Contact Dr Gemma Collantes Celador


Dr Gemma Collantes-Celador holds a MA (Honours) in Politics from the University of Edinburgh, a MSc in Theory and History of International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and a PhD in International Politics from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (now University of Aberystwyth). During her undergraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh she spent one academic year as an exchange student in the Department of Political Science, Queen’s University (Canada).

Before joining Cranfield University in October 2016, Gemma held a lectureship post in international security at City, University of London and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Barcelona Institute of International Studies (IBEI). She also completed traineeship programmes at the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (Brussels, 2001) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Western European Union (Paris, 2000-2001).

Gemma’s research interests and expertise fall within the area of conflict, security and development, with particular attention to the following themes: post-conflict peacebuilding/statebuilding processes, security sector reform/security governance, transitional justice, EU Common Security and Defence Policy, International Criminal Court, asylum/migration. Much of her research has focused on the Western Balkans. Through her work, Gemma has collaborated in research projects with Prof. Mary Kaldor’s Human Security Study Group (based at the LSE), the Swedish National Defence College, Chr. Michelsen Institute (Norway), and the CIDOB Foundation (Spain). She has also conducted research with funding from  the Euro-Mediterranean Study Commission (EuroMeSCo). Between 2011-2016 Gemma was co-convenor of the South East Europe Working Group of the British International Studies Association (BISA).

Current activities

Dr Gemma Collantes-Celador is currently a Senior Lecturer in International Security at the Centre for International Security and Resilience (CISR), Cranfield University.


As part of her research activities Gemma is currently engaged or has recently completed work for the following projects:

1. Co-investigator in the project “From the Diasporisation to the Transnationalisation of Exile Politics – the Case of Sri Lanka, 1983-2016” (ES/N009614/1). This project, coordinated by PI Dr Christopher McDowell (City, University of London), received a 12-month grant (2016-2017) under the CREST’s Research Call on “Understanding, Mitigating and Countering Security Threats”. Recent outputs associated with this project include:

1. McDowell, C.; Aronica, V.; Collantes-Celador, G.; de Silva, N. (2018), Understanding Transnational Diaspora Politics: A Conceptual Discussion, Thematic Report One, Lancaster: Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats – CREST, 32pp.

2. McDowell, C.; Aronica, V.; Collantes-Celador, G.; de Silva, N. (2018), The Engagement of Refugees in Transnational Politics: Lessons from the Migration, Diaspora and Refugee Studies Literature, Thematic Report Two, Lancaster: Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats – CREST, 30pp.

3. McDowell, C.; Aronica, V.; Collantes-Celador, G.; de Silva, N. (2018), Asylum, Security and Extremism, Thematic Report Three, Lancaster: Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats, 42pp. 

For more information on the project and to download the three reports above, please go to:⊂mit=Go

2. The role that internationally-assisted reforms of police forces – following the end of intra-State conflicts – can and should play in the re-building of ‘functioning’ states. Gemma is currently working on a book monograph that explores this matter as well as co-editing a Special Section on “Police Reform and Human Rights in the Western Balkans” soon to appear in The International Journal of Human Rights. These research activities build on Gemma’s long-standing interest and work on security sector reform/governance in post-conflict peacebuilding/statebuilding processes with particular reference to political and security dynamics in the Western Balkans (especially Bosnia and Herzegovina). Previous publications have explored issues ranging from local ownership in police reform processes to the internal-external security nexus, determinants of post-war levels of violence, UN police vetting processes, and the EU as an actor in SSR processes.

3. The role that transitional justice plays within EU goals, strategies and policies. This research builds on her work on EU relations with the International Criminal Court as part of her participation in three team projects coordinated by PI Prof. Esther Barbé (IBEI) with funding from the Spanish Government’s R&D programmes (EU-NormCom, 2016-2019; EU-IANUS, 2013-2016; DYNAMUS, 2010-2012). For more information on these projects please go to:

Teaching commitments

  • Module leader for "International Interventions for Peace and Statebuilding" offered in the MSc International Defence and Security
  • Module leader for "Issues in International Security, Conflict and Development" offered in the MSc International Defence and Security
  • Module leader for “Governance and Rule of Law” offered in the MSc Security Sector Management (East Africa)
  • Member of the teaching team for the “Managing Defence in the Wider Security Context” programme, part of the UK Defence Engagement Strategy.

PhD supervision

Gemma is happy to accept PhD students in topics that fall within her research remit (as outlined above).

Current PhD students: 

Michael Cooper, Cranfield University. Working Title: “The Gordian knot of interdependence. A study of interpersonal team dynamics among RAF ground crew during the Western Desert campaign, June 1940 – February 1943”

Salvatore Butera, Cranfield University. Working Title: " 'Stability Police' concept - Closing the Security Gap in Destabilized Areas".

Completed PhD students:

Niloy Biswas, City, University of London. Thesis: “The Limits of Reform – Elites, Politics and the Police in Contemporary Bangladesh”.

Neil James Wilson, City, University of London. Thesis: “Change from Within: The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Urbanisation of Displacement”.


