photo of Stefanie Ortmann

Dr Stefanie Ortmann

Post:Lecturer in International Relations (International Relations, International Development)
Location:ARTS C C345

Telephone numbers
UK:01273 872918
International:+44 1273 872918

Research expertise:
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MA (hons) Politics & History (Edinburgh), Msc History and Theory of IR (LSE), PhD IR (LSE)
Stefanie Ortmann joined the department in 2009. She completed her PhD in IR at the London School of Economics in 2008 and before Sussex has taught at the American University of Central Asia, Bishkek, and at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her interests concern the effects of the myth of the state in international relations, in particular the return of the concept of Great Power in contemporary world politics and the re-emergence of geopolitics as a way of framing world politics. Her geographic area of research is Russia and the former Soviet space (in particular relations between Russia and Central Asia). Drawing on this geographical focus, she approaches these questions from a critical perspective, highlighting the Eurocentric nature of the discipline and questioning the universalism of "the international". Her theoretical commitments are located in hermeneutic and linguistic approaches to International Relations, drawing on anthropological theories of the state, Koselleckian conceptual history and Critical Geopolitics.
More concretely, she is currently pursuing four interlinked research projects:
- the constitution and performance of the Russian state as "hyper-Westphalian" Great Power and the effects this has on an evolving international order. This project focusses on the contemporary Russian 'myth of the state' and the way this resonates with the return of the concept of Great Power in world politics more broadly. The project critiques assumptions about 'state identity' in constructivist IR theories as well as English School assumptions about Great Powers, based on an interpretivist theoretical framework drawing in particular on Koselleckian conceptual history and anthropological theories of the state.
- A critical investigaton of the concept of 'sphere of influence' as an attribute of Russia's 'Great Power identity' in the post-Soviet space
- political conspiracy theories in the former Soviet space, in particular CTs about Russian involvement in Central Asia, and Russian conspiracy theories about 'Western encroachment'.
- imperial and Soviet legacies in the post-Soviet space, in particular elite networks between Russia and Central Asia and their implications for post-Soviet state building, the nature of "international politics" in the CIS, and the perpetuation of the post-Soviet space.


Convenor, The politics of foreign policy (2nd year), Russia and the FSU in Global Politics (3rd year option), Russia and Eurasia in international politics (MA option)