School of Social and Political Science

Katarzyna (Kasia) Kaczmarska

Job Title

Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations


Room number


Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)


Research interests

Research interests

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

Topics interested in supervising

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.

If you are interested in being supervised by Katarzyna (Kasia) Kaczmarska, please see the links below (open in new windows) for more information:


I joined the School of Social and Political Science in 2019. My research interests centre on knowledge construction among scholars and practitioners of international politics. I am also interested in the conceptualisations of and challenges to academic freedom. Within this strand, in 2022, I co-edited the International Journal of Human Rights special issue on academic freedom and internationalisation, and - as a SAR/Mellon Fellow - I researched the strategies of grassroots resistance to academic freedom violations in Russia. I am a member of the Academic Freedom Committee of the International Studies Association, ISA, the European Coordinating Committee for Academic Freedom Advocacy, and the Academic Freedom and Internationalisation Working Group, AFIWG. In 2024, I joined the University of Edinburgh Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech Working Group.

I am a keen observer of the post-Soviet region. I comment on Russia's foreign and security policy for LBC News, Coda Story, TBS Radio South Korea, The Conversation and others. At Edinburgh, I teach courses on Russia's relations with the world. With support from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and in cooperation with colleagues at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, I started developing a network that aims to build knowledge and teaching on Ukraine’s foreign and security policy, with a particular focus on the processes of foreign policymaking under conditions of war. 

Before joining the University of Edinburgh, I was a Marie-Skłodowska Curie Fellow at Aberystwyth University and St Petersburg State University. I guest-lectured at the Higher School of Economics in St Petersburg and taught at Aberystwyth University and the OSCE Academy in Bishkek.


  • PhD in International Studies
  • MSc in Development Studies with special reference to Central Asia
  • MA in International Relations

PhD students

  • Abdullah Kesvelioglu
  • Urania Chan, researching Ukraine's foreign policy
  • Rebecca Campbell, researching the securitisation of development in Russia
  • Nicoleta Mirza, researching Russian and Moldovan political narratives

Current research projects

Foreign and Security Policy of Ukraine: The project is funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants (17,000 GBP). Its academic aim is to provide a better understanding of how Ukraine formulates, communicates and carries out its foreign and security policy while deterring Russia’s invasion. The more practical objective is to develop a network facilitating the exchange of ideas, knowledge-building, and teaching on Ukraine’s foreign and security policy, with a particular focus on the processes of foreign policymaking at the time of war. 

Russian policies of influence in the populist-pragmatic nexus: A project funded by the Research Council of Norway (7,2 mln NOK) to examine the ways in which the Russian government pursues its interests vis-à-vis European states.

Research projects completed

Grassroots resistance to academic freedom violations in Russia: A project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Scholars at Risk (8,000 USD) to study how grassroots initiatives in Russia promote knowledge about academic freedom and counter academic freedom violations.

Academic freedom and the virtual space: A project funded by the Strategic Research Support Fund, UofE (1,500 GBP) researches the challenges to academic freedom arising from the move to online teaching and research under the Covid-19 pandemic.

RuKNOW: Knowledge of International Relations in Russia (PI). This Marie Curie Global Fellowship project, funded by the Horizon-2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme (288,000 EUR),  enquired into the links between academic knowledge about international relations and expert advice on foreign policy in Russia. 

Academic freedom, IR knowledge and policy advice in the ‘post-truth’ era: Venture Research Workshop Grant awarded by the International Studies Association (17,925 USD).

Selected publications


2020         Making Global Knowledge in Local Contexts: The Politics of International Relations and Policy Advice in Russia, Routledge

Edited books

2024        Knowledge and Expertise in International Politics. A Handbook, co-edited with Berit Bliesemann de Guevara, Xymena Kurowska, Birgit Poopuu, Andrea Warnecke, forthcoming

Edited Special Issues

2022          The International Journal of Human Rights, Volume 26, Issue 10, Special issue on academic freedom & internationalisation, available here

Peer-reviewed journal articles

2022        Introduction to the special issue on academic freedom and internationalisation, The International Journal of Human Rights, 26:10, pp.1691-1697, with Yeşim Yaprak Yıldız.

2022        Authoritarian modernisation and academic freedom: the contradictions of internationalisation and "pockets of effectiveness" in Russian higher education, Transtext(e)s Transcultures 跨文本跨文化, n°16, with Dmitry Dubrovsky.

