I joined PAIS in September 2015 as Teaching Fellow for US Foreign Policy and American Politics. From September 2016 to April 2018, I assisted Nick Vaughan-Williams as research fellow with his Leverhulme funded project Everyday Narratives of European Border Security and Insecurity. On 1 May 2018, I began a three-year Early Career Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust with a new research project on populism in the UK, Germany, and the United States.
Between 2011 and 2014, I undertook my PhD studies at PAIS. My PhD thesis is titled: "The Fractured Consensus - How competing visions of grand strategy challenge the geopolitical identity of American leadership under the Obama presidency," and was supervised by Professor Stuart Croft and Professor Nick Vaughan-Williams. The thesis was nominated for the 2016 Michael Nicholson Prize for best doctoral thesis in International Studies.
Previously, I studied International Relations in Germany at the Freie Universität Berlin, the Humboldt-University, and the University of Potsdam, and Political Science and History at the University of Erfurt in Germany.
My new research project, supported by the Leverhulme Trust's Early Career Fellowship (ECF) is titled: 'The enemy inside the gates: Anti-elite hostility and the political agency of the ‘everyday’ in Europe and the USA.' The project explores the politics of enmity and friendship in contemporary populism, and how right-wing populists, anti-establishment movements and associated media in the UK, the United States, and Germany aim to reorder world politics through reconstructing threats to the nation both internally and externally.
My recently published research monograph, American Grand Strategy Under Obama (EUP, 2017) examines competing discourses of American grand strategy, national security, and geoplitical identity under the Obama presidency. The book explores how the Obama Doctrine posed an internal challenge to the established elite consensus of American exceptionalism and liberal hegemony by emphasising military restraint and 'leading from behind'. From an in-depth analysis of various competing popular, formal and practical discourses of national security and foreign policy, I conclude that American grand strategy under Obama no longer represented a coherent and consistent equation of material resources and political ends, but a contested discursive space, where identity and policy no longer matched up.
My research interests revolve around the interaction of security and identity, discourse and practice, and the role of the everyday in shaping politics, with my research broadly located within critical security studies and related fields, such as critical geopolitics. I am interested, how particular discourses emerge as dominant in the political and public sphere, and how processes of identity formation and meaning making enable or constrain policy choices and provoke resistance against existing political hegemonies.
Single-authored Research Monographs:
- American Grand Strategy under Obama: Competing Discourses (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017).
- Verteidigung am Hindukusch? Die Zivilmacht Deutschland und der Krieg in Afghanistan (Hamburg: Diplomica, 2008). [Translation: Defence at the Hindu Kush: Germany as a Civilian Power and the War in Afghanistan].
Peer-reviewed Journal Articles:
- Co-authored with Nick Vaughan-Williams "Vernacular Imaginaries of Border Security in Europe," European Journal of International Security Vol. 3, no. 3 (2018).
- "The Obama Doctrine and Military Intervention," Perceptions: Journal of International Affairs (forthcoming).
- "The Pivot between Containment, Engagement and Restraint – President Obama’s conflicted Grand Strategy in Asia." Asian Security Vol. 12, no. 2 (2016): pp. 92-110.
- "Leading from Behind - American Exceptionalism and President Obama's post-American Vision of Hegemony," Geopolitics Vol. 20, no. 2 (2015): pp. 308-332. (5-year impact factor: 1.324).
- "Hollywood, the Pentagon and the cinematic production of national security," Critical Studies on Security 1, no. 3 (2013): 280-294.
Book chapters and other academic publications:
- Co-authored with Nick Vaughan-Williams, "Narrating Identity, Border Security, and Migration: Critical Focus Groups and the Everyday as Problematic," Critical Studies on Security, 16 June 2017.
Op-eds, book reviews, etc.:
- Op-ed: Washington’s foreign policy consensus fell apart long before Donald Trump, The Conversation, 15 August 2017.
- Op-ed, co-authored with Nick Vaughan-Williams: European citizens want information on migration – not higher walls, The Conversation, 3 August 2017.
- Book review: America and the politics of insecurity. By Andrew Rojecki. International Affairs Vol. 93, no. 2 (2017): 511-512.
- Op-ed: Pulling Germany's Military Back from the Brink, The National Interest, 16 September, 2015.
Work in progress:
- Book chapter in edited volume by Mark Salter and Sandra Yao, How to do Popular Culture in IR.
Grants and Fellowships
- 2017: Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship (2018-2021)
- 2014: Institute of Advanced Studies (University of Warwick) Early Career Fellowship (2014-2015).
Awards and Prizes
2016 Nominated for Michael Nicholson Prize for best doctoral thesis in International Studies.
- 2016 Nominated for Warwick University Staff Award for Outstanding Contribution to the University
I will be on research leave during the acdemic year 2018/2019. Previously I served as Director for the MA programme in US Foreign Policy and National Security and the undergarduate modules for American Politics, US Foreign Policy and Critical Security Studies, and as seminar teacher for the undergarduate course in International Security.
A particular interest of mine is to integrate my research into popular culture with my teaching and to use pop-cultural devices (films, comicbooks, novels, video games, etc.) as additional resources for input in lectures and seminars.
2017, EISA, Barcelona 13-16 September. Paper presented: The Coward’s Weapon? - How Drone Warfare disrupts the Definition of Military Heroism in the US.
2016, BISA US Foreign Policy Working Group Confernce, Bath 15-16 September. Paper presented: The Pentagon vs Aliens: National Security and Popular Culture under Obama.
2016, ISA Annual Convention, Atlanta March 16-19. Paper presented: "Indispensable nation" or "reluctant hegemon": How visions of leadership shape foreign and security policy in the United States and Germany 2nd paper presented: Best Friends Forever? – The UK-US security cooperation and the future of the ‘special relationship.’
2016 4th Euroacademia Conference, Venice 3-4 March. Paper presented: The ‘Indispensable Nation’ in a post-American world: American Exceptionalism and the Obama Doctrine.
Public Engagement / Media
Multiple TV and radio appearances commenting on American politics and US foreign policy on BBC News, Sky News, France 24, CNBC, Al Jazeera, Deutsche Welle, TRT World, tbs radio Seoul, LBC Radio and local BBC radio.
Expert comment for print publications: L'Orient Le Jour (Lebanon); Telemundo (Spain)
Interview on the Military-Entertainment-Industry Complex with the Alien Movie Project, Episode 87: 'Battleship' (28 January 2017).