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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Supervisors and their Role

Master's by Research students in Politics & International Relations are allocated at least one supervisor. You are encouraged to contact staff with similar interests to yours and discuss ideas prior to application.
Supervisor Topics Interested in Supervising

Lucy Abbott

Regionalism, Public Sphere, The Gulf States, Process Tracing, International Relations, Democratic Theory

nida alahmad
Nida Alahmad

Middle East Politics, political theory, State building, State formation, Performativity, Political philosophy, Political Economy of Oil, state theory, Sectarianism, Science and technology studies

Jamie Allinson

Historical sociology, International Relations, International theory, Marxism, Middle East Politics, political theory, Revolutions

I am interested in supervising PhD applicants working on Middle Eastern politics and International Relations, especially those using critical theory and historical sociology approaches.

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Karlo Basta

Comparative politics, nationalism and national identity, ethnic conflict, state theory, institutionalism and institutional symbolism, federalism, secession, business & politics, time & events, mobilization, European politics, interpretivism, discourse analysis, process-tracing

Comparative nationalism; power-sharing; federalism and identity; the role of time and temporality in social movement mobilization; institutions and institutionalism (particularly sociological and discursive approaches); business and politics

Shaun Bevan
Shaun Bevan

Agenda-Setting, Public policy, interest groups, Public Opinion, political behaviour, Time Series Analysis, Event History Analysis, Measurement

Shaun is interested in students doing UK, US and/or Comparative work on, Agenda-setting, Public Policy, Interest Groups, Political Institutions and Political Behavior, particularly related to Public Opinion. He is also interested in projects focused on using dynamic, time series data.

Andrea Birdsall

Human rights, International Relations, International Law & International Relations, Humanitarian intervention, Norms, Counterterrorism

I am particularly interested in supervising dissertations that deal with the interplay between International Relations and International Law and issues related to Human Rights.

June Lake
Elizabeth Bomberg

Environment, Sustainability, shale governance, community energy, mobilization

Environmental politics and politics; climate politics and activism; community energy; shale governance; religion and environment; EU or US environmental policy; comparative environmental politics; NGOs, multilevel governance and environment

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Christina Boswell

Political Sociology, Use of Research in Policy, Immigration and asylum policy, Politics of immigration, Public policy

Christina is interested in supervising PhD research in three main areas: (1) immigration, asylum and integration policy (2) the uses of research in politics and policymaking, and (3) organizational sociology and systems theoretic approaches to public policy.

Julia Calvert

International political economy, International Law & International Relations, Political Sociology, International development, trade, foreign investment, investor-state dispute settlement, Extractive industries and resource governance, Latin America, Canadian foreign economic policy

Alan Convery
Alan Convery

Britain, Multi-level party politics, British Politics, Conservative Party, Conservative politics, Scottish Politics, Welsh politics

Philip Cook, University of Edinburgh
Philip Cook

Political Philosophy, Social Justice, Education and Schools, Children and Childhood, Family Relationships, Children and Democracy, Contractualism, Children and Young People, Child Labour, Applied ethics, the philosophy of social sciences, Egalitarianism

I am happy to supervise students working in contemporary political philosophy, particularly on topics of social justice, equality, childhood, schooling/education, family relations, free speech/censorship, democracy, and contractualism.

Laura Cram

European public policy, European Identity, Neuropolitics of identity, Neuropolitics of public policy, experimental research, fMRI studies, physiological studies, behavioural games, identity triggers, national identity, symbols, Brexit processes, Scotland and EU

Elizabeth Cripps

Climate change ethics, Climate justice, Collective responsibility, Justice and non-human animals, Population and justice, Political theory, Political philosophy, Justice and environment, Parental duties

Liz welcomes enquiries from potential PhD candidates in climate change ethics or justice, duties to non-human animals, population ethics, or parental duties. For more on why to do a PhD in political philosophy in Edinburgh PIR, please see Edinburgh PhD in Political Theory.

Chad Damro
Chad Damro

EU external relations, European Union, International Relations, International Political Economy, Comparative Politics, Transatlantic Relations, Regulatory Politics

Chad is able to offer advanced research supervision on most topics related to European Union external relations, in particular IPE/IR studies of EU regulatory, trade, competition and environmental relations with other state and non-state actors (including international organisations and regions).

