Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Ivar Vargas Rivas

Ivar Vargas Rivas
Ivar Vargas Rivas
Politics and International Relations School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
International Security, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, International Humanitarian Law, Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems, Pierre Bourdieu, Ontological Security Theory, Chile, International Relations, AI ethics, Disarmament, ethnography

PhD Title

The international debate on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems: a Chilean perspective


Dr Nicola Perugini

Dr Andy Hom 


During the Insights Online Week I delivered a workshop on 'Asking Good Questions' developed by Dr Lani Watson, and supported two groups of undergraduate students through the entire week by facilitating discussions and answering questions to help them develop their ideas for their group projects (a digital artefact for a time capsule reflecting about today's world of work). I was also in charge of reviewing their projects, as well as of preparing and providing feedback to each group.

  • Bilateral Affairs Officer and International Cooperation Coordinator, International Relations Department, Chile's Ministry of Energy (September 2015 - August 2019).

I was resposible for advancing the process of energy integration and cross-border power interconnections between Chile and neighbouring countries, particularly involved in the negotiation of several Additional Protocols (No 2830 and 31to the Economic Complementation Agreement No 16 between the Republics of Chile and Argentina.

In that role, I was also in charge of attracting international funds of technical cooperation from Multilateral Development Banks (IADB, CAF, etc.) to support Chile's Sustainable Energy Programme and Chile's Energy Agenda, as well as energy integration studies with Argentina and Peru. In parallel, I was involved in the negotiations and implementation of the German-Chilean Energy Partnership along with the German BMWi.

  • Multilateral Projects Coordinator, International Cooperation Programme, Chile's National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (October 2011 - May 2014).

I was in charge of implementing several international projects of scientific and technological cooperation between Chile and the EU financed by the FP7 (CHIEP-II, ENSOCIO-LA and CEST+I).


  • PhD Politics, The University of Edinburgh, UK, 2019 - present. 
  • Master of International Relations, The University of Melbourne, Australia (First Class Honours), 2014 - 2015.
  • Bachelor of Political and Administrative Sciences and Major in Political Science, University of Concepción, Chile (Highest Distinction), 2006 - 2011. 

Funding and Awards

  • International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP), "U.S. Energy Policy - Security, Independence, and Innovation", U.S. Department of State (June 2019).
  • Scholarship for PhD Studies Abroad (Becas Chile), Conicyt, Grant No 72200258 (June 2019).
  • Scholarship for Master's Degree Studies Abroad (Becas Chile), Conicyt, Grant No 73140416 (June 2013).
  • Excellence Scholarship, University of Concepción, Chile (March 2011).


  • Presentation: Chile and the Debate on Autonomous Weapons

Technology and Global Governance Virtual Forum, The University of Warwick, UK, 31 July 2020, <​>

Critical Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence Ethics Conference (CPAIE20), The University of Edinburgh, UK, 22-23 October 2020, <>  

United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Santiago, Chile, 5-6 September 2018, <>