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School of Politics and International Relations

Professor Sarah Wolff, PhD in International Relations (LSE), Msc in European Politics and Governance (LSE), BA Science Po Grenoble


Professor in European Politics and International Relations and Director of the Centre for European Research

Telephone: 020 7882 6882
Room Number: Arts One, 2.27A
Office Hours: Tuesday online 14-15h (Paris time) 13-14h UK time (Online) & Thursdays 12-13h onsite by appointment (Paris)


Professor Wolff is the Director of the Center for European Research at Queen Mary and the Director of the QMUL Master of Arts in International Relations at the University of London Institute in Paris. She is Principal Investigator for the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence NEXTEUK project on the future of EU-UK Relations. Senior Research Associate at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations (Clingendael), her research interests include EU politics and public policy, non-majoritarian agencies, Justice and Home Affairs policy ( EU migration and border management policies), as well as EU external relations and EU development aid. She is an expert on EU-Islam relations, Euro-Mediterranean relations and is since 2017 Editor of Mediterranean Politics. She is co-convener of the ECPR Mediterranean Politics and Society Research Network since 2019 with F. Volpi. She is also a member of the advisory body to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Tunisia at the UK Parliament. She has taught at University College of London, the London School of Economics, the University Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) and is Visiting Professor at the College of Europe.

Sarah's experience on EU politics and foreign policy was gained in various public, think tanks and higher education institutions. Before joining academia, Dr Wolff worked at the European Commission and the European Parliament. She is involved in facilitating a permanent and dynamic dialogue between citizens, academia and practitioners, as well as for active public engagement. Sarah regularly contributes in various media (Le Monde, Today Zaman, Al-Jazeera, Skynews, etc), blogs at, and tweets @drsarahwolff

To arrange an advice & feedback hour, please click here.


2023-2024 on sabbatical leave



Research Interests:

My research interests include European Union politics and policy-making, EU-UK relations, Justice and Home Affairs policy, as well as EU relations with North Africa, Middle East and Euro-Mediterranean relations. In 2022/2023 I am co-investigator on a research project on the concept of civic duty in times of pandemic (Co-Duties, financed by Norwegian Research Council) and will continue to develop research on the concept of coordinative Europeanization and EU governance in times of permanent emergency (with S. Ladi).

My current research in the field of EU foreign policy is embedded in critical international relations approaches challenging Eurocentrism and European post-colonialism in EU foreign policy. More specifically I have developed innovative research on the role of secularism and religion in EU foreign policy. I am also involved in understanding the transformation of the EU and the UK as security providers in a post-Brexit environment.

I am actively contributing to the research community as a steering board member of the EPCR Standing Group on the European Union (elected 2022) and a committee member of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (elected 2021).

Examples of research funding:

  • 2022-2023 Co-Duties:Democratic Duties, Collective Action, and the Greater Good after COVID-19, Norwegian Research Council, PI Simon Reid-Henry (PRIO) £82,965.83 attributed to working package on France and Europe that I lead.
  • 2019-2022 Principal Investigator NEXTEUK Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on the future of EU-UK relations, £299.798 (co-funding European Commission 42%). Preparation phase, more info here.
  • 2019 Strategic Impact Funding, HSS, QMUL, to fund a research and YouGov poll on British views of Europeans in a context of Brexit negotiations, £3000. The findings of the project were published on the QMUL HSS homepage(incl. a link to the data tables), in The Conversation, on the ‘UK in a Changing Europe’ website here and here, and on the LSE blog.
  • 2018 Center for Public Engagement, QMUL, ‘Europe at all costs’ documentary on refugees in Calais and Ceuta (with. A. Hlaoua) £1000
  • 2018 Small Grant University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES), £1000 to fund an ‘Decentring Europe: Critical Approaches to European Foreign Policy’ one-day exploratory workshop on 7 March 2019 at ULIP in Paris.
  • Leverhulme Research Grant 2014/2015 RF-2014-516 on Explaining European Union’s engagement with Moroccan and Tunisian Islamist parties’ (43,930£)
  • Fulbright-Schuman Scholar Fellowship 2014 Does Religion matter in Transatlantic Engagement with Islamist political parties? Hosted at the Transatlantic Academy in Washington DC. (9.000 euros)
  • Early Career Leverhulme Fellowship 2012 (declined due to taking up a permanent position) (23.000£)
  • Jean Monnet Research activity, European Commission, DG Research 2011/2012 on EU Agencies and their External Relations, which way forward? (16.630 euros)
  • Fellowship European Foreign and Security Policy Studies Programme 2007-2009 Compagnia di San Paolo (Italy) Rijksbankens Jubileumsfond,(Sweden)  and Volkswagen Stiftung (Germany) The Mediterranean Dimension of EU’s Internal Security (35.000euros)