Jean-Francois Daoust

Political behaviour, Public opinion and Political attitudes, Research methods, Election campaigning, Political parties, Canada/Quebec, Comparative Politics, nationalism

Broadly defined: political behavior, public opinion, quantitative methods, political attitudes, comparative politics, Canadian/Québec politics, political communication, and political psychology.

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Sara Rich Dorman

African Politics, nationalism and the post-colonial state in Africa, Citizenship and belonging, Elections, State formation

Sara welcomes inquiries from prospective students interested in researching African Politics. Current and recently finished PhD students whom she supervises/d have conducted research in Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Somaliland, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Russia. Recent topics include land reform, violence, religion, labour, NGOs and social movements in Southern Africa; borders, leadership succession, trade and identity in the Horn of Africa; corruption, mutinies and elections in West Africa.

Claire Duncanson
Claire Duncanson

Gender, gender and international relations, International peacebuilding, International Peace and Security, gender and security, Feminism, Masculinities, The Military in Global Politics, feminist political economy, feminist political ecology, Women, peace and security agenda

I welcome enquiries about supervision in all aspects of gender and International Relations, including gender and peacekeeping/peacebuilding, Women, Peace and Security, feminist political economy in post-war contexts, military masculinities, gender and foreign policy and gender and nuclear weapons.

Oliver Escobar
Oliver Escobar

Public participation, participatory and deliberative democracy, collaborative governance and partnerships, public dialogue and deliberation, facilitation and mediation, democratic innovations, Interpretive Policy Analysis, political ethnography, Mixed methods, in/equalities, participatory and deliberative methodologies, smart cities, social innovation, power, politics of science and technology, governance, democracy, civic tech, social commons, digital public sphere

Democratic innovations, public participation, participatory and deliberative democracy, policymaking, governance, public engagement, public dialogue and deliberation, political communication, social innovation, social economy, social commons, digital public sphere

Islas Canarias
Darrick Evensen

Climate change and energy policy, Environmental Sociology, Environmental Policy, Shale gas, Energy transitions, North America, European Union, United Kingdom, Sense of place, Social representations

I am interested in supervising almost anything innovative, exciting, and (hopefully) controversial in the area of energy and climate social science and energy/climate policy. I am interested in topics related to: energy transitions, social movements, public perceptions, sense of place, social representations, community energy, renewables, unconventional fossil fuels, comparative international policy, devolved governance in the UK, and many other content areas.

Carmen Gebhard
Carmen Gebhard

Comparative European Politics, Small States, regional autonomies, European Union foreign and security policy, security and defence cooperation, inter-organizationalism

Global, European and Transatlantic Security; European integration; European foreign and security policy; EU-NATO; small state foreign policy; regional autonomies; sub-regionalism; Strategic Studies; Security and Defence Cooperation;

Marc Geddes

British politics, parliamentary studies, UK Parliament, interpretive political science, evidence in politics, ethnography, democracy

I would be interested in supervising PhD applicants within legislative studies, governance issues and/or those interested in adopting interpretive approaches to political science.

Iain Hardie
Iain Hardie

Comparative Political Economy, International Political Economy, Financial Markets, Financialization

Iain welcomes enquiries from prospective students interested in research into issues surrounding the politics of markets, particularly financial markets, from an international political economy or comparative political perspective, and on financialization and its impact on governments. Research can cover any geographic area.

Tim Hayward

Social Philosophy, epistemic obligations, fairness

linkages of global justice, human rights & ecological debt; ethics and international affairs, particularly the determinants of international norms; applied epistemology, particularly in relation to major contemporary controversies.

