Boundary Work in International Relations (ongoing)
Special issue project.
Theorising Communities of Practice, esp. the Interaction of CoP (ongoing)
Special issue project, forthcoming in 2023.
Learning from Failure in the Field: Crisis Diplomacy in Comparative Perspective (ongoing)
This projects investigates the crisis diplomacy of EU countries in two select third country contexts, that is, in the wake of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan in 2021 as well as during the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Feminist Foreign Policy (Lecture Series, Summer Semester 2023)
Lecture Series organised together with Jannis Kappelmann (UHH), IFSH and HSU, Hamburg. Follow the link for video catalogue.
Book Project "European Union Communities of Practice: European Union Communities of Practice Diplomacy and Boundary Work in Ukraine" (completed 2022)
This book provides a practice-based analysis of European Union (EU) diplomacy and community-building.
Unlike studies focusing on how EU community-building proceeds centrally in Brussels, this book turns to EU diplomacy in its bordering state of Ukraine. At a time when the EU’s internal cohesion is being put to the test, this book provides novel insights into how feelings of belonging are produced amongst its members in the absence of a homogenous ‘we’. Transcending the traditional dichotomy between macro-structures and micro-processes of interaction, the book demonstrates that the EU’s large-scale community depends for its existence on practical instantiations of community-building in distinct ‘communities of practice’. Using the case of an EU diplomatic ‘community of practice’ in Kyiv, Ukraine, takes these questions to the EU’s margins, highlighting that the boundaries of community are key sites in which community materialises. The in-depth case study identifies diplomats’ ‘boundary work’ as the constitutive rule that makes the local ‘community of practice’ cohere and create feelings of belonging to the large-scale polity of the EU.
This book will be of interest to researchers of European studies, as well as to those working on global cooperation and international relations more broadly.
From Arctic Exceptionalism to Global Arctic: Exploring Pathways of Cooperation in Circumpolar Arctic Governance (Senior Fellowship Project at Käte Hamburger Kolleg/CGR21, 4/2020-3/2021)
With sea ice thinning and new possibilities for trade routes opening up, the Arctic is undergoing sustained changes, fuelling neo-realist visions of conflict and future competition over resources among Arctic and non-Arctic states. Despite these nightmarish imaginaries, Arctic governance continues to be largely cooperative rather than conflictual. In fact, it is considered a laboratory for studying global governance processes that are characterised by a plurality of stakeholders. Hence, the newly emerging narrative of the 'Global Arctic' is gaining ever more traction. Yet, how is this possible in light of this increasingly contested governance space?
To solve this puzzle, the project zooms in on the Arctic Council as the primary intergovernmental policy forum that structures Circumpolar Governance and identifies those processes and mechanisms that bring about cooperation rather than conflict in the Arctic Council. Through the lens of practice theory and critical border studies, it proposes that the Arctic Council fosters sustainable governance pathways through the ‘boundary work’ practiced by its multiple epistemic communities. As a ‘boundary organisation’, then, it has the ability to translate between multiple social worlds, and thus to span the boundaries of different knowledge regimes that range from state-centric forms of knowledge production over Western-centric scientific expertise to more traditional indigenous forms of knowledge.
Over time, said boundary work of the Arctic Council’s diverse epistemic communities brings about regimes of mutual accountability and organising principles that are vital for solving potential disputes peacefully and cooperatively – rather than through confrontation and (threats of) military build-up. The focus on the Arctic Council’s boundary work promises to provide new insights into how global governance institutions can develop sustainable pathways of global cooperation in the face of increasingly pluralistic policy settings.
Dissertation Topic: Constituting Community, Practising Boundaries: European Union Diplomacy in Ukraine (completed 2015)
The project contends that the concept of ‘community’ can be analytically captured through boundary encounters of individuals in 'communities of practice'. For the purpose of validating this argument, the project investigates how the European Union (EU) as a macro-social ‘community of values’ is (re)produced by way of EUropean diplomatic missions at its borders, that is in its neighbouring state Ukraine. As a community-creating device then, practice among diplomats from both the EU’s member states as well as from the European External Action Service (EEAS) is examined as to learn whether and, if so, how they come to ‘represent’ the EU’s macro-community.Taking Ukraine as the site of struggle for the constitution of the EU’s community is chosen as to highlight the role of the ‘border’ in enhancing the EU diplomats’ awareness for ‘their’ community. For Ukraine as the borderland is considered the space where ‘the inside’ is reproduced on ‘the outside’ vis-à-vis a perceived ‘other’. An analysis of interviews conducted with senior EU diplomats posted in Kyiv, Ukraine, will support my argument about how the ‘European community of values’ is given meaning by the practices of its diplomatic representatives.
Field Work Activities during PhD:
- June 2014: final round of interviews with senior EU and EU-member state diplomats in Kyiv, Ukraine.
- Aug-Oct 2012: I did a two-month long field trip to Kyiv, Ukraine, to conduct interviews with senior EU and EU-member state diplomats
- Nov-Dec 2012: I was a visiting PhD fellow at CEURUS, University of Tartu, Estonia, and got supervised by Prof. Viacheslav Morozov. This research was supported by the European Social Fund’s Doctoral Studies and Internationalisation Programme DoRa.