Wolff, S. (2021). Secular Power Europe and Islam: Identity and Foreign Policy. Michigan University Press. Winner of the 2023 Best Book Award in European Union studies (EUSA).

Wolff, S (2012) The Mediterranean Dimension of EU Internal Security. New York: Palgrave, Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics.

Wolff, S., Goudappel, F. and J. de Zwaan ( 2011). Freedom, Security and Justice after Lisbon and Stockholm.TMC Asser Press. (Winner of the LISBOAN Research Award 2012).

Wolff, S., Wichmann N., Mounier, G. (2009). The External Dimension of Justice and Home Affairs A Different Security Agenda for the European Union? Routledge, 2009, 176p.  

Journal Articles

Piquet, A. and S. Wolff (2022) ‘Au-delà de la déseuropéanisation, repenser la diversité des (non-)changements des politiques publiques post-Brexit au Royaume-Uni ‘ Gouvernement et Action Publique, 11:4, pp. 9-30. 

Wolff, S., D. Gazsi, D. Huber and N. Fisher-Onar (2022) ‘A Reflexive EU Foreign Policy for a Pluriverse World: Negotiating Dissonance and Contrapuntal Reconstruction’, Journal of Common Market Studies

Wolff, S., Piquet, A (2022). 'Post-Brexit Europeanization: re-thinking the continuum of British policies, polity, and politics trajectories'. Comparative European Politics (2022).

Wolff, S., A. Piquet and H. Carrapico-Farrand (2022) ‘UK’s withdrawal from Justice and Home Affairs: a historical institutionalist analysis of policy trajectories’  Comparative European Politics,

Ladi, S. and S. Wolff (2021)  ‘The EU’s institutional response to Covid-19 in times of permanent emergency: a case of coordinative Europeanization’, Annual Review, Journal of Common Market Studies, DOI: 

Wolff, S. (2021). Gender equality in Tunisia: The EU’s tripartite dialogue. Mediterranean Politics, 1-21. DOI: 10.1080/13629395.2021.1883285

Khakee, A. and S. Wolff (2021) EU democracy projection in the Southern Mediterranean a practice analysis, Mediterranean Politics ,DOI: 10.1080/13629395.2021.1883283

Kutz, W. and S. Wolff (2020) 'Urban Geopolitics and the Decentring of Migration Diplomacy in EU-Moroccan Affairs', Geopolitics ,DOI: 10.1080/14650045.2020.1843438

Wolff, S., A. Ripoll Servent and A. Piquet (2020) 'Framing immobility: Schengen governance in times of pandemics',Journal of European Integration,42:8,1127-1144,DOI: 10.1080/07036337.2020.1853119

Wolff, S. and S. Ladi (2020) 'European Union Responses to the Covid-19 Pandemic: adaptability in times of Permanent Emergency',Journal of European Integration,42:8,1025-1040,DOI: 10.1080/07036337.2020.1853120

Wolff, S. (2017) ‘EU religious engagement in the Southern Mediterranean: Much ado about nothing?’ Mediterranean Politics, Open access:

Wolff, S. (2015). EU Budget Support as a Transnational Policy Instrument: Above and Beyond the StatePublic Administration 06/2015; Early View. DOI:10.1111/padm.12177

Wolff, S. (2014). ‘The Politics of Negotiating EU Readmission Agreements: Insights from Morocco and Turkey‘, European Journal of Migration and Law 16:1, 69-95 (co-editors Special Issue).

Wolff, S. and F. Trauner (2014).’The Negotiation and Contestation of EU Migration Policy Instruments: A Research Framework‘, European Journal of Migration and Law 16:1, 1–18 (co-editors Special Issue).

