Dr An Jacobs

Visiting Fellow in Diplomacy and International Governance

Dr An Jacobs’ teaching and research interests focus on international conflict management, peacebuilding and security sector reform, with a particular focus on the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

As a Senior Lecturer at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Dr An Jacobs also works on topics such as military education, stabilisation, and higher education in conflict-affected states.

Academic background

After completing a BA and MA in European Studies (and European International Politics) at Maastricht University, Dr Jacobs held the role of Lecturer in the European Studies Bachelor programme at the same university. She subsequently went to the UK for her PhD (Manchester Metropolitan University), which investigated the Europeanization of domestic administrations on account of the EU’s Security and Defence Policy, with particular reference to Belgium, Sweden and Germany. During her PhD, she held visiting fellowships at the Swedish National Defence College, and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

Upon completion of her PhD, she secured a position as a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies in Zurich, Switzerland, where she broadened her research focus from institutional and political aspects of CSDP, to its operational realities, particularly in an African context. She conducted field research in DRC, Burundi, and Uganda on EU and pan-European security sector reform efforts in Africa, EU-Africa relations, and regional African security issues. Following her operational research, she took on the role of Political Adviser in the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo for two years, where she was able to enhance her understanding conflict resolution and security sector reform in general, and CSDP missions more specifically. Since 2014, she has been a Senior Lecturer in Defence and International Affairs at the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst, where she delivers military education for young officers in the broad areas of foreign policy and international security. This has given her the opportunity to engage with military institutions worldwide.

Current research and collaborations

Dr Jacobs has several on-going projects in the wider areas of international conflict management, peacebuilding, CSDP, and military education. She is currently working on the following subjects.

A first area of research interest relates to security sector reform in conflict-effected states. She is drafting academic articles on the value of higher education in reform processes (with Dr Norma Rossi), on the implementation of the principle of local ownership, on US and EU approaches to reform in Ukraine. A second research area involves the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy, with a more specific focus on operational aspects of CSDP in African missions on the one hand, and on CSDP post-Brexit on the other. Thirdly, Dr Jacobs has a research interest in British military education, the strategic mindedness of young officers, and higher education in the military institutions of conflict-affected states, predominantly in Africa.

Interests and activities

Dr Jacobs has recently provided oral evidence to the House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee on the subject of ‘Brexit: Common Security and Defence Policy missions’. The video of the session is available on parliamentlive.tv.

Dr Jacobs engages with a variety of government (e.g. MoD, FCO and SU) and academic institutions (e.g. Maastricht University, Reading University, Kent University), and she provides academic support to a range of Army units in the UK as well as abroad.

Her recent publications can be found at academia.edu