Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT)



Melanie Richter-Montpetit, Lecturer in International Relations

Melanie Richter-Montpetit’s research interests are in International Political Theory with focus on feminist, queer, and anti-colonial thought, and in Critical War and Security Studies. Much of her work is concerned with the ongoing hold of racial-sexual and colonial formations of power on contemporary war and liberal security regimes. She explores how racial-sexual norms, practices and identities shape the production of force in ‘the international’, and in turn, how war and associated racial-sexual security practices are productive of new gendered racial-sexual normativities, subjectivities and (larger) political and economic orders.

She is currently working on three book projects. Her solo book Beyond the Erotics of Orientalism: Feminist and Queer Investments in Liberal War combines and cross-fertilizes the burgeoning IR scholarship on liberal war with current debates in Black, Indigenous and Transnational Gender and Sexuality studies. By connecting the targeting of Muslim/ified people and spaces in the so-called War on Terror to genealogies of settler colonialism and chattel slavery, the book hopes to contribute to more robust responses to war, militarism and insecurity. Part of this analysis seeks to offer a deeper understanding of what is at stake in the recent inclusion of women and LGBT people in the U.S. military. She has been interviewed about this work by E-IR.  Richter-Montpetit is also currently completing two co-authored books with Alison Howell (Rutgers University): Race and Security Studies (under contract with Oxford UP) and Martial Politics: Thinking Against Militarization and Securitization on Disability, Race and War (invited for review by ANIMA Series, Duke UP).

For a fuller description of her research and publications, see Academia.edu

You can follow her on Twitter

Management Committee

Beate Jahn, Professor of International Relations

Beate Jahn is interested in the role of liberalism in world affairs. Her publications fall into three related areas. First, she analyzes the foreign policies of liberal states – modernization policies, democracy promotion, (humanitarian) intervention – as well as the role of liberalism in the constitution of the current world order. The paradoxical outcome of these policies and their internal contradictions, Jahn argues, have their roots in the international – specifically imperialist – origins of liberalism. Yet, by ignoring or downplaying the constitutive role of imperialism, liberalism turns into an ideology. The second pillar of Jahn’s work thus explores the role of ideology in the constitution of the discipline of International Relations itself and the workings of liberal ideology in a variety of theoretical approaches within the discipline. This work has led to a third pillar of research exploring the nature of ideology as such and appropriate methods for its analysis. Here, Jahn systematically uses the work of classical authors such as Vitoria, Locke, Pufendorf, Vattel, Burke, Paine, Tocqueville, Kant as interlocutors whose alternative temporal, spatial, and disciplinary standpoint serves to highlight the limitations inherent in contemporary ideologies. Jahn is currently working on a comprehensive study of liberal internationalism.

David Jason Karp, Senior Lecturer in International Relations

David Jason Karp’s research is at the intersection of global ethics, human rights and international theory. His book Responsibility for Human Rights: Transnational Corporations in Imperfect States (Cambridge University Press, 2014) evaluates four reasons for holding any state or non-state actor responsible for human rights: legalism, universalism, capacity and publicness. It uses the ‘business and human rights’ agenda in policy and practice as the empirical basis to make an argument about who is responsible for human rights in today’s world and why: separately from an actor’s status as sovereign. His most recent project examines the United Nations ‘respect, protect and fulfil’ framework, as an example of the exercise of power at the international level, through an attempt to fix meanings of ethical terms. It looks both historically and critically at the purpose of this framework, and draws from theories and practices of contemporary global ethics in order argue that this framework can and should change. More broadly, Dr Karp’s research interests include: business and human rights; global ethics; human rights; humanization and dehumanization in world politics; international security; migration and human rights; political theory and international relations (especially the Anglo-American tradition, as well as attempts to bridge that tradition with contemporary critical theory and/or with empirical international-political research); responsibility in world politics; sovereignty.

Justin Rosenberg, Professor of International Relations

Justin Rosenberg is Professor of International Relations. His research focusses on the challenge of providing a social theory of International Relations. Starting with a historical materialist critique of both political realism and globalisation theory, this focus has led to a sustained attempt to reconstruct the theory of 'uneven and combined development' associated with Leon Trotsky. The purpose is to expand Trotsky's idea from an analysis of capitalist development in particular into a more general premise about world history and the role of inter-societal interactions within it.  Rosenberg has written many articles on this, which can be found on www.unevenandcombined.com He is also Co-Convenor of the Sussex Working Group on Uneven and Combined Development. 

Benno Teschke, Professor of International Relations

Benno Teschke’s research comprises IR Theory, International Historical Sociology, Marxism and Critical Theory, and the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. His central preoccupation concerns the reformulation of critical social theory and, in particular, Political Marxism, to capture the international relations and political geographies of historical capitalism. His explorations into epistemology have led him towards historicism and the philosophy of praxis as premises for the substantive reconstruction of the geopolitical history of Europe and beyond from the Middle Ages onwards. Teschke also engages with the classical and contemporary canon in social and political theory – from Karl Marx to Carl Schmitt – and issues in historiography and the theory of history. Amongst his publications are the award-winning Myth of  1648: Class, Geopolitics, and the Making of Modern International Relations (translated into German, Japanese, Russian, and Turkish) and a series of articles on Carl Schmitt's thought in the New Left Review, International Theory, and The Oxford Handbook of Carl Schmitt

Louise Wise, Lecturer in International Relations

Dr. Wise's research brings together critical genocide studies, international theory, and international political economy with particular attention to the complex colonial, global-systemic, emergent and ‘ecological’ constitution of genocide. Her work to date, challenging dominant paradigms and legalistic conceptions of genocide, has specifically focused on the case of Sudan. Combining in-depth interviews with conceptual analysis, previous work has sought to problematise state/perpetrator-centric genocide frameworks by grounding understanding of the meaning of genocide in the perspectives and experiences of its victims/survivors, helped by Claudia Card’s phenomenological concept of ‘social death’. In 2017, she was awarded the ISA Theory Section’s ‘Best Paper’ award for her doctoral work. Before joining Sussex, Louise was a postdoctoral researcher at the International State Crime Initiative (QMUL), and is currently a Senior Research Fellow with George Mason University’s Genocide Studies Program. Her forthcoming book (under contract with Routledge) is provisionally titled, Ecologies of Social Death: Colonialism, Ecocide, and the Political Economy of Genocide in Sudan.

Chia-Yu Liang, Doctoral Researcher

Chia-Yu Liang obtained his BA in Sociology at National Taiwan University and his MA in Film and Literature at the University of Essex. He also received the Level II Certification for Assistant Director at the École Supérieure d’Études Cinématographiques (ESEC). He volunteered as the co-organiser for Taiwan’s most famous public forum, Philosophy Friday@Taipei, and as the general secretary for the leading organisation of Taiwan’s public philosophy movement, Philosophical Education Development Organisation (PhEDO).

He is currently undertaking his PhD study at University of Sussex. His research project, entitled In Heaven’s Name: The Politics of the Return of Tianxia (All-under-Heaven) in Modern China, engages with the proposition of non-Western International Relations Theory from Chinese academia. His approach combines Political Theology, Conceptual History, and Comparative Political Theory. In the project, he attempts to analyse the political dynamics in the collective efforts of Chinese intellectuals that seek to partake in the construction of Global IR. His interests also include the relationship between Eurocentrism and Sinocentrism in the development of IR Theory, and the contestation of the idea of human rights.