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Nick Vaughan-Williams

Nick Vaughan-Williams is Professor of International Security in the Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) at the University of Warwick. He held the Philip Leverhulme Prize for research in Politics and International Studies and was Principal Investigator of the Border Narratives project - an interview with The Leverhulme Trust can be found here (pp.78-9). Since 2015/16 he has served as Head of Department (research leave 2018/19).

His research focuses primarily on the international politics of border security; the changing nature, location, and impact of borders; and bordering practices as a lens to examine questions relating to sovereignty, identity, violence, migration, and everyday politics. He has also undertaken extensive research on citizens' perceptions, experiences, and narratives of security, particularly in the context of migration and border security in the UK/EU.

He is author, co-author, and/or co-editor of nine books including: Europe's Border Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2015, 2017); Border Politics (Edinburgh University Press, 2009, 2012) (Gold Winner, Association for Borderlands Studies Book Award); Everyday Security Threats (Manchester University Press, 2016, 2019); and Critical Security Studies (Routledge, 2010, 2015).

He is currently completing three new books: Vernacular Border Security: Citizens' Narratives of Europe's 'Migration Crisis' (Oxford University Press, forthcoming); Reclaiming Migration: Voices from Europe's 'Migration Crisis', with Nina Perkowski, Vicki Squire, and Dallal Stevens (Manchester University Press, forthcoming); and a 3rd edition of Critical Security Studies, with Columba Peoples (Routledge, forthcoming).

His articles have appeared in academic journals including British Journal of Political Science, Cooperation and Conflict, Environment and Planning B: Society and Space, European Journal of International Relations, European Journal of International Security, International Political Sociology, Political Geography, Review of International Studies, and Security Dialogue (for a full list see Publications).

He has received external research funding as Principal and/or Co-Investigator from the British Academy (Small Grant, Joint Project Grant), the Economic and Social Research Council (Small Grant, Integrator Grant, Urgency Grant), and the Leverhulme Trust (Philip Leverhulme Prize, Early Career Fellowship Mentor).

Research findings have been presented to the EU Commission, Frontex, the UK Cabinet Office, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Findings have also featured in The Atlantic, The Conversation, The Guardian, The Times of Malta, The Times Literary Supplement, The Washington Post, and World Finance.

He is a member of the Editorial Board for Political Geography and the International Scientific Advisory Board for the 'Crises Redefined' profiling area at the University of Jyväskylä (2018-2022). He is founding Co-Editor (with Jenny Edkins) of the Routledge Interventions book series, which has published more than 100 volumes in its first 10 years.

From 2010 to 2015, he was Director of the MA in International Relations and taught PO926 'International Relations: Theories and Issues' in PAIS. As Director of Research Impact (2012-15), he led the preparation and submission of PAIS' six impact cases as part of REF2014.

Before joining Warwick in 2010, he held Lectureships in International Relations at the University of Exeter and the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. His degrees are in Modern History from the University of Oxford (BA Hons, MA Oxon) and in International Relations from the University of Warwick (MA) and the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (PhD). He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Externally-funded research projects

(2016-19) The Leverhulme Trust, 'Everyday Narratives of European Border Security and Insecurity' (2015 Philip Leverhulme Prize in Politics and International Relations, PLP-2015-081) (Principal Investigator).

(2015-17) Economic and Social Research Council, 'Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by Boat: Mapping and Documenting Migratory Journeys and Experiences' (ES/N013646/1) (Co-Investigator), with Vicki Squire (PI), Dallal Stevens, Angeliki Dimitriadi, and Maria Pisani.

(2013-15) Economic and Social Research Council, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Dstl, 'Science and Security: Research Impact and Co-Production of Knowledge' (ES/K011367/1) (Co-Investigator), with Jon Coaffee (PI), Stuart Croft, George Christou, and Oz Hassan.

(2012-13) Economic and Social Research Council, 'Public Perceptions of Threat in Britain: Security in an Age of Austerity' (ES/J004596/1) (Co-Investigator), with Daniel Stevens (PI).

(2011) British Academy-National Science Foundation Taiwan, 'European-East Asian Critical Border Studies' (JP100035) (Principal Investigator), with Joyce C. H. Liu.

(2007-8) British Academy, 'Lines in the Sand? Non-Territorial Bordering Practices in Global Politics' (SG-50847) (Principal Investigator), with Noel Parker.

(2003-6) Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, 'Border Studies Research Studentship', Department of International Politics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Post-doctoral mentoring

(2018-21) The Leverhulme Trust, 'The EU's Contested Forms of Border Governance in the Mediterranean Sea', Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship awarded to Dr Maurice Stierl (Mentor).

(2018-21) The Leverhulme Trust, 'The Enemy Inside the Gates: Anti-Elite Hostility and the Political Agency of the "Everyday" in Europe and the US', Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship awarded to Dr Georg Lofflmann (Mentor).

PhD supervision

(2011) Dr Sarah Bulmer, ‘Securing the Gender Order: Homosexuality in the British Armed Forces’, University of Exeter (primary supervisor). University scholarship.

(2014) Dr Georg Lofflmann, ‘The Fractured Consensus: How competing visions of grand strategy challenge the geopolitical identity of American leadership under the Obama presidency’, University of Warwick (co-supervised with Stuart Croft).

(2014) Dr Maurice Stierl, ‘Migration Resistance as Border Politics: Other Imaginaries of EUrope’, University of Warwick (co-supervised with James Brassett). University scholarship.

(2015) Dr Hidefumi Nishiyama, ‘Race, Biometrics, and Security in Modern Japan: A History of the Government of Race’, University of Warwick (co-supervised with Chris Hughes). Department scholarship.

(2015) Dr Tanvi Pate, ‘US and the Global Nuclear Order: Narrative Identity and Representation of India as the ‘Other’’, University of Warwick (co-supervised with Trevor McCrisken).

(2016) Dr Miriam Grinberg, ‘The US-Japan alliance and the relocation of Futenma: Sites of discursive exchange in the reproduction of security alliances’, University of Warwick (co-supervised with Chris Hughes). Department scholarship.

(2017) Dr Victoria Pereyra Iraola, ‘Struggles against deemed disposability: Counter-conduct and carceral governmentality around Federal Prisons in Argentina’, University of Warwick (co-supervised with Shirin Rai). University scholarship.

(2018) Dr Mara Duer, ‘The Right to Belong to the Land: Coloniality and Resistance in the Araucanía’, University of Warwick (co-supervised with Stuart Elden). Department scholarship.


Professor of International Security and Head of Department




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