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers

  • McDowell C & Collantes-Celador G Refugee politics, integration risks and security. In: Behavioural and Social Sciences in Security (BASS’18) Conference, Lancaster University, 10-12 July 2018.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2017) Presentation of Case Study: ICC. In: Book Launch Workshop “Global Governance and the European Union: Responses to a Changing World”, Barcelona Institute of International Studies (IBEI), Barcelona, 3 February 2017.
  • McDowell C, Collantes-Celador G & de Silva N (2017) Mapping the Drivers of Diaspora Engagement in Processes of Transitional Justice: The Case of Sri Lanka since 2009. In: ERC Workshop on “Diasporas and Transitional Justice: Local, National and Global Dimensions”, University of Warwick, 3 April 2017.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2017) The EU, the International Criminal Court and a Lifetime of Normative Contestation.. In: 11th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, European International Studies Association, Barcelona, 13-16 September 2017.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2017) The Changing Internal and External Security Environment in the Western Balkans [Participant at Roundtable WA09]. In: BISA 42nd Annual Conference, Brighton, 14 June 2017.
  • McDowell C, Aronica V, Collantes-Celador G & de Silva N (2017) The Forced Displacement and Migration Cycle – the Missing Link in the Ongoing Securitisation of Refugee and Asylum Populations?. In: Terrorism and Asylum Workshop, London, 8 December 2017.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2016) The Fight against Corruption, Crime and Terrorism: the EU in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In: Invited talk given as part of a Jean Monnet funded module on “EU's Approaches to Corruption and the Crime-Terror Nexus”, Aston, Birmingham, 17 February 2016.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2016) The statebuilding-police reform relationship: Insights from the Bosnian case. In: 41st Annual International Conference of the British International Studies Association (BISA), Edinburgh, 15-17 June 2016.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2016) The defence of an institution under challenge: the EU and the ICC. In: 23rd International Conference of Europeanists, Philadelphia, PA, 14-16 April 2016.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2015) The Role of Security Governance in Statebuilding Processes. In: Globalizing Dayton: Lessons from 20 Years of Peace Implementation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, City, University of London, 28 October 2015.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2015) The EU and the International Criminal Court: Maintaining its Relevance in the "Almost Perfect" Institutional Marriage of Ideas and Power. In: International Studies Association (ISA) 56th Annual Convention, New Orleans, 20 February 2015.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2014) The International Criminal Court: A Cosmopolitan Project in Theory and Practice?. In: Guest Lecture, Department of Law, University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, 21 November 2014.
  • Collantes-Celador G & Flessenkemper T (2013) Police Reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina – What went Wrong?. In: LSEE-Research on South East Europe : Visiting Speaker Programme, London, 12 February 2013.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2012) The Democratisation of the Police in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Achievements and Shortcomings. In: Police Reform and Human Rights in the Western Balkans, University of Roehampton, London, 28 January 2012.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2011) "Europeanising" Bosnia: The Fabrication of Statehood through Police Reform. In: British International Studies Association (BISA) Annual Conference, Manchester, 27 April 2011.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2011) The Responsibility and Legitimacy of the UN during the Certification Process of the Bosnian Police. In: Guest Lecture, Department of Law, University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, 19 May 2011.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2011) The police restructuring process in Bosnia: Statehood under Challenge?. In: 16th Annual World Convention, Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN), New York, 14 April 2011.
  • Ioannides I & Collantes-Celador G (2010) Internal-External Security Nexus: A Stumbling Block to EU Police Missions in the Western Balkans. In: UACES Conference “Exchanging Ideas on Europe”, Bruges, 6 September 2010.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2010) War Criminals in the Police – The Role of Civil Society in Vetting Processes. In: Workshop organized by LSEE, LSE Global Governance and SEESOX - St. Anthony’s College, London, 7 May 2010.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2009) Becoming "European" through Police Reform: A Successful Strategy in Bosnia and Herzegovina?. In: International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention, New York, 14 February 2009.
  • Collantes-Celador G & Juncos AE (2009) The Reform of Border Management in the Western Balkans: Safeguarding EU External Borders or Preparing for EU Integration?. In: British International Studies Association (BISA) Annual Conference, Leicester, 14 December 2009.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2008) Human Security and the EU Perspective. In: Seminar organized by HEGOA Institute, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, 30 June 2008.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2007) EU Police Strategies Abroad: An Overview. In: 2nd Istanbul Conference on Democracy and Global Security, Istanbul, 14 June 2007.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2007) The EU´s Efforts to Control Crime outside its Borders: Trends in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In: SGIR Young Researchers Workshop on “Fighting Crime and Terrorism in the Backyard: European Security Policies in the Balkans”, 6th Pan-European International Relations Conference, European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR), Turin, 11 September 2007.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2007) The EU and its policy towards security sector reform: a new example of the "conceptual/contextual" divide?. In: VI International Seminar on Security and Defence in the Mediterranean, CIDOB Foundation, Barcelona, 5 November 2007.
  • Collantes-Celador G (2007) Is the EU Ready for SSR? Reflections on Police Reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In: Workshop organized by the Swedish National Defence College, Stockholm, 26 January 2007.