Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT)


Lara Coleman 

Lara is Lecturer in International Security in the Department of International Relations.  

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Tom Cowin

Tom is a PhD candidate in International Relations. His research examines the maintenance and contestation of hegemony (and counter-hegemony) in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. Broadly, his interests lie in: IR Theory, Intellectual History, Global Political Economy, Neoliberalism, Populism, Hegemony; and the thought of Antonio Gramsci and the New Gramscians.

William da Rosa 

William is a Research Student in International Relations and is attached to CAIT.  He has been working on the area of human rights in the U.S. after September 11th and the consequences for the multilateral level, in terms of new norms and procedures, and for the American domestic level, mainly in the contradictory relationship between violating constitutional rights and the idea of “American Excepctionalism”. His recent project analyses the role that human rights play in legitimizing international policies and the problems that can be derived from this.  He has theoretical interest in the earlier Frankfurt School thinkers and in post-colonial theories as developed in Latin America.


Andrew Dickson

Andrew is a PhD candidate in International Relations. His research explores the political philosophical and theological basis for religious engagement, focussing on the Channel Programme (part of the UK's Prevent Strategy). Andrew is also Research & Projects Manager at the Lokahi Foundation, and sits on the Readers' Panel for the Independent Press Standards Organisation. His doctoral research is funded by an SeNSS ESRC DTP Studentship.

Stefan Elbe

Stefan Elbe is Professor of International Relations and Director of the Centre for Global Health Policy. His theoretical research interests are in the area of continental political, philosophical and international theory - especially the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault. He has wider theoretical interests in the study of biopolitics, governmentality, security, materialities, and assemblage theory. His books include Europe: A Nietzschean Perspective; Virus Alert: Security, Governmentality and the AIDS Pandemic; Security and Global Health: Towards the Medicalization of Insecurity; and Pandemics, Pills and Politics: Governing Global Health Security. 

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Eva Hilberg

Eva Hilberg is a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant. Her research critically analyses processes of identity formation and exclusion at the intersection of health and technology, looking in particular at normalizing effects of legal regimes in this field. She focuses on the social life of health information technology in the field of Global Mental Health, the biopolitics of intellectual property rights, and on rights-claiming practices as processes of identity formation. Her theoretical research interests include the study of biopolitics and governmentality, human rights, critical theory, and the role of international law in international relations.

Laura Jung

Laura is a PhD candidate in international relations. Her doctoral research is located at the intersection of queer/feminist international and political theory, critical disability studies, history, and sociology, and investigates imbrications of psychiatry, subjectivity, and sovereignty. Tracing the history of the trauma diagnosis in modern German states from 1870 to the present, it investigates how different diagnostic and treatment approaches functioned to cohere the nation by constructing certain groups of subjects as threats and exposing them to violent forms of treatment, heightened precarity, and death. Based on queer and poststructuralist theories of sovereignty and accounts of psychiatric power informed by scholarship from critical disability studies and global politics of medicine, she develops the concept of ‘psychiatric statecraft’ to illuminate processes in which psychiatric expertise, management and intervention crafts ‘the people’.

Laura is a founding co-editor of Sentio, an interdisciplinary social science journal by and for PhD researchers (https://sentiojournal.wordpress.com/).

She holds a BA in history and sociology from Goldsmiths, and an MA in political science from Freie Universität Berlin. Her doctoral research is funded by studentships from the SeNSS ESRC DTP and the Sussex School of Law, Politics and Sociology. 

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David Karp

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. 

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Paul Kirby 

Paul Kirby is Lecturer in International Security in the Department of International Relations. His current work concerns different ways of explaining wartime sexual violence, principally in feminist and gender theory, with a particular emphasis on the weaponisation of the body, the continuum between wartime and peacetime violence, and the remedies for gender violence proposed by international policy initiatives such as the Women, Peace and Security agenda. His other work has examined the politics of pop culture, attributions of responsibility for violence and differing conceptualisations of masculinity.

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Tarik Kochi

Tarik Kochi is Senior Lecturer in Law. His research draws upon legal, political and critical theory to examine historical and contemporary questions related to global justice, global liberal order, constitutionalism, conflict, property, neoliberalism, political economy and international law. In 2010 his theoretical work on war and violence,The Other's War: Recognition and the Violence of Ethics (Birkbeck Law Press, 2009) was awarded the International Studies Association, International Ethics Section Book Prize. His second monograph is entitled: Global Justice and Social Conflict: A Critical Theory of Global Order and International Law (Routledge, 2019).

