Dr Alistair Shepherd

PhD in Political Science, 2003, University of Aberdeen;

M.Litt in Stratgeic Studies, 1996, University of Aberdeen;

MA (Hons) in Geography & International Relations, 1994, University of Aberdeen;

PGCTHE 2006, University of Wales, Aberystwyth;

Dr Alistair Shepherd

Senior Lecturer in European Security

Department of International Politics

Contact Details


Alistair Shepherd joined the Department of International Politics in 2003 as Lecturer in European Security and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2013. He obtained his PhD in Political Science at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, specialising in the EU's security and defence policy. His research interests range across security studies, European politics, and IR, currently focusing on the nexus between internal and external security threats and responses. His teaching interests include security studies, the EU, European security and NATO. He received an Award for Teaching Excellence from Aberystwyth University in 2007. Alistair has twice served as Director of Admissions and External Affairs and Deputy Director for Undergraduate Studies. He is an Associate Editor of the Sage journal International Relations, is on the editorial board of the Routledge journal European Security and is a Fellow of the High Education Academy. He has also contributed to courses for the MoD and the JeanMonnet Spring Seminars on European Security, as well contributing to Parliamentary Committee Reports and local, national and international media.


Module Coordinator
Additional Lecturer

Alistair teaches primarily in the area of security studies, EU and European Politics, and European and Transatlantic security. His undergraduate modules include: Contemporary Security: Theories and Threats; NATO: from Cold War to Hybrid War; Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: Policing, Intelligence and War; Contemporary European Security; and, The European Union: Politics, Policies, Problems.

At Masters level his module include: Security Policy in the European Union, and The European Union in Crisis: Integration and Fragmentation

PhD Supervision areas: security studies, European & EU politics, Internal and external security challenges in Europe; EU foreign, security and defence policy; European approaches to internal security policy (terrorism, immigration, organised crime); NATO & Transatlantic security; National foreign, security and defence policies.


Alistair’s research interests are in the field of security studies, European and EU Politics, and IR. In particular: internal and external security threats; Europe’s role in international security; Transatlantic security; EU and national security policies; and conceptualising European power. Previously his research focused on the civilian and military aspects of the EU’s security and defence policy and its implications for the EU’s role as a security actor. Alistair is currently undertaking two research projects. First he critically examines the nexus between internal and external security threats and responses – the European security continuum. This project examines the extent and implications of the blurring of internal-external security. In particular, it studies the political, institutional, and ethical tensions the transboundary nature of security creates in formulating policy and identifying capabilities and its impact on the nature of the EU as an international security actor.Second, Alistair, with Claudia Hillebrand, is examining the implications of transnational organised crime (TOC) for security provision and governance at the state and supra-state levels in Europe. The project seeks to clarify conceptual understandings of TOC, the implications of framing TOC as a threat to state, societal and individual for security governance, and the consequences of these increasingly complex security structures and networks for the politics of security, specifically for accountability, legitimacy and oversight.

Research Groups

Office Hours (Student Contact Times)

  • Thursday 09:30-10:30
  • Friday 11:30-12:30


Shepherd, A 2016, The European Security Continuum and the EU as an International Security Provider. in A Peen Rodt, R Whitman & S Wolff (eds), Theorising the European Union as an International Security Provider. Taylor & Francis, pp. 8-16.
Shepherd, AJK 2016, The Internal-External Security Nexus and CSDP. in L Chappell, J Mawdsley & P Petrov (eds), The EU, Strategy and Security Policy: Regional and strategic challenges. Routledge Studies in European Security and Strategy, Taylor & Francis, pp. 87-103.
Shepherd, AJK 2015, EU Military Capability Development and the European Defence Agency: Ideas, Interests and Institutions. in N Karampekios & I Oikonomou (eds), The European Defence Agency: Arming Europe. Routledge Studies in European Security And Strategy, Taylor & Francis, pp. 65-83.
Shepherd, AJK 2015, 'The European Security Continuum and the EU as an International Security Provider', Global Society, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 156-174. https://doi.org/10.1080/13600826.2015.1018146
Shepherd, A 2014, 'Reframing EU Security Challenges: Transcending the Internal-External Divide', Paper presented at Conference on Multidimensionality of European Foreign Policy, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 21 Feb 2014 - 23 Feb 2014.
More publications on the Research Portal