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Professor Vivienne Jabri


Professor of International Politics

Department of War Studies

JABRI.2018Room K6.17
King's College London
London WC2R 2LS
Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 2862
Fax: +44 (0)20 7848 2026

Office hours: Thursday 11.30-13.00




I am Professor of International Politics in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. I am also Director of the ESRC London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership, which is led by King’s, in partnership with Imperial College and Queen Mary, University of London.  I served on the Politics and International Studies sub-panel for REF2014. I joined King’s in 2003, having previously lectured at the University of St. Andrews and the University of Kent. 

My research focuses on international political theory, critical social and political theory, postcolonialism, and feminist perspectives, with specific interest in the politics of conflict, violence and security practices. I have worked with the arts, developing research and co-curating an exhibition, Traces of War. Primarily in recent work, I have written on the nexus between international politics and war, specifically how war and interventionist practices relate to sovereignty, political community, subjectivity, the international politics of culture and race. My current research and writing focus on aesthetic theory and understandings of conflict, investigations into postcolonial international politics, developing interdisciplinary perspectives on the relationship between violence and the everyday, and how we might understand responses to violence through conceptions of cosmopolitan political community in a globalised world. I am currently working on my new book, devoted to the subject of the constitution of the postcolonial international.

I have held European Commission funding for collaborative research on the relationship between practices of security, war, and their implications for liberties and rights. My most recent books include War and the Transformation of Global Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007 and 2nd edition, 2010) and The Postcolonial Subject: Claiming Politics/Governing Others in Late Modernity (Routledge, 2013). 

I recently won a Leverhulme Artist in Residence Award, for the Indian artist, Baptiste Coelho, to work on a project, ‘The Fabric of War.’ The project formed part of a larger co-curated project devoted to the theme of war and the everyday, Traces of War, exhibited at the Indigo Rooms, Somerset House East,  in the autumn of 2016.

I was conferred the Distinguished Scholar Award at International Studies Association in 2015.

Research Interests

 My research interests include:

  • Critical and poststructural theories of politics and international relations.
  • War and political violence in the government of populations.
  • Cosmopolitanism and the ‘international’ as political space.
  • Gender and feminist theory.
  • The politics of security.
  • The politics of identity/difference and postcolonial theory.
  • Art, aesthetic theory, and politics.

For a list of publications please refer to the Research Portal or download this document


I currently teach and convene the following MA module:

7SSWM159 Violence of the State

PhD Supervision

I am interested in receiving MPhil/PhD applications in the following areas:

  • Critical and poststructural theories of politics and international relations.
  • War, statebuilding and peacebuilding in the government of populations.
  • Cosmopolitan modernity and the juridical/political structure of the international.
  • Critical understandings of the politics of security/liberty.
  • Postcolonial theory, feminist theory, and the international politics of race, culture, and gender.
  • Art, aesthetic theory, and politics.

Current supervision

I am currently supervising the following MPhil/PhD projects: 

  • Hanna Ketola, Gender, Agency and Peace-building Operations: The Case of Nepal
  • Malual Dor, Creating a State: South Sudan in Conflict and Peace.
  • Laurie Benson, Creative Expression, Conflict, and Identity between Postcolonial France and Algeria
  • Heini Skorini, Defamation of Religion and Freedom of Expression: Examining the Clash in the UN Human Rights Council
  • Joana Cook, Women and Counterterrorism: An Examination of the Role and Agency of Women in the Development of Security in Yemen
  • Josefin Hedlund, Violent Solidarity: Subjectivity, Sweden, and the Frames that Make War Possible
  • Bobby Farnan, Ranciere, Democratic Politics, and the Borderland Refugee Camp.
  • Thomas Mercier, Legitimacy and the political definition of violence.
  • Maria O’Reilly, Memory, Gender and liberal peacebuilding in post-conflict Bosnia.
  • Pablo de Orellana, Sponsorship in International Politics: A Postcolonial Diplomatic Practice
  • Asima Sheikh, ‘Prevent’ as a Counter-terrorism Policy and Local Government in the United Kingdom.
Expertise and Public Engagement

I serve on the Editorial Boards of the journals International Political Sociology and Security Dialogue, and am a member of the Politics and International Studies subpanel for the 2014 REF.

I am currently working on three projects:

The first develops the relationship between cosmopolitanism, the government of populations through interventionist practices (including war, peace-building and state-building operations), and postcolonial subjectivity. The project draws on and develops critical, poststructural, and postcolonial theory, and uses a genealogical, discourse analytic, and interpretative methodology.

My work on the ‘matrix of war’ continues in the second project, with particular reference to the relationship between interventionist war and wider practices associated with security, from incarceration, to racial/cultural profiling, to the politics of community cohesion in the liberal, multicultural polity. Both projects constitute the subject matter for two monographs currently in preparation.

The third project draws on my interest in art, aesthetic theory, and politics and seeks to curate an exhibition of contemporary art focusing on late modernity and postcolonial political subjectivity.


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