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Dr Aggie Hirst is Lecturer in International Relations Theory and Methods in the Department of War Studies. Her BA, MA, and doctoral degrees were completed at the University of Manchester. Her ESRC-funded PhD exploring the Straussian/neoconservative promotion of the 2003 invasion of Iraq was completed in 2010. Prior to joining King’s in 2017, Dr Hirst held lectureships at the University of Leeds and City, University of London. Her first book was published with Routledge in 2013.

Dr Hirst’s research is situated in the fields of IR/political theory and US foreign and military affairs. Her main current project, Play as Pedagogy, develops an analysis of the US military’s use of wargames and simulations for teaching and training purposes. Through an exploration of the phenomena of play and immersion, the project argues that the ‘flow state’ generated by gaming is being used to instil doctrine and to cultivate mental and physical muscle memory in service members. She is also co-author of a project titled Radicalising Post-Positivism, which addresses critical theories’ tendency to privilege the subject of study over the object.

Research Interests

  • International Relations Theory (traditional and critical)
  • US Foreign Policy
  • Wargames, Videogames, Simulations
  • Political Theory and Continental Philosophy
  • Political Violence


Dr Hirst teaches on the following modules:


  • 4SSW1006 International Relations Theories (Convenor)
  • 5SSW2061 Contemporary International Relations Theory


  • 7SSWM079 Theories, Concepts and Methods in International Relations



2013, 2016 Leo Strauss and the Invasion of Iraq: Encountering the Abyss (Abingdon; New York: Routledge).


  • 2015 ‘Derrida and Political Resistance: The Radical Potential of Deconstruction’, Globalizations, 12 (1), 6-24.
  • 2013 ‘Violence, Self-Authorship and the ‘Death of God’: The ‘Traps’ of the Messianic and the Tragic’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 42 (1), 135-154.
  • 2013 (with N. Michelsen) ‘Introduction: International Relations and the ‘Death of God’’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 42 (1), 103-113.
  • 2012 ‘Leo Strauss and International Relations: The Politics of Modernity’s Abyss’, International Politics, 49 (6), 645-670.


  • 2016 ‘Derrida and Political Resistance: The Radical Potential of Deconstruction’ in C. Rossdale (ed.) Occupying Subjectivity: Being and Becoming in the 21st Century (Abingdon; New York: Routledge).
  • 2010 ‘Straussianism and Post-Structuralism: Two Sides of the Same Coin?’ in T. Burns and J. Connelly (eds.), The Legacy of Leo Strauss (Exeter; Charlottesville: Imprint Academic), 67-84.
  • 2009 ‘Intellectuals and US Foreign Policy’ in I. Parmar, L. B. Miller, and M. Ledwidge (eds.), New Directions in US Foreign Policy (London; New York: Routledge), 106-119.


  • 2017 ‘Review: of Conspiracy Theory and American Foreign Policy, Global Discourse, 7 (17), 371-373.
  • 2016 ‘The Legacies and Trajectories of Poststructuralism’, European Political Science, 15, 564-566.

PhD Supervision

Dr Hirst currently co-supervises Ms Sahra Taylor (City, University of London) and Mr Tom Hooper (Queen Mary, University of London).