo Lahdevirta, Head of International Security Policy Unit, Finnish Department of Foreign Affairs

- Bard Bredrup Knudsen, Counselor on Security and Defence Policy, Norwegian Mission to the EU

- H.E. Nils Daag, Swedish Ambassador to Ireland, former Director of the Swedish Ministry of Defence                                                                                   


- Lakdar Brahimi, Special Advisor to Kofi Annan and author of the Brahimi Report on Peacekeeping

- Christoph Heusgen, Head of the Policy Planning and Early Warning Unit, Council of the European Union

- Robert Cooper, Director General for Politico-Military Affairs, Council of the European Union

- Nick Witney, Chief Executive, European Defence Agency

- Marc von Bellingham, Head of Crisis Management Unit, European Commission

- Heikke Talvitie, EU Special Representative for South Caucasus

- Michael Sahlin, former EU Special Representative for FYROM


- H.E. Declan Kellegher, Irish Ambassador to the EU Political and Security Committee

- Gij de Vries, Counter-terrorism Coordinator for the EU

- Alison Bailes, Director, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

- Renata Dwan, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

- Andrew Cotty, Ian Anthony and Shannon Kile, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute


- Lisa Brosnan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Europe and NATO Affairs at the Pentagon


- Professor Patrick Keatinge, TCD

- Bernard Miyet, Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, United Nations

- Charles Grant, Director, CER


- Bill McSweeney, Director of the Peace Studies Programme, Irish School of Ecumenics

- Michael Rüle, Senior Planning Officer, NATO

- Professor Patrick Keatinge, TCD

- Kim Traavik, Head of the Coordination Unit, OSCE

- Lieutenant Gerry McMahon, former Chief of Staff of the Permanent Defence Forces


- Ulrik Federspiel, Danish Ambassador to Ireland

- Larry Butler, US Embassy in Ireland


- Sam Brown, Head of US delegation to the OSCE

Eoin O'Keeffe

Eoin O'Keeffe

Policy Analyst eoin.okeeffe@iiea.com
Security and Defence Policy Group