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My Research

Doctoral Research

My doctoral research explores the construction of German foreign policy in the crises in Iraq (2002/2003) and Libya (2011). Building on recent developments in social theory as well as poststructuralist scholarship in International Relations, I carve out a refined approach to analysing foreign policy as a discursive practice. The core ambition of the project is to do away with the usual binaries and analyse both long-spanning structures and actual decision-making; account for the intertwining of discursive and affective factors; and to be critical as well as explanatory.

The framework is then utilised in an analysis of a broad array of empirical materials related to the two cases, including political speeches and parliamentary debates, elite interviews and visual materials. Problematising conventional accounts painting the German government as self-interested naysayers, responsible peacemakers, or haunted by the past, I am foregrounding the contradictory nature of foreign policies and the political struggles around decision-making. I am interested in three main questions: Which discourses made Germany’s foreign policies in the Iraq and Libya crises possible? How exactly were decisions made from an intersection of these, often contradictory discourses? How and why certain options prevailed?


Eberle, J. (2012) ‘Německá zahraničně politická kultura jako normativní a ideový základ zahraniční politiky Spolkové republiky Německo’ [‘Foreign Policy Culture as Normative and Ideational Basis for Germany’s Foreign Policy’]. In Vladimír Handl, Německo v čele Evropy? SRN jako civilní mocnost a hegemon eurozóny (Prague: Institute for International Relations, 2012), 76-91.

Conference Presentations

Crises and Global Governance: Repoliticising the International through Sense of Failure. British International Studies Association Annual Conference 2014, Dublin, 18-20 June 2014.

The Sultan's Court, the Kidnapped West, and the Humanitarian Intervention: Narrating Conflicts through the Modernisation/Orientalism Nexus. BISA-PGN Postgraduate Conference, Dublin, 17 June 2014.

Discourse, Affect, and the Madman in his Tent: Libya Crisis in German Political and Media Discourse. Discourse Analysis in the Social Sciences: Towards a Dialogue between Theory and Analysis, Warwick, 20-21 March 2014.

Letting Gaddafi Rest in His Tent? Fantasising the Libya Crisis in German Political and Media Discourse. Security and the Everyday: Warwick Graduate Conference in Security Studies, Warwick, 1 November 2013.

Bringing the Logics Approach in IR: Foreign Policy on the Intersection of ‘Sovereignty’, ‘International Community’ and ‘Peace for All’. Trust in International Relations: BISA-PGN Postgraduate Conference, Birmingham, 19 June 2013.

Logics Approach to Foreign Policy: Germany between ‘Sovereignty’, ‘International Community’ and ‘Peace for All’. 11th Aberystwyth Lancaster Postgraduate Colloquium, Manchester, 6 June 2013.

Work in Progress

I have currently two papers under review. The first of them looks at the relationship between IR poststructuralism and foreign policy analysis, utilising recent developments in the Essex School to critically engage with the work of Lene Hansen and Thomas Diez in order to offer a refined discourse-theoretical perspective on the making of foreign policy. The second paper argues for the importance of bringing affect into discourse-theoretical accounts via the concept of fantasy and shows how this can enrich our understanding of Germany's position in the Libya Crisis of 2011.