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Giada Lagana

Dr Giada Lagana


School of Law and Politics

+44 29225 10080
Law Building, Room Room 2.06, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX
Available for postgraduate supervision


Giada Lagana is Lecturer in Politics at Cardiff University, School of Law and Politics (LAWPL), and the President of the Irish Association for Contemporary European Studies (IACES). Giada started out as an historian, completing a BA in Contemporary History at the University of Pavia (Italy), and an MA in 'Relations Internationales et Histoire du Monde Atlantique' at the University of La Rochelle (France). Her PhD study secured four years funding from the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), where she worked under the supervision of Prof. Niall Ó Dochartaigh. Her book, The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process (2021), is based on her dissertation and was published by Palgrave McMillan. The book demonstrates that the role of the EU in the Northern Ireland peace process was much more significant than had previously been suggested. It also makes an original contribution to the theoretical literature on peacebuilding by developing an original framework that combines theories of metagovernance with the apparatus of strategic peacebuilding. Since she has joined Cardiff University in 2019, working with Prof. Daniel Wincott in the framework of the ESRC project ‘Between two unions. The Constitutional Future of the Islands after Brexit’, Dr Lagana has published several articles with high-impact journals (e.g., European Urban and Regional Studies and The Journal of Peace Research). She has written a short chapter for a report produced by 'The UK in a Changing Europe' on Ireland's future membership of the EU and a policy-report commissioned by the Wales European Funding Office (WEFO) and the Southern Regional Assembly of Ireland (SRA) on the value of the Interreg Ireland-Wales programme (jointly written with Prof. Daniel Wincott). She secured funding from the Project House Europe at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Germany), the Irish Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFA), and the ‘Innovation for All’ Impact Fund of Cardiff University. 











Book sections





Dr Giada Lagana previous research focuses on the genesis of the European Union (EU) role in the Northern Ireland peace process. She analysed this role through a new theoretical lense, which combined elements of Strategic Peacebuilding (Lederach and Appleby 2010) with notions of metagovernance. Her research has engaged with, and will continue to evaluate, wider questions in conflict and peace studies using Northern Ireland as a case study.

In parallel, Dr Lagana has developed a specific expertise in cross-border processes and cross border cooperation. By bridging Political Science with History and theories of Metagovernance, this research has so far explored historically the conscious mobilisation, forming and shaping of Irish and Welsh cross-border spaces by subnational actors through the EU programme Interreg. By employing qualitative methods for collecting and analysing empirical data, semi-structured interviews, as well as analysis of primary and secondary sources, Dr Lagana aims at providing new theoretical insights critical for understanding how subnational actors and policy networks are not just empowered by EU sponsored cross-border cooperation, but how they can actively shape it as an opportunity structure.


(2021) The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace process, Palgrave McMillan.

This book examines the economic and political contributions of the EU to the Northern Ireland peace process, tracing the genesis of EU involvement since 1979 and analysing how it acted as an arena in which to foster dialogue and positive cooperation. Based on extensive archival research and exclusive elite interviews this volume provides the first comprehensive study of how the EU contributed to the reconfiguration of Northern Ireland from a site of conflict to a site of conflict amelioration and peace-building. The book demonstrates that the relationship between Northern Ireland and the EU has been much more significant in the peace process than previously suggested.


Lagana G., White T. (2021), “Cross-border Cooperation on Cultural Heritage in European Border Regions: Sites and Senses of ‘Place’ on the Border of Ireland and Northern Ireland”, Anthropological Journal of European Cultures. (Forthcoming)

Lagana G. (2021), ‘EU Structural Funds programmes on the island of Ireland: Interreg and the cross-border dimension’ in Simpson K., Holmes M., Ireland and the EU: Economic, Political & Social Crises, Manchester, Manchester University Press.

Lagana G. (2020), ‘Has the European Union empowered the regions? A pre and post Brexit preliminary investigation of the United Kingdom’, European Urban and Regional Studies

Lagana G., Wincott D. (2020), "The Added-Value of the Ireland- Wales Cooperation Programme", Wales Governance Centre, Cardiff University. Available at:

Lagana G. (2020), "Ireland" in UKIIN, The future of the European Union: new perspectives, The UK in a Changing Europe, p. 24 – 25.

Lagana G. (2019), "The European Union and the Northern Ireland peace process in the shadow of Brexit", The Irish Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade & the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, ISBN: 978-1- 908358-60-8.

Lagana G. (2019), ‘Triangulation of Archival and Oral Sources: When Political Science meets history on a middle ground’, Sage Research Methods Cases in Politics and International Relations, Online ISBN: 9781526492913, DOI:

Lagana G. (2019),’L’européanisation du processus de paix nord-irlandais’, Relations Internationales, Vol. 176, Issue 4, p. 20 - 39.

Lagana G. (2019), ‘A preliminary investigation on the genesis of EU cross-border cooperation on the island of Ireland’, Space and Polity, Vol. 21, Issue 3, p. 289 - 302.

Lagana G. (2017), ‘Il processo di pace NordIrlandese all’ombra del Brexit’, In Europa, No 1, May 2017. Available online at:

Additionally, over 25 non-academic, online articles and media contributions have been produced, including: LSE EUROPP Blog; The Centre on Consitutional Change Blog; Youtube; and FranceCulture.


Undergraduate level

PL9380 - Parliamentary Studies

PL9340 - Politics in Practice: Work Placement Module Application (Module Convenor)

PL9246 - The Politics of Borders: Conflict and Cooperation in Modern Europe (Module Convenor)

PL9338 - Sex, Drugs & Public Policy


PLT062 - Research Methods: Approaches to Knowledge.

PLT449 - Multilateralism and International Law.  

PLT453 - The Politics of International Intervention in conflict and peace. (Module Convenor)

PLT432 - Themes and Debates in Contemporary Comparative Politics.

She also supervises various undergraduate and masters students for their dissertations.