2021         IR theory and Area Studies: a plea for displaced knowledge about international politics, Journal of International Relations and Development, Vol. 24(4), pp. 820-847, with Stefanie Ortmann.

2019         Academic community and policymaking in Russia: impact or detachment?, Problems of Post-Communism, Vol. 66(4), pp. 240-252.

2019         Reification in International Relations: The process and consequences of reifying the idea of international society, International Studies Review, Vol. 21(3),  pp.347–372.

2017         Conservative Soft Power: Liberal soft power bias and the ‘hidden’ attraction of Russia, Journal of International Relations and Development, Vol. 22(1), pp.1-27, with Vincent Keating.

2016         ‘But in Asia we, too, are Europeans’: Russia’s multifaceted engagement with the standard of civilisation, International Relations, Vol. 30(4), pp. 432-455.

2015         Russia’s droit de regard: pluralist norms and the sphere of influence, Global Discourse, Vol. 5(3), pp. 434-448.

Chapters in edited volumes

2024        Academic freedom and the contexts of knowledge production, In Knowledge and Expertise in International Politics. A Handbook, Bliesemann de Guevara, Kaczmarska, Kurowska, Poopuu, Warnecke (eds.), forthcoming

2024        Context-centred approaches to knowledge and expertise in International Politics, In Knowledge and Expertise in International Politics. A Handbook, Bliesemann de Guevara, Kaczmarska, Kurowska, Poopuu, Warnecke (eds.), forthcoming

2024        Creating knowledge by editing a handbook: a self-critical reflection, forthcoming

2024        Academic freedom in online learning, In Academic freedom in a plural world: global critical perspectives, Ramanujam and Mégret (eds.), Central European University, forthcoming 2024

2020        Academic freedom in Russia, In Researching academic freedom: guidelines and sample case studies, Kinzelbach (ed.), FAU University Press, pp. 103-140. The volume can be downloaded free of charge.

2020         Theory, ideology and IR’s quest for scientific credibility, In Theory as ideology in international relations: the politics of knowledge, Martill, Schindler (eds.), Routledge, pp. 51-71.

2017         International Society encounters the Russian World: the role of representations in International Relations, In The Anarchical Society at 40: contemporary challenges and prospects, Suganami, Carr, Humphreys (eds.), Oxford University Press, pp. 270-285.

2016         International community as a powerful political myth, In Myths and narratives in international politics: an interpretative approach to studying international relations, Bliesemann de Guevara (ed.), Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 209-228.

2014         Questioning regional international society in Central Asia, In Regions In International Society. The English School at the Sub-Global Level, Karmazin et al., Masaryk University Press

2011         Security Assistance and Border Management, In The European Union and Central Asia, Warkotsch (ed.), Routledge (with John Heathershaw).

Entry for Encyclopedia

2025        Academic freedom, In Elgar Encyclopedia of International Relations, Jahn and Schindler (eds.), forthcoming

2025        Identity, In Elgar Encyclopedia of International Relations, Jahn and Schindler (eds.), forthcoming

2017         International Society, In Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of International Studies, Oxford University Press and the International Studies Association.

Media and opinion pieces

19 January 2022, Russia-Ukraine tensions: power posturing or trouble on the home front for Putin?, The Conversation…;(with Marcin Kaczmarski)

15 July 2021, US-Russia summit: ignoring climate change was a missed opportunity for real cooperation, The Conversation… (with Marcin Kaczmarski)

13 September 2020, Russia’s limits on critical thinking are hitting its academic performance, Times Higher Education    

8 January 2020, Russian ‘foreign agent’ rules are chilling academic freedom, Times Higher Education

21 June 2018, Hard to believe, but we belong here: scholars reflect on impostor syndrome, Times Higher Education,  (multiple authors)

15 March 2018, For Russians, ethics committees are just another form of stultifying bureaucracy, Times Higher Education,

4 April 2018, Russia's influence is much more than propaganda and fake news, Euronews

22 June 2017, Feared for all the wrong reasons? The workings of Russia’s conservative soft power, Open Democracy Russia,

14 August 2014, The thin red line between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Open Democracy Russia,

Staff Hours and Guidance

Mondays, 10-11am and 2-3pm