Sara Kahn-Nisser

is an Instructor in the Department of Political Studies and Department of Social Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Sara Kahn-Nisser has been teaching Political theory and International Relations at Bar Ilan University in Israel for the past 6 years. A grantee of the BIU President’s Fellowship of Excellence for outstanding PhD candidates, she received her PhD with highest distinction in June 2009.

Sara received her BA degree in Media and Political Studies with highest distinction and was recruited as an account manager to the largest advertising agency in Israel-McCann-Erikson. She was then awarded an MA scholarship at Bar Ilan University and received the degree with highest distinction. Her thesis dealt with the Vadi Salib riots and Askenazi-Sepharadic relations in Israel.

Sara’s publications focus on Communitarian Political theory, Inclusion and Diversity in the EU, EU-Turkey relations and Hermeneutic Methodology in IR. Her research interests include: EU Enlargement, the Political Sociology of the EU, contemporary critique of Anglo-American Individual-Liberalism, Interpretive approaches to International Studies, and more.

Research Project

Drawing the Line: EU's political Accession Criteria and the Figuration of Membership

Dr. Kahn-Nisser’s research will examine the degree of inclusion that the European Parliament's interpretation of the Copenhagen Political Accession Criteria (C.P.A.C.), entails for the EU.  Another question she will aim to answer is whether the C.P.A.C. functions as an instrument for equally, objectively and neutrally determining a country's compatibility with the EU's principles, and the country's "progress" towards that end. In order to answer these questions, she will analyze the EP's implementation of the C.P.A.C.- i.e. the "progress towards accession reports" that were composed with reference to it. Dr. Kahn-Nisser will compare the progress reports that were adopted by the Parliament in the accession process of Turkey and Poland, beginning in 1992- the year that the C.P.A.C. was formulated.  For the purpose of examining the inclusion/ exclusion relations that the C.P.A.C. entail, she has composed an "inclusion axis" which runs from Universal Cosmopolitanism to Ethnic Nationalism, with Supra-National Cosmopolitanism and Civic-Nationalism in between. Through this analysis, Dr. Kahn-Nisser hopes to contribute to the understanding of the identity of the EU and the inclusion and exclusion relations it bears. In other words, she plans to contribute to answering the questions: “Where might the final border of the European integration project lie?” and “What kind of elements (geography, culture, political principles etc.) are those borders based on?”.  She also intends to contribute to the understanding of the meaning of the C.P.A.C. and of the function they serve in the enlargement process. Finally, Dr. Kahn-Nisser plans to contribute to the understanding of the accession process of Turkey and Poland.