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Dr Stephan Engelkamp

Dr Stephan Engelkamp

  • Teaching fellows

Teaching Fellow in International Relations

Research subject areas

  • International relations
  • Conflict and security
  • Politics

Contact details


I am a Teaching Fellow in International Relations at the Department of War Studies. I previously lectured at the University of Muenster and at the University of Magdeburg in Germany and was visiting professor at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Lille. I hold a PhD in Political Science from the Graduate School of Politics Muenster, Germany.

My main research interests are global security governance and processes of normalisation in global and European politics; critical approaches to peace and conflict; international relations theory (especially critical norms research and post-colonial approaches); and political anthropology. My research has appeared in journals such as Alternatives, International Studies Perspectives and European Review of International Studies.

Research Interests

My research interests revolve around questions of norms and normalisation processes, the politics of identity construction, and policy-making in the field of International Relations and European Governance. In this regard, I am particularly interested in connecting critical and interpretive approaches in IR with anthropological theories and methods.

My previous research, which resulted in my cumulative PhD thesis titled ‘Writing Norms. Reflexive Norms Research as Political Practice’, develops a critical approach to study norms in international relations inspired by postcolonial, feminist and anthropological research. It was applied to normalisation processes in state practices in both Western and Non-Western contexts, including a case study on representations of military responsibility in German popular culture. Building on this work, the next phase of my research will focus on the dynamics and discursive shifts in the moral grammar of discourse in German (and European) security and identity politics. Empirically, I am interested in how particular narratives become ‘normal’ and how local forms of resistance emerge, for example in postcolonial contexts of ‘nation-building’, in Germany’s struggles of remembering its past, or in the EU’s attempts of constructing a common identity. Finally, I am interested in experimenting with alternative forms of academic writing, such as auto-ethnographic writing, drawing on fictional literature and popular culture.

Recent Publications

Research articles

  • ‘Normalising knowledge? Constructivist norm research as political practice’ (with Katharina Glaab and Judith Renner), European Review of International Studies, 3(3), 2016 
  • ‘Writing norms. Constructivist norm research and the politics of ambiguity’ (with Katharina Glaab), Alternatives: Global – Local - Political, 40(3-4), 2015.
  • ‘Why we should not cut off the king’s head: Ritual sovereignty and the ‘moral grammar’ of the Thai state’, ASIEN, 135(2), 2015.
  • ‘One step forward, two steps back? A reply to Nicole Deitelhoff and Lisbeth Zimmermann’ (with Katharina Glaab and Judith Renner), World Political Science Review, 10(1), 2014.
  • ‘Office hours. How (critical) norm research can regain its voice’ (with Katharina Glaab and Judith Renner), World Political Science Review, 10(1), 2014.
  • ‘Ein Schritt vor, zwei Schritte zurück? Eine Replik auf Nicole Deitelhoff und Lisbeth Zimmermann’ (with Katharina Glaab and Judith Renner), Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen, 20(2), 2013.
  • ‘Discussions across borders: A German-American partnership’ (with Pamela Zeiser and Doris Fuchs), Journal of Political Science Education, 9(4), 2013.
  • ‘In der Sprechstunde. Wie (kritische) Normenforschung ihre Stimme wiederfinden kann’ (with Katharina Glaab and Judith Renner), Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen, 19(2), 2012.
  • ‘It's a family affair. Germany as a responsible actor in popular culture discourse’ (with Philipp Offermann), International Studies Perspectives, 13(3), 2012.
  • ‘Transformation and conflict in Southeast Asia. Introduction’ (with Jos Platenkamp and Susanne Feske), ASIEN, 109, 2008.
  • ‘Moral authority in Burmese politics’, ASIEN, 109, 2008.
  • 'Visualizing peace - the state of the art' (with Kristina Roepstorff and Alexander Spencer), Peace & Change, forthcoming 2020.
  • 'Moving images: visual metaphors of peace in the movie Mango Dreams' (with Kristina Roepstorff and Alexander Spencer), Peace & Change, forthcoming 2020.

Book chapters

  • The Politics of Exception as Fiction: Reading Agamben Through The Batman’ in Ulrich Hamenstädt (ed.) The Interplay Between Political Theory and Movies (Springer VS, Forthcoming).
  • ‘Agamben und die Theorie der Ausnahme in The Batman’ in Ulrich Hamenstädt (ed.) Politische Theorie im Film (Springer VS, 2016).
  • ‘Memento Reloaded: Constructivism vs. Historical Materialism’ (with Ulrich Hamenstädt) in Ulrich Hamenstädt (ed.) Politische Theorie im Film(Springer VS, 2016).
  • ‘Konstruktivismus’ in Susanne Feske, Simon Oerding and Erik Antonczyk (eds.) Einführung in die Internationalen Beziehungen. Ein Lehrbuch(Barbara Budrich, 2014).
  • ‘Kulturelle Dimensionen von Souveränität und die Grenzen des westfälischen Modells in Südostasien’ in Friedrich Arndt, Carmen Dege, Christian Ellermann, Maximilian Mayer, David Teller and Lisbeth Zimmermann (eds.) Ordnungen im Wandel. Globale und lokale Wirklichkeiten im Spiegel transdisziplinärer Analysen (Transcript, 2008).

Reviews and Conference Reports

  • ‘Rezension. Franziska Müller. Im Namen liberaler Normen? Gouvernementalität in den EU-AKP-Beziehungen. Baden-Baden. NOMOS 2015. 355 Seiten. 64 €’, Politische Vierteljahresschrift, 57(4), 2016.
  • ‘Rezension. Weiss, Stefani/Joscha Schmierer (Hg.). 2007. Prekäre Staatlichkeit und internationale Ordnung. VS Verlag’, Zeitschrift für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, 2(1), 2009.
  • ‘Rezension. Jacobsen, Trudy. 2008. Lost goddesses. The denial of female power in Cambodian history. Copenhagen: NIAS Press’, ASIEN112/113, 2009.
  • ‘Konferenzbericht. Workshop der DGA-Nachwuchsgruppe Asienforschung zum Thema Interdisziplinarität’ (with Katharina Glaab), ASIEN, 109, 2008.
  • ‘Rezension. Stockmann, Petra. The new Indonesian Constitutional Court. A study into its beginnings and first years of work’, ASIEN, 107, 2008.
  • ‘Konferenzbericht. Workshop der DGA-Nachwuchsgruppe Asienforschung zum Thema 'Feldforschung in Asien', Ostasiatisches Seminar der Universität zu Köln 23.-25.11.2007’ (with Björn Alpermann), ASIEN, 106, 2008.
  • ‘Rezension. Antweiler, Christoph. Southeast Asia/Südostasien’, ASIEN, 103, 2007.


I teach the following modules:

  • 7SSWM080 Global Governance of Conflict and Security: Theories & Methods (co-convenor)
  • 7SSWM079 Theories, Concepts and Methods in International Relations (co-convenor)
  • 6SSW3006 Power and (In)Security in Global Governance (convenor)
  • 5SSW2049 War in International Order

PhD Supervision

Dr Engelkemp is currently unable to supervise new PhD Students.