Ailsa Henderson

Political behaviour, political culture, Regionalism, voting and elections, comparative territorial politics, UK, Scotland, Quebec-Scotland comparisons, European values, Public opinion and Political attitudes

political behaviour, political culture, referendums and elections, civic engagement, nationalism (esp Scotland-Quebec comparisons)

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Stephen Hill

International Relations, Peace and conflict, Counterterrorism, Policing

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Andrew Hom

International Relations, Social constructivism, Narratives, timing / time / temporality, International Security, critical security studies, disciplinary history, classical realism, International Relations Theory

Timing, time, & temporality | IR theory - especially classical realism, constructivism, and critical approaches | Security | Intellectual and disciplinary history of IR | Sociological approaches to IR

Juliet Kaarbo

Foreign Policy Analysis, political psychology

foreign & security policy * political psychology * political leadership * group decision-making * parliamentary systems * the role of individuals and domestic politics in international relations

Katarzyna (Kasia) Kaczmarska

Sociology of Knowledge, International theory, Research methodology, Russian foreign and domestic politics, the post-Soviet region, Academic freedom

I am interested in supervising PhD projects in the sociology of IR knowledge, academic freedom, the broad field of IR beyond the West and Global IR as well as in any area of post-Soviet politics, particularly topics related to Russia.

Meryl Kenny
Meryl Kenny

Women and politics, gender and political institutions, Feminist institutionalism, political parties, Political recruitment, Political representation, Territorial Politics

I am able to offer PhD supervision in most areas relating to gender politics (international, national and local), party politics, elections and political representation, and British and comparative politics. I would particularly welcome prospective students with interests in feminist and institutionalist approaches to the study of party politics, political recruitment, and/or post-devolution politics in the UK.

Harshan Kumarasingham

British Politics, Decolonisation, Comparative Politics, Political History, South Asia, Commonwealth Politics and History, Monarchy, Australasia, British Empire, Constitutional Politics, Constitutional History, Parliamentary Studies, Westminster Model, State-Building, South-East Asia, Executive Power

Dr Kumarasingham is happy to discuss supervising PhD applicants interested in the following areas: - British Politics and Institutions - Westminster Model - Parliamentary Systems - Regime Types - Decolonisation - Modern British Political History - Imperial and Commonwealth History and Politics - South Asian History and Politics - Constitutional History and Politics - Commonwealth Comparative Politics - especially Australasia and Asia

Dr Sarah Liu
Sarah Liu

Gender, women's and social movements, women's political representation, women's political participation, migration and citizenship, media, East Asian politics

Fiona Mackay

Gender and political institutions, gender mainstreaming, gender and public policy, Feminist institutionalism, women's movements, International Organisations, Feminism, Institutions and institutional change, organizations and institutions, Political representation, gender based violence, women and politics, Inequality & diversity

I welcome proposals on most topics in the fields of women & politics, and gender and political institutions. I am particularly interested in the gendering effects of political institutions, gender and institutional innovation (such as quotas, gender mainstreaming, "gender-equal" constitutions etc) at global, national and local levels; women's political representation, and gender and devolution in the UK.

Luke March

Moldova, Radical left, Populism, Social movements, Protest, Russian Politics, nationalism

Luke welcomes applications from students considering research in the fields of post-Soviet politics (especially, but not exclusively, Russia and Moldova), populism, the politics of the left (especially radical left).

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Benjamin Martill

European Union's Foreign and Security Policy, British Politics, Populism, Party politics, European Security, Transatlantic Relations

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Nicola McEwen

Territorial Politics, Scottish Politics, Devolution, Multi-level governance, multi-level energy policy, welfare devolution, voting and elections, federal states, identity politics, nationalism

I am interested in supervising research on devolution, nationalism and the politics of Independence, Brexit, public policy, multi-level government, parties and elections, political behaviour

Mihaela Mihai

Critical Social and Political Theory, Arts and politics, Architecture and political theory, Political emotions, Political memory and historical injustice, Comparative constitutionalism, gender, Theories of democracy

I work in contemporary political theory. I am particularly interested in supervising students working on topics related to democratic theory, theories of oppression, political memory, art and politics, political emotions, gender, transitional justice and historical injustice.

James Mitchell

Public policy, Public service reform, Scottish politics, devolution, territorial politics and government, electoral politics, party politics and party membership, and political behaviour

Andrew Neal

International Security, War on terror, Discourse Theory, Sociological Theory, political theory, UK, Britain, critical theory, critical security studies, securitization, constructivism, poststructuralism, Scotland

I am keen to supervise PhD projects in critical security studies and critical terrorism studies. I would also to be happy to supervise projects which more broadly use post-positivist theories and methods. I have expertise in the relationship between politics and security, parliaments, Scotland and security, securitization theory, constructivism, critical theory and poststructuralism, and the works and methods of Michel Foucault.

