Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I would welcome PhD applications in areas related to my research interests below, and I would encourage potential supervisees to get in touch: - international conflict, conflict management and resolution - international organisations, the European Union - state recognition - statehood, sovereignty - secession - unrecognised/ de facto states


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

My research agenda lies at the intersection of IR theory, security and global governance. My expertise is on state recognition and international organisations, especially in the context of conflicts over statehood, unrecognised state, and the European Union. Emanating from this, I am also interested in state theory and sovereignty debates.


Selected projects/ awards:

* Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship (2017-2020): This programme explores the role of international organisations (such as the UN, EU, OSCE, AU or ASEAN) in mostly secessionist conflicts that have produced unrecognised states, i.e. state builders that lack international recognition. Methodologically, it combines the development of typologies of (a) recognition and (b) approaches of international organisations towards unrecognised states with more in-depth process tracing of the ways in which recognition influences approaches of interntional organisations in selected cases of unrecognised states. The programme offers missing findings on the ways in which sovereignty and recognition shape the role of international organisations globally and makes a contribution to a state-centric academic and policy discussion.

* 'The International Dimensions of Unilateral Secession' (co-organised with Dr V Axyonova), EISA Workshops on International Relations (2019).
* 'Dealing with Conflict' University of Birmingham- PRIO Workshop (2018): Together with the Peace Research Institute Oslo and supported by the Internationalisation Fund of the School of Government, I organised a policy-engagement workshop in the Cyprus UN buffer zone, which invited local stakeholders, like the European Commission and the UN, to learn how to deal with the Cyprus conflict from academics working on similar conflicts. Building on the success of the event, more workshops were organised in other conflict-affected areas (Georgia 2018, Kosovo 2019)
* 'Sovereignties of Birmingham', Being Human Festival (2017): Worked with local communities and school pupils on a set of public discussions on sovereignty and what it means to Birmingham, its people and landscape. The events took place in local sites that are important for the history of sovereignt and included themed history walks locally.
* 'Understanding Migration Through Film' (2017): This event was supported by the Alumni Impact Award of the College of Social Sciences and included a screening of the documentary ‘Refugee Highway’ and a discussion on migration with the award-winning filmmaker, Chronis Pehlivanidis, NGO members, students and staff of the University of Birmingham.
* LSE Hellenic Observatory and Neapolis University Post-Doctoral Fellow (2013): The Fellowship built on my PhD research and expanded on the role of the EU in the Cyprus conflict and lessons that can be drawn for similar conflicts between groups that are in the process of integrating more with the EU (e.g. Kosovo).


I joined the department of POLSIS in 2014 and in 2016 I was awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellowship with a project on international organisations, conflict and sovereignty. Before, I was a Research Fellow at the LSE and taught at the Universities of Warwick and Manchester, where I completed my PhD in 2011.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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