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PhD Students

Alvina Hoffmann


Research Interests:

  • International Political Sociology
  • Feminist and Postcolonial Approaches Critical Geopolitics
  • Citizenship
  • Representation
  • Political Subjectivity


Reclaiming Democracy – Political Being in Geopoliticised Contexts


From the so-called European ‘refugee crisis’, to the occupation of the Crimean
peninsula by Russia to Transatlantic surveillance practices colonizing digital
space, this thesis takes issue with the employment of cynical realpolitik to make sense of political events, stressing the causal relationship between geography and politics. Despite academic deconstruction and critique of geographical-determinist accounts, practitioners as well as leading think tanks continue to frame international politics as realpolitik and fail to find alternative ways to think about the nexus of territory, bureaucracy of power, and population. What is at stake in this geopoliticised representation? It seems that it is democratic political space and ‘political being’ that become whitewashed and objectified in the process of their geo-politicisation. My thesis aims to explore precisely this tension between geopolitical and citizenship practices. The overarching question is: How is ‘political being’ configured in geopoliticised contexts? It seems as if
territory has been inhabited by the dominant political forces of policy-makers,
bureaucratic elites and political advisors, rather than peoples. This not only
silences the effects on people’s everyday lives, but also their resistance
practices and acts of citizenship. This thesis takes issue with the dynamics
that erase the local and peoples from the geopolitical picture.


Primary: Professor Didier Bigo

Secondary: Professor Vivienne Jabri


I hold an MSc in International Relations from LSE and a Master’s in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action from Sciences Po Paris. I have been involved with Millennium: Journal of International Studies since 2014, as member of the editorial board, conference organizer of the journal’s annual conferences in 2016 and 2017, social media officer and review article editor. Moreover, I am part of the features team of e-International Relations, interviewing academics and commissioning book reviews as associate features editor. My doctorate is funded by the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP) and is inspired by an international political sociology approach, investigating the nexus between geopolitics, citizenship and democracy as it unfolds in three different sites. 

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