Dr Eilidh MacPhail


Lecturer, BSc and MSc Sustainable Rural Development

Lews Castle College, University of the Highlands & Islands, Faculty of Science, Health and Education

Research Interests

  • Scottish public policy and politics: devolution, community and rural development, island governance
  • European public policy, particularly social, rural, agriculture and fisheries policies in the EU
  • Online education, student mental health

External interests, member of associations, advisor etc

  • Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • Carnegie Trust Research Assessor
  • Invited peer reviewer and book reviewer for journal ‘Regional and Federal Studies’

Previous Research and Funding Awards

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded PhD on ‘The Europeanisation of the Scottish Executive: exploring variations across different modes of governance’, with a focus on the Structural Funds, State Aid, Employment and Social Inclusion, 2004-2008
  • Researcher for Notre Europe, Paris on European Social Policy, 2002-2003
  • UK Government Funded Scholarship to the College of Europe, Bruges, for a Masters in European Political and Administrative Studies, 2001-2002

Research Supervision (recent)

  • Director of Studies: Catriona Murray Political and cultural identity in the Scottish Gàidhealtachd: The role of local government. (PhD)
  • Co-Supervisor for: Robert Wemyss (2012) Protected Area Status and the Implications for Rural Development and Land Use, PhD Thesis, UHI, successfully completed

Conference Presentations and Workshops

  • ‘Exploiting the European Union as a political opportunity structure? Understanding the Scottish Executive’s engagement with the EU 1999-2007’ (2009) Political Studies Association, Annual Conference, 7th-9th April 2009
  • ‘Europeanisation through the Open Method of Co-ordination: explaining the impact on the sub-national level’ (2008) Paper prepared for the UACES Annual Conference: Exchanging Ideas on Europe: Rethinking the European Union, Research Session 5: Para-diplomacy in the EU and Beyond: Sub-National Authorities as International Actors, Edinburgh 2008, 1st-3rd September 2008
  • ‘Meeting Expectations of Sub-National Involvement in ‘New’ EU Governance? The Scottish Executive and The Open Method of Coordination’ (2007) ‘Sub-State Nations’ and European Integration, Panel Session at the ‘Beyond the nation? Critical Reflections on Nations and Nationalism in Uncertain Times Conference’, Queen’s University Belfast, 12th to 14th September 2007


  • Donald Stewart, in James Mitchell and Gerry Hassan (eds) (2016) Scottish National Party Leaders, Biteback Publishing
  • With Rachel Erskine, Addressing the Needs of Academic Staff in Supporting Students with Mental Health Conditions in Online Programmes at a Distributed University (2015) Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, Vol 3, No 1 (2015)
  • Book Review: Devolution, Asymmetry and Europe: Multi-level Governance in the United Kingdom (2008), by Rosanne Palmer, Regional and Federal Studies, Volume 23, Issue 2, April 2013
  • Examining the impact of the Open Method of Coordination on sub-state employment and social inclusion policies: evidence from the UK (2010), Journal of European Social Policy, Volume 20, Issue 4, October 2010
  • Changing EU Governance and the Scottish Executive (2008) Regional and Federal Studies, Vol. 18, No. 1, February, pp19-35
  • Sub-national Authorities and the Open Method of Coordination: a new opportunity or the same old community? (2006) Journal of Contemporary European Research, Special Issue: The OMC: Governance after Lisbon, Volume 2, Issue 1, October 2006

Dr Eilidh Macphail