Rilka Dragneva-Lewers


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am interested in supervising high quality postgraduate research projects in the following areas:

Preferential trade agreements and regional blocs; Comparative regional economic integration law; Eurasian economic integration
EU Neighbourhood Policy and external relations with Eastern Europe and Eurasia; EU-Russia relations
Legal reform; Law and Development; External promotion of rule of law and good governance
Comparative Corporate Governance


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Rilka Dragneva-Lewers joined the Birmingham Law School in September 2012. Previous to that she was at the School of Law, University of Manchester (2006-2012) and Department of Law, University of Leiden (The Netherlands) (1999-2006). Rilka has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Sussex (2001) the Faculty of Law, University of Trento, Italy (2003 and 2004). Between 1999 and 2004 she was also actively engaged in technical assistance programmes and consulting activities in Eastern Europe for the World Bank, IFC and the EBRD. She was a legal counsel of a large foreign trade company before embarking on her academic career. 

Research interests

Professor Dragneva’s recent research focuses on regional integration in the post-Soviet region, EU’s Eastern policy and the related critical issues of legality and institutional design, overlap and compatibility of integration regimes, and implementation of international obligations.

Rilka has participated in a number of high profile research projects, including: H2020 EU-funded collaborative project ‘EU-STRAT: The EU and Eastern Partnership Countries - An Inside-Out Analysis and Strategic Assessment’ (May 2016- April 2019), the AHRC-funded project ‘Ukraine’s Hidden Tragedy: Understanding the Outcomes of Population Displacement from the Country’s War-Torn Regions’ (November 2016- July 2018), and the ESRC-funded project ‘Russia and the EU in the Common Neighbourhood: Export of Governance and Legal (In) Compatibility’ (January 2013-September 2016).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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