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.

Faiz Sheikh, Lecturer in International Relations

Faiz Sheikh’s research interests are in political theory, political Islam and global governance. His work to date has focused on the history of ideas of international politics, questioning how ‘universal’ such ideas are. Assuming that in fact much of how we theorise international politics comes from more of a European – rather than international – body of knowledge, he’s interested in exploring what lies ‘outside’ this conceptualisation. Along with this critique of knowledge production and IR, Faiz looks at Islamic intellectual traditions to ‘build’ an Islamic theory of International Relations. In his book Islamic International Relations: Exploring Community and the Limits of Universalism, Faiz examines sources of Islamic knowledge beyond the usual Islamist, predominantly literalist interpretations of scripture and tradition. Rather, in unpacking pluralist traditions in the Muslim world, the idea is to develop an Islamic concept of universalism which is not as oppressive in its application as the ‘universalism’ we inherit in the International Relations discipline.

Linda Tabar

Linda Tabar is a Lecturer in Global Insecurities in the Department of International Relations. Her current research focuses on the colonial matrixes and racialized formations of the modern order, global systems of violence, anti-colonial conceptions of the international order and alternative futures. Her published work explores settler colonialism, racial and gendered violence, dispossession and their intersections with development, capitalist accumulation, humanitarianism and war. It also investigates indigenous memory and the formation of feminist and decolonizing thought and practices across the everyday and the inter/nationalist spaces of liberation movements. She seeks to bring IR, Security studies and Critical War studies into conversations with Decolonial Theory, as well as Palestine and Indigenous studies.

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.

Nathali Arias

Nathali Arias is a doctoral candidate in International Development at the School of Global Studies. She obtained her MSc in Migration, Culture and Global Health Policy from Queen Mary University of London. Her research links queer geographical with anthropological approaches to explore the ways in which colonial gender relations are reproduced in the everyday experiences of care and resettlement for legally precarious migrant women (e.g., asylum-seeking, stateless, and undocumented) attempting to resettle in Spain through state-humanitarian reception programs. Her PhD thesis, entitled “Racializing the Politics of Motherhood, Care Work and Activism for Legally Precarious Migrant Women in Spain” uses migrant women’s narratives to explore how racializing discourses are reproduced in Spain’s humanitarian housing programs and domestic work, which in turn influences the anti-racist activism that migrant women self-organize as responses to institutionalized racism and other forms of displacements once in Spain. 

Debbie Samaniego

Debbie Samaniego is a Doctoral Researcher in the Department of International Relations at the University of Sussex. She obtained her MA in International Relations from Queen Mary University of London and BA in Political Science with an emphasis on Global Politics from Westminster College (USA). Her research focuses on the intersection of decolonial theory, settler colonial studies, colonial histories, migration, and the modern international order.

Her PhD thesis, titled “Rethinking Migration through the Colonial Question: Connecting Colonial Histories to Understand Mobility and Belonging in Abya Yala”, seeks to demonstrate how the current US immigration system is the outgrowth of colonial systems that have sought to solve the colonial crisis invoked by the presence of colonized peoples in the social space of white settlers. In doing so, she proposes a shift from the ahistorical framing of a US “migration crisis” and argues that what is taking place is a “colonial crisis”.