Wolff, S. and A. Schout (2013) ‘Frontex as agency: more of the same?’Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 3:14, 305-324

Wolff, S (2013). ‘The Rule of Law in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice:  Monitoring at home what the European Union preaches abroad’. The Hague Journal on the Rule of Law

Wolff, S. and G. Mounier. (2012) ‘A Kaleidoscopic view on the External Dimension of Justice and Home Affairs after Lisbon’. European Foreign Affairs Review Vol. 17 (5) (Special issue on the External Dimension of JHA edited by H. Carrapiço and F. Trauner).

Wolff, S. (2009) ‘Constraints on the promotion of the rule of law in Egypt: insights from the 2005 judges' revolt’. Democratization,16(1) February 2009, pp 100 – 118.

Wolff, S., Wichmann N., Mounier G. (2009) ‘The External Dimension of Justice and Home Affairs: A Different Security Agenda for the EU?’ Journal of European Integration, 31(1), 9–23, March 2009

Wolff, S. (2009). ‘The Mediterranean Dimension of EU Counter-terrorism’ Journal of European Integration, 31(1), 137–156, March 2009

Wolff, S. (2008) ‘Border management in the Mediterranean: internal, external and ethical challenges’ in Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 21( 2), June 2008, 253-271

Wolff, S. and Pace, M.(2007) 'Workshop: Europe's Legacy? From Colonialism to Democracy Promotion: The Case of the Mediterranean', Mediterranean Politics,12 (3),431-4

Wolff, S. (2007). ‘España y la gobernanza de la seguridad mediterránea: vecinos, espacios y actores’ Revista CIDOB d'Afers Internacionals Núm. 79-80. La política árabe y mediterránea de España, p. 107-123, december 2007

Wolff, S. (2007) ‘La dimension méditerranéenne de la politique Justice et Affaires intérieures’, Cultures &Conflicts n°66 (summer 2007), pp.77-99.

Wolff S. and G. Mounier (2005) ‘France: The Come Back of Political Parties’. European Constitutional Law Review, 1(3) October 2005, pp. 383-392Wolff, S. (2008).

‘Externalising the EU's Internal Security Model to Mediterranean Neighbours’ Fornet CFSP Forum volume 6, issue 1, January 2008

Book Chapters 

Wolff, S. (2023). ‘ Chapter 16 Internal Security and External Complication(s)’ in: Hill C,  Vanhoonacker S., Smith M. International Relations and the European Union 4th edition: 354-371. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Wolff, S. (2020). ‘Managing the Refugee Crisis’ In: R. Coman, A. Crespy, V. Schmidt (2020). Governance and politics in the post-crisis European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press  Governance and politics in the post-crisis European Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press  

Wolff, S. (2019) ‘Revising the UK’s asylum and global migration policy after Brexit’ In: Farrand-Carrapico and al. (2019). Brexit and Internal Security Political and Legal concerns in the context of the future UK-EU Relationship. Palgrave. 

Wolff, S. and P. Pawlak (2018) Southern Mediterranean: a testing ground and a litmus test for EU JHA policies and research? In: Ripoll Servent, A. and F. Trauner (Eds) (2018) Routledge Handbook of Justice and Home Affairs Research. London and New York: Routledge; ISBN-13: 978-1138183759,

Pace, M. and S. Wolff (2018), ‘The ENP and Islamist actors in the southern neighbourhood’. In: Schumacher, R., A. Marchetti and T. Dummelhuber (2018). The Routledge Handbook on the European Neighbourhood Policy. London and New York: Routledge, ISBN-13: 978-1138913721

Wolff, S. and L. Hadj-Abdou (2017) ‘Mediterranean Migration and Refugee politics: between continuities and discontinuities’ In: Volpi, F. and R. Gillespie (2017). Routledge Handbook on Mediterranean PoliticsLondon: Routledge, ISBN-13 978-1138903982. 

Wolff, S. (2017). ‘The external dimension of the EU’s internal security’ In: Hill, C., Smith, M. and S. Vanhoonacker (2017). International Relations and the European Union. 3rd Edition Oxford: Oxford University Press

Wolff, S. (2016). ‘The Politics of Negotiating EU Readmission Agreements: Insights from Morocco and Turkey’. In: Zaiotti, R. (2016) Externalizing Migration Management: Europe, North America and the Spread of 'Remote Control' PracticesRoutledge Research in Place, Space and Politics.

