Nicole Koenig

Welcome to my personal profile! 

If you have any questions or comments on my research or ideas for cooperation do not hesitate to contact me at:


I am looking forward to hearing from you. 





Research interests

  • EU External Action
  • Security policy and conflict analysis
  • Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
  • National foreign and security policies of Germany, the UK, and France
  • Role theory 

Nicole holds a Master's degree in Politics and Management from the University of Constance. She absolved a second Master's degree in EU International Relations and Diplomacy at the College of Europe in Bruges. Before joining the EXACT program, she worked as personal assistant to Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam. She also worked at King’s College in London as a research assistant in an EU-funded project on early warning and conflict prevention led by Prof. Christoph Meyer. During her studies, she gained professional experience at the German Mission to the United Nations in New York, the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce, and the German-Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce. She also held various research assistant positions at the Faculty of Politics and Management at the University of Constance. 

EXACT stages
October 2010 – February 2011 University of Cologne
March 2011 – October 2011 Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), Rome
November 2011 – March 2012 Trans European Policy Studies Association (TEPSA), Brussels
April 2012 – September 2013 University of Edinburgh
PhD research project

Title of research project: The EU's quest for coherence: a comparative analysis of EU crisis management in Africa 

Supervisor: Professor John Peterson (University of Edinburgh)

Co-Supervisor: Professor Wolfgang Wessels (University of Cologne)

One of the most prominent criticisms of the EU's external action is the lack of coherence between different actors, policies, and instruments. This thesis explores the causal determinants of varying degrees of coherence in EU crisis management. It starts from the proposition that coherence is a function of competing and conflicting interests and values. The interaction of interests and values is studied by applying two theoretical lenses: liberal intergovernmentalism and sociological institutionalism. The empirical analysis focuses on the short- to medium term crisis management of the EU; a field in which different ideas, interests, institutional actors, and policies meet in an environment characterised by uncertainty and time constraints. The explanatory power of the theoretical lenses is evaluated through a comparative case study design. The selected cases are three conflicts in Africa where the post-Lisbon EU attempted to provide a comprehensive response: Libya (2011), Mali (since 2012), and Somalia (since 2011). The main method for within-case analysis is process tracing while systematic cross-case comparison follows the method of structured focused comparison. The case study analysis draws on insights from official documents, policy analyses by leading think tanks, press coverage, national parliamentary debates, and expert interviews. The aim of this dissertation is threefold. First, it develops an original framework for the study of the often-used but under-theorised term of coherence. Second, it contributes to the on-going theoretical dialogue between constructivists and rational choice scholars. And finally, it yields new empirical insight into the evolution of the EU’s role as an international security actor. 


Journal articles

Policy papers, briefs, and reports

Conference papers and proceedings

  • Koenig, N. (2013) "Between conflict management and role conflict: The EU in the Libyan crisis", paper presented at the EUSA Thirteenth Biennial Conference 9 to 11 May 2013, Baltimore, USA 
  • Koenig, N. (2012) "The EU's response to the Libyan crisis", Favorita Paper, Diplomatic Academy Vienna.
  • Together with Gottwald, M. (2011) „The Responsibility to Protect and the Libyan crisis: Breakthrough or nothing new?“, paper presented at the 7th European Peace Research Association (EUPRA), Tampere, 20-22 July 2011. 

Book reviews

  • Koenig, N. (2012) "EU conflict prevention and crisis management: looking back to look ahead", review of the book EU conflict prevention and crisis management : roles, institutions, and policies, edited by Eva Gross and Ana E. Juncos, in: The International Spectator, vol. 47, no. 3, pp. 130-132.
  • Koenig, N. (2011) Review of the book Making EU foreign policy: national preferences, European norms and common policies, edited by D. C. Thomas, The International Spectator, vol. 46 no. 4., pp. 145-147.
Awards and scholarships
  • Publication award for 2011 article in the journal 'Integration', Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Cologne, March 2013
  • Nomination for the Fritz-Thyssen Award for best article in German social sciences journals (Koenig and Schneider 2010)
  • Scholarship, College of Europe, Netzwerk Europäische Bewegung, 2008-2009
  • Restitution of tuition fees for academic achievements, University of Constance, 2008
  • Full Scholarship for one-month intensive Arabic course in Cairo, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), 2006
©  EXACT - Marie Curie ITN on EU External Action
Technische(r) Ansprechpartner(in):
Aline Bartenstein
Wulf Reiners
geändert:  6. October 2013
erstellt:  5. November 2010