Petrov, PY (Petar)

Petar Petrov is an Assistant Professor in International Relations and European Foreign Policy at the Political Science Department of Maastricht University, The Netherlands. He holds a PhD in European Politics from the University of Manchester, UK (2009). His research focuses on the European Security and Defence Policy, capability development in crisis management, governance and inter-organisational cooperation in conflict prevention and peacekeeping. He is a co-editor (with Laura Chappel and Jocelyn Mawdsley) of The EU, Strategy and Security Policy: Regional and Strategic Challenges (2016, Routledge) and his articles have appeared in the Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Integration, Global Affairs, Cooperation and Conflict, Defence Studies, European Foreign Affairs Review, European Integration online Papers. In the past he has been a Visiting Research Fellow at Egmont Institute and the University of Manchester. 


I joined the Department of Political Science at Maastricht University as a lecturer in IR and EU External Relations in September 2008. Previously I did a Master Degree in Political Science at Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski, Bulgaria (2000) and an M/Res. Degree in EU Politics and Public Policy at the University of Manchester, UK (2004). In June 2009 I defended  my doctoral research project at the University of Manchester. My thesis investigated the development of the early governance arrangements of the Common Security and Defence Policy in the context of the first two EU-led military operations. In theoretical terms, I critically utilised the explanatory potential of historical and sociological institutionalist approaches to the processes of institutional change and development over time.

Research Profile

My principle research interests are in the field of EU crisis management and conflict prevention and the development of governance arrangements within the Common Security and Defence Policy over time (CSDP). I am also interested in the role of the EU as a political and security actor in the Western Balkans. Particularly I am looking in its ability to speak with one voice and apply coherent approach to conflict prevention/crisis-management, democratisation, institution building and long-term stability in post-conflict societies.

Since 2009, I have been researching (together with Dr Laura Chappell, University of Surrey) capability development within the EU and the evolving European Strategic Culture within the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). 

Currently, I am looking into the strategic outlooks and capability development processes within the EU and NATO, investigating the impact of the EU's drive towards strategic autonomy to the deepening of cooperation in both the CSDP and NATO. 

Research Projects

Currently I am a part of a team that brings together colleagues from FASOS (prof. Sophie Vanhoonacker, Dr Gergana Noutcheva) and University College Maasricht (Prof Roberta Haar). In June 2019 we were awarded a competitive grant from Maastricht Working On Europe (, Research theme 1 “Democracy, Politics, Security and Rule of Law”, Action 4 “Policy Briefs”. The grant supports the production of original research on the EU-NATO security and defence relationship as NATO commemorates its 70th anniversary. We will work closely with the Atlantic Commissie (NL), which will publish our results in the form of 4 Policy Briefs in Atlantisch Perspectief The Policy Briefs will focus on a number of challenges in the EU-NATO relationship today: a resurgent Russia; a politically divided Britain on its way out of the EU; a transactional United States under the Trump administration that supports unilateralism at the expense of multilateralism; and an EU that is striving to develop core security and defence capabilities
Between 2015 and 2018, I took active part in the large-scale EU-CIVCAP research project, which was funded through Horizon 2020. This project was about analysing the civilian capabilities of the EU, UN and OSCE for conflict prevention and peacebuilding. 
Between 2012 and 2015, I established together with Dr Chappell, Dr Jocelyn Mawdsley and Prof Dr Sven Biscop - an international Collaborative Research Network on Common Security and Defence Policy Strategy, funded by the University Association for European Studies (UK).
Between 2009-2012 I took part in the multilateral research network: The Diplomatic System of the European Union (DSEU) /, supported by the Jean Monnet Programme of the European Commission, and involved 3  core partners: Loughborough University, Universiteit Leuven and Maastricht University. 


Exadaktylos, T., Chappell, L., & Petrov, P. (2019) A More Capable EU? Assessing the Role of the EU’s Institutions in Defence Capability Development, Journal of European Integration (GEUI), DOI: 10.1080/07036337.2019.1666115


At the University of Manchester, I taught various Bachelor and Master courses in International Relations, European politics and EU Foreign and Security Policy.

At Maastricht University I teach both Bachelor and Master courses in EU Governance and Policy-making, International Relations, EU Foreign and Security Policy. I design and coordinate my own courses in two Master Programmes: MA in European Public Administration (Governance in the European Union) and MA in European Studies (The EU Foreign and Security Policy). In the past (2011-2018) I designed and coordinated an introductory course in International Relations in the BA Europena Studies programme.

I am also actively involved in supervision of BA, MA and PhD theses with topics ranging from the EU's sanctions policy towards Russia to the impact of public contestation over the effectiveness of the EU's EULEX mission in Kosovo. 

Additional roles & tasks

Assistant Professor in International Relations and EU Foreign and Security Policy