NEWDIP is an ESRC-IRC-funded initiative to create the first collaborative Ireland-UK research group on foreign policy, security, and defence studies. It is jointly run by Dr Federica Bicchi (LSE) and Professor Ben Tonra (UC Dublin).

The goal of the NEWDIP project is to bring together early career and established scholars, as well as policy practitioners, to look at the most critical foreign policy, security and defence aspects of this bilateral relationship as the UK and Ireland embark on quite different national journeys. How will Ireland and the UK define and pursue their respective national foreign policies, as well as their bilateral cooperation, post-Brexit?

NEWDIP’s objectives are:

  • To disseminate research on the challenges faced by British and Irish foreign policy makers and the strategies available to meet them following the UK's withdrawal from the European Union (EU). These encompass those faced by each state individually as they recalibrate their respective foreign, security and defence policies and those that they share in strengthening and deepening a unique bilateral partnership.
  • To establish an interdisciplinary network of scholars and public policy practitioners with a shared interest in British and Irish foreign, security and defence policy with a particular focus on the development of links between early-career professionals and the development of joint research proposals by both established and early-career scholars.
  • To contribute to public discourse and information surrounding the shared foreign policy interests and values of the United Kingdom and Ireland in an uncertain and rapidly evolving global community.
  • To enhance post-graduate teaching on matters related to British and Irish foreign policy with a focus on contemporary controversies and benefiting from a plurality of voices.

NEWDIP events:

UK and Irish Foreign Policy: Aprés le Brexit, le Déluge (5 September 2022)

Speakers: Bobby McDonagh, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, Professor Brigid Laffan, and Professor Juliet Kaarbo

This roundtable event brought together practitioners and academics to discuss the direction of UK and Irish foreign policy post-Brexit. The event was chaired by Dr Federica Bicchi and speakers included former diplomats Bobby McDonagh and Sir Nigel Sheinwald and academics Professor Brigid Laffan and Professor Juliet Kaarbo.

The roundtable discussion was organised by the European Foreign Policy Unit (EFPU) as part of the UACES annual Conference in Lille, to conclude the ESRC-IRC-funded NEWDIP project.

Watch a recording of this event here


British Foreign Policy: Are Times A-Changing? (22 March 2022)                    

Speakers: Richard Whitman (University of Kent), Dr Kate Ferguson (Protection Approaches), Ben Tonra (UCD), and Federica Bicchi (LSE)

What role is the UK embracing in its foreign policy?

The invasion of Ukraine seems to have brought not only a new geopolitical environment, but also a re-evaluation of UK foreign policy priorities post-Brexit. What does this mean for the prospect of ‘Global Britain’? Is a British foreign policy outside the EU better able to set its own path or is it even more exposed to the vagaries of international politics? To what extent does the emerging security architecture in Europe suit British priorities? And are relations between the UK and the Republic of Ireland finally out of their recent rocky patch?

Watch a recording of this event here