Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT)



Benno Teschke, Reader in 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

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.

Kamran Matin, Senior Lecturer in International Relations


Kamran Matin’s research explores intellectual potentials of cross-fertilization between international theory and historical sociology. He has written on the constitutive impact of Iran’s international relations on the formation of Safavi and Qajar states, and on the political thought of Ali Shariati and Ayatollah Khomeini. Matin’s first book, ‘Recasting Iranian Modernity: International Relations and Social Change’, retheorises the historical ambivalence of Iran’s experience of modernity and revolution through a critical deployment of the idea of ‘uneven and combined development’ that redresses the ontological elision of international relations marking Marxist and Weberian approaches. In ‘Redeeming the Universal: Postcolonialism and the Inner Life of Eurocentrism’ (EJIR) Matin problematizes postcolonial critiques of eurocentrism through an interrogation of their rejection of the category of the universal, which, following poststructuralism, they equate with intersocietal homogeneity. Through a comparative study of Hegel and Trotsky, Matin shows that homogeneity is not generic to the category but the result of its internalist mode of construction. Overall, Matin’s research programme advances the argument that overcoming eurocentrism requires the formulation of a non-ethnocentric international social theory central to which is the ontological incorporation of the international, the interactive co-existence of all historical forms of social coherence into mutually recognised integrities.

Louiza Odysseos, Professor of International Relations


Louiza Odysseos's research interests lie at the juncture of international theory and continental philosophy with special emphasis on ethics, critical theory and post-structuralist thought. 

Her book, the first book-length treatment of the work of Martin Heidegger in IR, The Subject of Coexistence: Otherness in International Relations (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) pioneered a philosophical critique of the subjectivist ontology of International Relations, interrogating the much neglected question of coexistence. Following this she organised, with Fabio Petito, a project highlighting the international political thought of Carl Schmitt, leading to special issue on the interconnections between the international law and international theory of Carl Schmitt in the Leiden Journal of International Law and also to an edited volume on The International Political Thought of Carl Schmitt: Terror, Liberal War and the Crisis of Global Order (Routledge, 2007). Louiza's particular interest in Schmitt concerned the theorisation of the global liberal order emerging in the so-called ‘post-Westphalian era'. Her research theorised the global liberal order as a 'global civil war', pursued as a series of engagements through the international writings of Carl Schmitt and his interlocutors, such as Giorgio Agamben, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, and Jean-Luc Nancy. 

Louiza's current project examines human rights in the global liberal order and, in particular, how rights might be theorised as a political technology of government. Recent writings have examined human rights and their subjectivising effects in world politics and how the incitation of rights-holding subjectivities channels our political dissenting conduct into particular paths of action. She has recently co-organised two workshops on The Human Rights of Power/The Power of Human Rightsand Counter-Conduct in Global Politics. This research project will lead to a research monograph provisionally entitled The Reign of Rights. For a fuller description of her projects and publications see https://sussex.academia.edu/LouizaOdysseos

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.

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 review at 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

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