Kieran Oberman
Kieran Oberman

Political theory, Political philosophy, Global justice, just war theory, Immigration, Immigration and asylum policy, Distributive justice, Social justice

Pontus Odmalm

Comparative European Politics, Politics of immigration, Citizenship, Political parties

Comparative projects with a focus on the following areas: politics of immigration/integration; citizenship; and party competition.

Ugur Ozdemir

Comparative Political Behavior, Spatial Models of Elections, Quantitative Methods, Positive Political Theory

Nicola Perugini

Political violence, Global justice, Human rights, Humanitarianism, Race, International Law & International Relations, Colonialism and imperialism, Visual cultures, Israel/Palestine, Middle East Politics

Political violence, war, human rights, humanitarianism, international law, Middle East politics and conflicts, Israel/Palestine, colonialism, migrations.

Charles Raab

Charlotte Rommerskirchen

European Union, Financial Markets, Mixed Methods, International Political Economy, Comparative Political Economy, Debt Management

Sovereign Debt, Economic and Monetary Union, Comparative and International Political Economy

Ewan Stein

Political Islam, Middle East Politics, Egyptian politics, Arab political thought, Arab-Israeli conflict, state-society relations, International Relations of the Middle East

I am interested in supervising PhD projects in any area of Middle Eastern politics or international relations, particularly topics related to Egypt, political Islam, foreign policy and the role of ideas.

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Wilfried Swenden

Federalism, intergovernmental relations, Governing in divided societies, Indian Politics, Territorial Politics, Multi-level governance, Comparative Politics

federalism and territorial politics, devolution, governing divided societies, territorial party strategies, intergovernmental relations, India, South Asia

Mathias Thaler

Genocide, Global justice, Humanitarian intervention, Ideology, International theory, Marxism, Multiculturalism, Reconciliation, Political forgiveness, Democratic theory, Political violence and non-violence, Pragmatism, Critical Theory, Just War theory, Utopia, Dystopia, Art and Politics

I am interested in supervising projects within the following fields of research: - Contemporary political theory; - History of political thought; - Democratic theory; - Political violence. - Utopianism. If you are interested in having me as your PhD supervisor, please check out our departmental webpage where we (political theorists) outline what we have to offer and what we expect from prospective PhD students: This webpage is very helpful in preparing the proposal: In case you are unsure as to whether I am the right person to serve as your supervisor, feel free to contact me via email with a short summary of your project as well as a recent CV.

Patrick Theiner

International Relations, Regionalism, International development, International Organisations, Innovation Diffusion, Global Health, Internet Governance, European Union, regional organisations, international sports, international negotiation, Comparative Regionalism, political architecture

International organizations, regional organizations, theories of international relations, non-state actors, global public health, international development cooperation, internet governance, quantitative and mixed method designs, international sports

Andrew Thompson

Quantitative Methods, Public policy, Citizenship, perception measurement, surveys, statistical analysis, involvement, Participation, European Union, Health policy

NB Supervision would be supplementary to a student having a designated member of academic staff * Citizens' perceptions of public services * Meaning of citizen involvement and participation * Widening participation in higher education * Effect of public involvement on quality of services * Civil society impact on public policies * Attitudes of European Union institutional officials

O Turner
Oliver Turner

US foreign policy, US-China/Asia relations, British foreign policy in Asia, Critical geopolitics, International relations of East/South East Asia, Decolonisation

Oliver is interested in supervising PhD dissertations on US, British or European foreign policies in East/South East Asia; and the international politics of East and South East Asia, all in historical and/or contemporary contexts.

Shaina Western

Organizations and institutions, Human rights, International Law & International Relations, Quantitative Methods

International organizations, international negotiations, treaties, and cooperation.

Kate Wright
Kate Wright

Media, Journalism, International news, Humanitarianism, Human rights, Peace and conflict, Communication theories, NGOs, State-media relations, soft power, public diplomacy

I supervise doctoral candidates studying media and communications. My remit is interdisciplinary, so I can act as a co-supervisor for PhD students working in many different disciplines, not just the subjects listed here. However, I am expecting a large new cohort in Sept 2020, so do not currently have the capacity to take on any additional new PhD students this coming academic year.

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