Dave Allen, 1949-2012
A leading commentator on European integration, UK and European foreign policy and the role of Britain in Europe has died.
Dave Allen was born in Surbiton, Surrey, on 1 February 1949. He took an undergraduate degree in politics and international relations at the University of Southampton (1967-70) and then a master's in international relations at the same institution (1971). Almost straight afterwards, he secured his first job as a lecturer in politics at Loughborough University - in one of the UK's first departments of European studies. He was promoted to senior lecturer in 1978.
During the 1980s, Professor Allen established himself as a leading expert on European foreign policy, participating in a number of major networks that brought together academics with national and European officials. A particular interest was the tensions between pan-European institutions and policymaking within member states.
Through his work in these areas, Professor Allen contributed enormously to establishing European Union studies as a distinct discipline with its own vibrant international community of scholarship. Yet he was also highly active in the training of Royal Navy and Army officers, and then of British government officials, for roles within the EU or the wider foreign policy arena.
In 2002, Professor Allen was awarded a personal chair in European and international politics at Loughborough, while he also served (until 2008) as head of what is now the department of politics, history and international relations, developing history as a key new area of teaching and research.
Although he officially retired in 2010, Professor Allen was re-engaged on a half-time contract and continued to work far more than half of a full-time role while also developing new areas of research interest. One was the governance of sport within the EU, and he was honoured with life membership of the Sport and EU research network this summer.
Mike Smith, Jean Monnet professor of European politics at Loughborough, recalls Professor Allen as "a larger than life character, great in conference and social settings, who could always see the amusing side of academic life. That was one of the things that made him an excellent teacher and trainer, because he always brought people back to the realities and away from the abstractions of theory.
"When we taught joint courses," continued Professor Smith, "I felt like the straight man, with him adding the life and colour to what was communicated and thus doubling its impact."
Professor Allen finally retired in July this year. He died of lung cancer on 18 October and is survived by his wife, Helen Drake, and two daughters from a previous marriage.