Dr Stef PukallusStef Pukallus

Lecturer in Public Communication and Civil Development

Tel: (+44)(0)114 222 4256
Email: s.pukallus@sheffield.ac.uk

Room 304

BA (Potsdam/Paris XII), MA (Paris III), MA (Paris XII), PhD (Sheffield), SFHEA

Stef is a lecturer at the department and co-director of research at the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) at the University of Sheffield. She is PGR director as well as director for PGT recruitment, co-chairs the Faculty of Social Sciences Early Career Researcher Forum, and is a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

She is part of the international team of historians writing the third volume of the official European Commission history entitled 'The European Commission, 1986-2000: History and Memories'. Her chapter focuses on the European Commission's public communication strategy and programmes, the monitoring and measuring of EU public opinion and the Spokesman's Service. She is also part of the Oral History Team at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence.

Stef was a short-term visiting research fellow at the Alcide de Gasperi Centre on the History of European integration at the EUI in January 2017.

Stef has also acted as a consultant for the European Commission on communicating a European civil narrative to European citizens. She has worked for both the press office and the bureau for public campaigns at the French Ministry of Economy. At the former she was responsible for press relations and at the latter she was involved in the development and public communication of various national campaigns.

She is also a co-investigator in the Newton RCUK-Colciencias Research Partnership funded research project 'Improbable Dialogues: Participatory Research as a Strategy for Reconciliation' (total award £489,962, 2018-2020), together with the Department of Politics and Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield, CINEP and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia.

Research interests

Stef's research interests are twofold. She specialises in how the European Community has developed and publicly communicated civil values and policies since 1951 in an attempt to stimulate and facilitate the emergence of a European civil society. She has just published a research monograph entitled 'The Building of Civil Europe 1951-1972'.

She is also interested in how the factual media can contribute to sustainable comprehensive peace in post-conflict settings. Together with Jackie Harrison she has developed a civil norms approach arguing that the media can contribute to peaceful and associative life by engaging in the building of civil norms which comprise three categories: assent, rules of conduct and behaviour; and capacity-building and citizenship. She is on the Steering Group Committee of the interdisciplinary Research Group on UN Media in Policy Processes (RUNMAPP) which was created to examine the role, effectiveness and consequences of UN media interventions in politically, economically, socially and culturally challenging contexts.

She is currently supervising (together with Professor Jackie Harrison and Dr Simon Rushton) a White Rose DTP/ESRC Collaborative PhD studentship on radio OKAPI in Democratic Republic in Congo. The team has just been awarded another White Rose DTP/ESRC Collaborative PhD studentship on the role of soap opera on radio in Sierra Leone after the end of the civil war.


Current PhD students

  • Jean-Claude Kayumba: UN Peacekeeping missions: the contested role of UN Media in post-conflict reconstruction contexts. A case study of Democratic Republic of Congo

Future candidates are particularly welcome in Stef's principal research areas.



Stef strongly believes that students should be able to develop a capacity for analytical thought which spans both practical and theoretical outlooks. To that end she deploys a variety of teaching methods ranging from lectures, dynamic seminars and one-to-one discussions to designing communication strategies and political campaigns with small groups.

She says: "My view is simple and straightforward: we should engage with students via a variety of teaching strategies and encourage and value their contribution to complex debates and intellectual discussion at all times. Above all I enjoy teaching and the opportunity it provides me with to interact with very smart undergraduates and postgraduates, both inside the 'classroom' and outside formal settings."

For her module Reporting the European Union she won the 2016-17 Teaching Excellence in Social Sciences award for Outstanding Practice in Learning and Teaching.



Journal articles


  • Pukallus S & Harrison J (2015) If media freedom and media pluralism are fundamental values in the European Union why doesn't the European Union do anything to ensure their application?, Comparative Perspectives on the Fundamental Freedom of Expression (pp. 368-387). View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download