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Dr Alvina Hoffmann is a Lecturer in International Relations at the Department of War Studies. Her interdisciplinary research in International Political Sociology examines human rights, democracy, authorisation and the figure of the spokesperson. 

She completed her BA (Hons.) at King’s College London and holds an MSc in International Relations from LSE and a Master’s in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action from Sciences Po Paris. She received her PhD in International Relations from the Department of War Studies, King’s College London in 2021.

Research Interests 

  • International Political Sociology 
  • Critical Security Studies 
  • Critical International Relations Theory 
  • Human rights struggles of minorities 
  • (Bourdieusian) socio-legal studies 
  • Symbolic power and violence 
  • Spokespersons 
  • Authority and Authorisation 

Alvina is an interdisciplinary researcher with interests in social and political theory, socio-legal studies as well as biographical methods. She uses these approaches to study dynamics of symbolic power and the social worlds of human rights law, expertise and claims. Her first research project examined human rights claims from the perspective of those who claim to speak on behalf of communities and peoples. It traces the various social, political and legal mechanisms that authorise some actors to speak as spokespersons in the name of someone or an aspirational notion of universalism. She analysed these dynamics in the context of human rights struggles in annexed Crimea and Sápmi, and provided the first systematic sociological analysis of UN special rapporteurs as a body of independent human rights experts.

Another line of inquiry analyses human rights claims of Internet users and its effects on imaginaries of citizenship, territory and universal aspirations for human rights across national boundaries. This project contributes to critical approaches to Intelligence Studies.

Her next project will analyse the emergence of human rights law as an academic discipline and its effect on democracy and rights claims.


Jorg Kustermans, Ted Svensson, Julia Costa López, Tracey Blasenheim & Alvina Hoffmann (2021). Ritual and authority in world politics, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, DOI: 10.1080/09557571.2021.1975647

Alvina Hoffmann (2021). The transnational and the international: from critique of statism to transversal lines, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, DOI: 10.1080/09557571.2021.1893271

Hager Ben Jaffel, Alvina Hoffmann, Oliver Kearns, Sebastian Larsson (2020). Collective Discussion: Toward Critical Approaches to Intelligence as a Social Phenomenon, International Political Sociology, Volume 14, Issue 3, Pages 323–344, DOI:

Alvina Hoffmann (2017). The Urbanization of Warfare: Historical Development and Contemporary Challenges for International Humanitarian Law, St Antony’s International Review, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 176–89, DOI:

Please visit the Research Portal for a full list of Alvina's publications. 


  • Critical Security Studies (BA3) (Convenor)
  • Global Politics (BA2) (Co-Convenor)
  • International Relations Theory (BA1) (Co-Convenor)