STSM in Europe’s heart: Think BSIS
During her Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) at the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS), Dr. Ioanna Bantouna became involved in research activities as a visiting researcher and expanded her knowledge on interdisciplinary issues of international law (IL), international relations (IR), institutions, negotiations and EU policy. As an opportunity for international dialogue between experts strengthening teaching, research and academic objectives in the IR/IL field, she benefited from the feedback received and relevant discussions on challenges of EU practices, external relations and foreign policy towards regional cooperation in terms of the EU’s normative power, guiding principles and application of international and multilateral norms. On the basis of the IR/IL network and synergies, she conducted scientific research on and considered approaches of negotiations and IR/IL trends relevant to EU policies, instruments, processes and the future of the EU in the neighbourhood and she contributed to reflections concerning EU challenges regionally, the implications of EU developments in the 21st century and the respective role of the European institutions. The interdisciplinary culture, collaborative teaching and culturally diverse learning community made BSIS an ideal place to carry out her STSM stay and to undertake her post-doctoral research by being located conveniently close to the EU institutions and the Brussels policy community. Fostering a transnational collaboration by bringing together diverse traditions related to international and European affairs from an IR/IL perspective, academic insights enhancing the existing and facilitating new knowledge in the respective IR/IL study areas of expertise managed to promote the ongoing discussion concerning the impact of the EU’s external policy and norms on the trends and dynamics as well as the prospects of cooperation in the region in accordance with the institutional and political dimensions of the EU’s framework and function. Given this advantageous experience and favorable environment, her STSM mobility successfully helped her to reinforce her research skills and professional experience.