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Alan Lester

Alan Lester is Professor of Historical Geography and Co-Director of the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies.  He is an historical geographer of colonialism. He has helped to pioneer a 'spatial turn' in imperial history writing with his attention to competing networks of identity, power and knowledge in the colonial world. His books include Colonization and the Origins of Humanitarian Governance: Protecting Aborigines Across the Nineteenth Century British Empire, with Fae Dussart, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2014; Colonial Lives Across the British Empire: Imperial Careering in the Long Nineteenth Century, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, 2006 (ed. with David Lambert); Imperial Networks: Creating Identities in Nineteenth Century South Africa and Britain, Routledge, London and New York, 2001 and From Colonisation to Democracy: A New Historical Geography of South Africa, I. B. Tauris, London and New York, 1996. He is currently working with Kate Boehme and Peter Mitchell on a history of British imperial governmentality, ‘everywhere and all at once’ within the British Empire.

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Christopher Long

Christopher Long is in the department of International Relations and a researcher at the Centre for Global Health Policy at the University of Sussex.  His research is focused on the way that understandings of life shape and are shaped by political economic and security practices.

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Luke Martell

Luke Martell is a Teaching Fellow in Sociology. He is interested in the political sociology of globalisation and social democracy and social alternatives in a global context. Luke is the  author of The Sociology of Globalization (second edition 2017) and is currently writing a book on socialism and social alternatives. 

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Thomas Martin

Thomas Martin is a 1+3 Research Student in International Relations. His research concerns the British ‘Prevent’ policy and the relationships it establishes between counter-terrorism, counter-radicalisation and community cohesion. More broadly, his research interests are in critical security theory, dialogical ethics, critical race relations, the ‘death of multiculturalism’ and poststructuralism.

Kamran Matin

Kamran Matin is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations. Kamran’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.

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Louiza Odysseos, Professor of International Relations

Louiza Odysseos is a Professor of International Relations. Louiza'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

Patricia Owens

Patricia Owens is Professor and Head of International Relations at Sussex and and director of the Leverhulme Research Project, Women and the History of International Thought. Her most recent book, Economy of Force (Cambridge University Press, 2015) won the 2016 Susan Strange Prize for the Best Book in international studies, the 2016 International Studies Association Theory Section Best Book Award, and was Runner up for the 2016 Francesco Guicciardini Prize for Best Book in Historical IR.

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Sam Parris

Sam Parris is a Doctoral Researcher in the department of International Relations (IR), under the supervision of Prof. Benno Teschke and Dr. Sam Knafo. His research provides a reinterpretation of the making of the United States (U.S.) through an international-historicist perspective. Specifically, employing Political Marxism to understand how conflict over social property relations shaped the process of state-formation. Positioning itself between IR theory, and International Historical Sociology (IHS), the study constructs a triple axes of Franco-British geopolitical rivalry, the construction of a project of colonisation and decolonisation, contested by diverse U.S. socio-political interests, and the further geopolitical management of the young Republic amidst a hostile post-independence world.

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Melanie Richter-Montpetit

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

Justin Rosenberg 

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. 

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Benjamin Selwyn

Benjamin Selwyn is interested in how class relations underpin processes of capitalist and non-capitalist development. His first book, Workers, State and Development in Brazil (2012) was based on fieldwork into export horticulture in North East Brazil. He is also interested in theories of development (the subject of his books The Global Development Crisis, and The Struggle for Development) and in particular, the class relations that underpin the proliferation of global value chains. His most recent publication is Poverty Chains and Global Capitalism (Competition and Change, 2018).

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Martin Shaw

Martin Shaw is Emeritus Professor of International Relations, and is also Research Professor at the Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals and Professorial Fellow at the University of Roehampton (London). He works in the Historical Sociology tradition and has written extensively on globality, war and genocide, from both a conceptual and an empirical/historical point of view. He is currently working on racism and contemporary politics. His most recent books are the Second Edition of What is Genocide? (Polity, 2015) and Genocide and International Relations: Changing Patterns in the Upheavals of the Late Modern World (Cambridge University Press, 2013). His website is www.martinshaw.org and he tweets at martinshawx.

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Charlotte Skeet  

Charlotte Skeet is Lecturer in Law.   

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Cynthia Weber

Cynthia Weber is Professor of International Relations.  

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Louise Wise

Dr. Wise is a lecturer in International Relations and her 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.

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Joanna Wood 

Joanna Wood is a Doctoral Researcher in the Department of International Relations on the Leverhulme Project Women and the History of International Thought, supervised by Professor Patricia Owens (IR) and Dr Katharina Rietzler (History). Her research will recover and evaluate women’s contributions to the International Relations discipline in the United States, from the end of World War I until 1979. 

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Steffan Wyn-Jones

Steffan Wyn-Jones is currently a doctoral student in the department of International Relations. His PhD thesis rethinks the sources of US foreign policy in the early Cold War period via an engagement with the literature on the rise of the 'Military-Industrial Complex' and 'National Security State.' His research interests include: IR Theory, IPE theory, Philosophy of Science and Social Science, US Foreign policy, Marxist theory, Global Economic History. He is a member of the Political Marxism Working Group at Sussex University.

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