Wolff, S. (2015). Integrating in Justice and Home Affairs: A Case of New Intergovernmentalism Par Excellence? In: Bickerton, C., D. Hodson and U. Puetter (2015). The New Intergovernmentalism States and Supranational Actors in the Post-Maastricht Era. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Wolff, S. (2015). ‘The European Union and the Challenges of Trans-Saharan Migration’. In: The European Union’s Broader Neighbourhood. Challenges and opportunities for co-operation beyond the European Neighbourhood Policy, Edition: Global Order Series, Publisher: Routledge, Editors: Sieglinde Gstöhl, Erwan Lannon, ISBN: 9781138776715

Wolff. S. (2012). 'La gestion integrada de las fronteras de la UE despues de Lisboa. Contrastando politicas y practicas' in: Zapata-Barrero, R. y X. Ferrer-Gallado (2012). Fronteras en movimiento. Bellatera

Schout, A. and Wolff, S. (2012) ‘The “Paradox of Lisbon” Supranationalism-Intergovernmentalism as an administrative concept’. In: Larsen, F. (Ed). The Lisbon Treaty: Institutional Choices and Implementation.Ashgate.

Wolff, S. (2012). ‘The new EU’s Internal Security Architecture Implementation Challenges’. In: Larsen, F. (Ed). The Lisbon Treaty: Institutional Choices and Implementation. Ashgate.

Wolff, S. and F. Trauner (2011). ‘A European migration policy fit for future challenges’. In: Wolff, S., Goudappel, F. and J. de Zwaan (2011). Freedom, Security and Justice after Lisbon and Stockholm. TMC Asser Press.

Wolff, S. and F. Trauner (2011). ‘A European migration policy fit for future challenges’. In: Wolff, S., Goudappel, F. and J. de Zwaan (2011). Freedom, Security and Justice after Lisbon and Stockholm. TMC Asser Press.

Wolff, S. and R. Zapata-Barrero (2011). ‘Border Management: impacting on the construction of the EU as a polity?’. In: Wolff, S., Goudappel, F. and J. de Zwaan (2011). Freedom, Security and Justice after Lisbon and Stockholm. TMC Asser Press.

Wolff, S. and G. Mounier (2011). ‘The external dimension of JHA: a new Dimension of EU diplomacy’. In: Wolff, S., Goudappel, F. and J. de Zwaan (June 2011). Freedom, Security and Justice after Lisbon and Stockholm. TMC Asser Press.

Wolff, S. (2011) ‘Implementing the Stockholm Programme: Finding the Right Cruising Speed’. In: Van Hecke, S. and Bursens, P. The 2010 Belgian Presidency Brussels: Academic and Scientific Publishers.

Wolff, S. (October 2009). ‘Constraints on the promotion of the rule of law in Egypt: insights from the 2005 judges' revolt’ In: Pace, M. and P. Seeberg (ed.) The European Union's Democratization Agenda in the Mediterranean. Routledge, 2009, 240p.

Wolff, S. (2009) ‘The Mediterranean Dimension of EU’s Internal Security’ In: The External Dimension of EU Justice and Home Affairs. Governance, Neighbours, Security. Balzacq T. (ed) Palgrave MacMillan: Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics, 296p.

Book Reviews

Wolff, S. (2017). ‘Reassessing the role of religion and secularism in US and European foreign policies’Global Affairs, DOI: 10.1080/23340460.2017.1336329

Wolff, S. (2015). 'Migration and Refugees in the Mediterranean: Rethinking Geopolitical Constraints, Western-centric Policies and Mobility’s Precariousness'. Mediterranean Politics, online early view, DOI:10.1080/13629395.2015.1087106

Wolff, S. (2014). Questioning Secularism: Islam, Sovereignty and the Rule of Law in Modern Egypt by Hussein Ali Agrama, Journal of Church and State, Summer 2014

Wolff, S. (2011). Book Review‘Cornelius Adebahr, Learning and Change in European Foreign Policy. The Case of EU Special Representatives’ (Nomos Publishers, 2009), European Foreign Affairs Review, 16(1).

