I joined PAIS on 1 September 2015 as Teaching Fellow for US Foreign Policy and American Politics. Since September 2016, I am Research and Teaching Fellow in International Security. In this role, I assist Nick Vaughan-Williams with his Leverhulme funded research project Everyday Narratives of European Border Security and Insecurity. In May 2017, I was awarded a three-year Early Career Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust, which will begin in May 2018.
In the academic year 2016/17, I am also module director for the undergraduate course PO381 Critical Security Studies, and the post-graduate module PO983: United States Foreign Policy and National Security.
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 have 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 research focuses on the interaction of security, geopolitics and identity. I am interested, how particular discourses of national security and geopolitical identity emerge as dominant in political decision-making, formal expertise and the everyday, and how this process of identity formation and meaning making enables or constrains policy choices and provokes resistance against the hegemonic discourse. Here, I follow a critical approach in investigating the intertextuality of practical, formal and popular discourses and the interplay of discourse and practice.
In my latest research monograph, - published in July 2017-, I examine competing discourses of American grand strategy 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 next researtch 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 aims to explore 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 construct threats to the nation both internally and externally, and how these processes are linked in a transnational context. The project continues my strong research interest in the role of the 'everyday' in producing competing concepts of identity and security.
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:
- "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-ed: Washington’s foreign policy consensus fell apart long before Donald Trump, The Conversation, 15 August 2017.
- 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.
Forthcoming and work in progress:
- Book chapter in edited volume by Mark Salter and Sandra Yao, How to do Popular Culture in IR.
- Co-authored article on everyday experiences of migration and border security in Europe (with Nick Vaughan-Williams)
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 am currently module director for the undergraduate course PO381: Critical Security Studies and the postgraduate module PO: 983 US Foreign Policy and National 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, CNBC, Al Jazeera, Deutsche Welle, TRT World, LBC Radio and local BBC radio.
Interview on the Military-Entertainment-Industry Complex with the Alien Movie Project, Episode 87: 'Battleship' (28 January 2017).
Research and Teaching Fellow
Advice and feedback hours:
Term 1: Wed 2-3pm, Thur 1-2pm
Term 2: Tue 1-2pm, Wed 12:30-1:30pm
Term 3: By appointment