Dr David Spence

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Dr David Spence
Visiting Fellow
European Institute

Email: spenceuropa@gmail.com


David Spence is a Visiting Fellow at the European Institute. Until 2011 he was Minister Counsellor with special responsibility for human security and disarmament at the European Union delegation to the United Nations in Geneva. Until his move to Geneva in 2003 he was the Commission representative in the G8 and EU Council Terrorism Working Groups. In 2006 he was seconded by the European Commission as senior political advisor to the Special Representative of the United Nations for the Elections in the Ivory Coast. His career at the European Commission had previously included: secretary of the task force for German unification, head of training for the Commission's External Service and policy adviser for European Security and Defence Policy, counter-terrorism and relations with NATO.

David Spence was educated at the Strand School, London. He trained in export marketing and business management at Bremen's Chamber of Commerce, then studied politics and international relations at Sussex University, St. Antony's College, Oxford, Nice university and Sciences-Po (Paris). Before joining the European Commission in 1990, he was lecturer in politics at the Sorbonne and the Ecole Normale Supérieure, adviser to Wilton Park, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office conference centre, then Head of European Training at the UK Civil Service College. As a hobby he ran two restaurants in South London in the 1980s.


He has published widely on European affairs. In addition to various articles on the Commission and the EU, on CFSP, and on effective multilateralism, he is the editor with Brian Hocking of Foreign Ministries in the European Union: integrating diplomats, Palgrave, 2006, The European Commission, Harper, 3rd edition 2006, The EU and Terrorism, Harper, 2007 and The EU and Security Sector Reform, Harper, 2008. His most recent publications are 'EU Governance and Global Governance' in 'Global Governance and Diplomacy: worlds apart' published by Palgrave in 2008, and edited by A. Cooper, B. Hocking and W. Maley; Days of Dogs and Roses: the European Commission between foreign policy and external relations in Revue des Affaires européennes 2009-2010/1; Deconstructing EU Governance: how the European Commission constructed EU governance policy and how it attempts to export it in J. Wunnerlich and D. Bailey, The EU and Global Governance, Routledge, 2011.

Most recently he published The Early Days of the European External Action Service: A Practitioner’s View, in the Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 2012. He is currently working on a contribution to a book on the French critical sociologist, Luc Boltanski, in which he and Professor William Outhwaite of Newcastle University reflect on the relevance of the theoretical frameworks of Bourdieu, Boltanski and Georgeakis to the analysis of the EU.