Wolff, S. (2008) Book Review of ‘European Foreign Policy in an Evolving International System: The Road towards Convergence’ Nicola Casarini & Costanza Musu (Eds)Mediterranean Politics,13(1), 125-127

Wolff S. (2006). ‘Book Review: Zielonka, J. Europe as Empire: the nature of the enlarged European Union’. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 293p, Graduate Journal of Social Science, 3(2).

Policy Papers

Wolff, S. 2021. The Security Sector Governance–Migration Nexus: Rethinking how  Security Sector Governance matters for migrants’ rights. London: Ubiquity Press.

Wolff, S. (2015). Migration and Refugee Governance in the Mediterranean: Europe and International Organisations at a Crossroads. Roma, IAI, October 2015, 23 p.

Wolff, S. (2015), U.S. and EU Engagement with Islamists in the Middle East and North AfricaTransatlantic Academy, Paper Series, 2014-15, NO. 3

Wolff, S. (2013). ‘The Arab Spring and Southern Europe: Re-imagining the Mediterranean as a Space in Movement’. LSE Ideas, forthcoming, October 2013.

Wolff, S. (2012). ‘The Arab revolts: time for the transatlantic partners to consider strategies for freedom, security and Justice?’ Paris: EUISS, Chaillot Paper n°127, January 2012.

Wolff, S (2011). ‘Crossing borders after Stockholm’, Migrainfo Bulletin nr. 36, Barcelona Provincial Council, March 2011.

Wolff, S. and T. van de Ven (2011). ‘Building Mutual Trust for a European Rule of Law’. Clingendael CESPPaper, April 2011.

Wolff, S. and A. Mijs (2010). ‘The EU as a global player: Financing EU's ambitions for 2014-2020’. Clingendael CESP Paper, December 2010.

Wolff, S. (2010).‘EU border Policies beyond Lisbon’ in: R. Zapata-Barrero (Ed.) Shaping the normative contours of the European Union: a Migration-Border framework. Barcelona, CIDOB, September 2010, pp. 23-36.

Wolff, S., van den Berge, Mirte (2009). ‘Ensuring rights for all in Europe: Challenges for the Council of Europe and the European Union. Summary and Policy Recommendations’. Paper Clingendael Institute, The Hague, November 2009.

Wolff, S. (2009) ‘From The Hague to Stockholm: the Future of EU's Internal Security Architecture and Police Cooperation’. Paper Clingendael Institute, The Hague, September 2009.

Wolff, S. (2007). ‘España y la gobernanza de la seguridad mediterránea: vecinos, espacios y actores’ Revista CIDOB d'Afers Internacionals Núm. 79-80. La política árabe y mediterránea de España, p. 107-123, December 2007





Sarah Wolff has recently supervised Tinahy Andriamasomanana on the influence of the European Court of Justice on the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and Manuela Jorge on Readmission Agreements’ narratives and necropolitical mechanisms: a case study of the Joint Way Forward declaration between the EU and Afghanistan. Both candidates passed their viva without corrections.

Prof. Wolff is open to PhD applications on EU external relations and foreign policy, EU migration and asylum policy, EU governance in times of crisis, with a special interest in critical approach i.e. decentring EU foreign policy.

In the past she has co-supervised David Gazsi on EU agencies and Europeanization and Dimitris Skleparis (completed in 2015) on securitisation of migration and the politics of migrant activism.

Public Engagement

Senior Research Associate Fellow with the Netherlands Institute for International Relations

Visiting Lecturer in the MSc in Migration management of the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona.

Prior to joining Queen Mary, I was Teaching Fellow in EU Politics and Programme Director of the Msc in European Public Policy at UCL. I worked as a Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for International Relations (2009-2011). I was an international aid officer in the Directorate for Latin America of EuropeAid (European Commission 2007-2009) and worked as assistant for a Member of the European Parliament (2005-2006).

I was a fellow of the European Foreign and Security Policy Studies Program. During her PhD I was a visiting fellow at the Observatory of European Foreign Policy (UAB-Barcelona), the CEDEJ (Cairo) and the IFOP (Amman).

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