In Memoriam – Simon Duke

In the past week, the tragic news reached us that Simon Duke, a respected scholar, colleague and friend of many of us at Maastricht University, unexpectedly passed away on 5 September. Simon worked at the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) at the rank of Professor and was also a Senior Research Fellow at Maastricht University. He taught regularly in the Masters of European Public Affairs at FASoS.

Simon contributed frequently to the activities of the Centre for European Research in Maastricht (CERIM) and also collaborated extensively in his research with numerous colleagues. Since 2007, he was also the co-Executive Editor of the Journal of European Integration.

After obtaining his PhD at Oxford University, Simon held positions at several leading institutions in Europe and the United States, including at SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, at the Mershon Centre at Ohio State University, at Pennsylvania University and at the Central European University. He was also NATO Fellow and has also served as adjunct faculty at the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Simon was one of the leading scholars in the field of EU external action, including European security and defence policy. He was the author of several monographs on European and transatlantic foreign and security issues, including most recently the EU as a Stronger Global Actor: Challenges and Strategic Responses (Palgrave Macmillan 2017) and Will Brexit Damage Our Security and Defence? (Palgrave Macmillan 2018). He also published on related topics in many international journals and contributed to numerous academic workshops and conferences. Simon managed this successful academic career in the context of a demanding role training large numbers of officials and diplomats from the European institutions, the EU member states and third countries. In the past years, he has been very much involved in the training of staff of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the newly established EU diplomatic service.

With the departure of Simon, we have not only lost a highly valued scholar and admired teacher, but also a wonderful colleague who inspired all those that he worked with – students, young academics and peers alike. He was always generous with his time and available for thoughtful advice. Through his wit and humour, he touched many hearts and it was always a pleasure to work with him. Our thoughts are with his wife Roberta and his two sons, William and Sidney. We wish them a lot of courage in dealing with this immense loss.

Sophie Vanhoonacker and Thomas Christiansen

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