Department of International Relations

Areas for PhD research

The Department of International Relations is renowned for research in international theory, global political economy and war, violence and international security. You will have the opportunity to carry out research in the following areas.

Global politics

of: the environment; development; human rights; social movements, civil society and non-governmental organizations and other non-state actors; gender and identity; citizenship; nationalism; cultures, civilisations and religions; political Islam; cyberspace; dissent and resistance; global health issues; food, agriculture and development.

Global political economy

including: financialisation processes and international finance; rising powers and global economic governance; the global economic crisis and the European debt crisis; international trade; international economic institutions; transnational classes and economic relations; resource conflicts; economic globalisation and hegemony; labour and labour movements/trade unions; multi-national corporations and corporate responsibility; neoliberalism; global commodity chains; theories of capitalist and non-capitalist development; links between development, political violence and forced displacement.

War, violence and international security

including: security and development; geopolitics and grand strategy; terrorism, counter-terrorism and political violence; insurgency and counter-insurgency; armed humanitarian intervention; war and society; health, disease and security; wartime sexual violence; peace processes, peacebuilding and state building; environmental conflict and security; identity, religion and conflict; the international arms trade; resilience, design and new sciences of protection; policing of resistance and dissent.

Regional and international politics

of: the Middle East and North Africa; Southern Africa; Russia and the Former Soviet Union; South Asia; Central Asia; East Asia and the Pacific; the United States; Central and Eastern Europe; Latin America.

International theory

including the full range of critical social and political approaches associated with Marxism and the Frankfurt School, non-Western and postcolonial political thought, feminism, and poststructuralism, as well as constructivism, ethics and normative theory, liberalism, and cosmopolitanism; 20th-century continental philosophy, including Foucault, Arendt, Ranciere, Schmitt, Heidegger; philosophy of the subject; philosophy of social science; the history of international thought; sociology of knowledge; uneven and combined development; and classical Western political thought, including Kant, Hegel, Marx, Clausewitz, Nietzsche, Trotsky and Weber.

International contemporary history

including: the emergence, development and transformation of the international state system; globalisation; rising Great Powers and changing international orders; imperialism; revolutions and post-communist transitions; the emergence and transformation of political ideologies; historical capitalism.

Doctoral research

We also supervise doctoral research in the following interdisciplinary subject areas: social and political thought, contemporary European studies, development studies, gender studies, science and technology policy and management, and media and cultural studies.

Recently completed theses


Thesis Title

Appleton, Samuel J The World Bank and the origins of the Washington Consensus: negotiating the imperatives of American finance
Bentley, Thomas J The Empire Retracts: a case study analysis of official European state apologies offered between 2002 and 2010 for transgressions committed against former colonies.
Cemgil, Can M Dialectic of foreign policy and international relations: a social theory of a disciplinary gap
Cooper, Luke WR Explaining the paradox of market reform in communist China: the uneven and combined development of the Chinese Revolution and the search for `national salvation'
Dooley, Neil  Beyond immaturity and victimisation: the European periphery and the Eurozone crisis
Fishwick, Adam D Industrialisation and the Working Class: The Contested Trajectories of ISI in Chile and Argentina.
Green, Jasper KD Cross-Strait economic integration and the transnationalization of Taiwan.
Hilberg, Eva  Intellectual property  and the genetic dispositif of life - the changing role of intellectual property law in governing participation and knowledge in the bioeconomy
Huma, Zill-E  China's foreign policy towards central Asia: expanding the concepts of national interest and national security
Igarashi, Motomichi  Genealogical analysis of the dispositive of humanitarianism/ trusteeship : from colonial administration to peacebuilding
Lagna, Andrea  Deriving a normal country. Italian capitalism and the political economy of financial derivatives.
Lane, Richard  The nature of growth: The postwar history of the economy, energy and the environment
Liu, Xin  Origins of peasant socialism in China: the international relations of China's modern revolution.
Moody, George B The Renovation of Western Hegemony: European Alternatives in International Relations
Nisancioglu, Kerem  The Ottomans in Europe: Uneven and combined development and eurocentrism
Restoy, Enrique  Global norms-domestic practice. The role of community-based organisations in the diffusion of HIV and human rights norms
Turgeon, Nancy  Revisiting imperial China's trajectory in the context of the 'rise of the west'. The Eurocentric legacy in historical sociology
Weiss, Oliver  Dependency theory and eastern bloc trade: reformulating a forgotten paradigm
Whittaker, Nicholas  The island race: geopolitics and identity in British foreign policy discourse since 1949
Wyn-Jones, Steffan  Rethinking early cold war United States foreign policy: the road to militarisation.