I would like to acknowledge and thank a number of people and organisations who – thanks to their support, supervision and expertise – made this book possible. To Dr Anita Lacey and Associate Professor Stephen Hoadley, thank you for your belief and guidance which enabled me to follow my passions and undertake research that interested and challenged me.
To my office friends at the University of Auckland, the camaraderie we built was hugely influential to the successful completion of my book. I enjoyed coming into the office every day mainly because I got to spend time with my friends. Zbigniew, you and I started our research on the same day and we have been close ever since. You are an ideas man and the most critical of thinkers I have ever met. Thanks to our friendship I have learnt so much and I am proud of our collaborations.
Special acknowledgement and thanks has to be given to the European Union Centres Network (EUCN) of New Zealand. The EUCN’s largesse has been essential to my research, enabling me to undertake two university exchanges to Brussels as well as fieldwork in Ukraine and Russia. Martin, Natalia, Serena, Milenko and Yvonne, you are all very dear to me. I would also like to thank John Leslie from the EU delegation in Wellington whose advice was always useful and perceptive.
I would like to acknowledge the Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS) for hosting me on two separate occasions in Brussels. Special thanks to Dr Tom Casier whose ideas and support were central to this book but also the amazing staff and students at BSIS as I had two fantastic exchanges there. Also, Dr Greg Simons at Uppsala University, I thank you for the contacts which proved pivotal to my successful trips to Kiev, Moscow and St Petersburg. Additional thanks must be given to Asle Toje. Your willingness to thoroughly critique my work and freely offer advice and suggestions was a massive benefit and greatly improved my research.
Last, but not least, huge thanks to my wonderful wife Jessie who is a continuous rock of support for my work (and a willing editor). Having you as my biggest supporter was a huge comfort when things often seemed insurmountable.