My research focuses on International Political Sociology, Critical Security/Critical Military Studies, discourse theory, German and U.S. foreign policy and, more recently, populism.


The German Politics of Military Force: The Discursive Production of Out-of-Area Operations

This project is based on my doctoral dissertation, which was recently published as a book. It analyzes the discursive production of what I call the German “out of area consensus” that emerged in the German Bundestag after unification. The empirical basis is a discourse analysis of German parliamentary debates from 1987 to 2013.

Project Publications:

  • The Politics of Military Force: Antimilitarism, Ideational Change and Post-Cold War German Security Discourse, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press (“Configurations: Critical Studies of World Politics” series), 2020.
  • “The Political Production of Ethical War: Rethinking the Ethics/Politics Nexus with Laclau,” Critical Studies on Security, 7:3 (2019), pp. 230-242, doi: 10.1080/21624887.2019.1690861 .
  • “Securitization as Discursive (Re)Articulation: Explaining the Relative Effectiveness of Threat Construction,” New Political Science 41:2 (2019), pp. 294-312, doi: 10.1080/07393148.2019.1596682
  • “Poststrukturalistische Diskurstheorie und Außenpolitik. Wie lässt sich Deutschlands wankelmütige Außenpolitik zwischen Afghanistan und Irak verstehen?, in: Eva Herschinger/Judith Renner (eds.), Diskursforschung in den internationalen Beziehungen, Baden-Baden: Nomos 2014, pp. 39-74, doi: 10.5771/9783845255873_37 , with Martin Nonhoff.
  • “Légitimer l’armée en operation: les interventions extérieures de la ‘nouvelle Bundeswehr’ dans la rhetorique du gouvernement rouge-vert“, Allemange d’aujord’hui (192) 2010, pp. 25-34.

Exploring the Visual Representation of Out-of-Area Operations on Social Media

Together with David Shim (University of Groningen), I am conducting a project analyzing how out-of-area operations are represented visually. A first output of the project has recently been published in Global Discourse. In the article we explore the (gendered) visual representation of the ISAF operation on the German armed forces’ official Facebook page. Currently, we work on a second paper on military recruiting. Specifically, we look at the construction of masculinity in the YouTube web series Die Rekruten (The Recruits), which is produced by the German armed forces.

I am also a member of the DFG-funded research network Visuality and Global Politics.

Project Publications:

  • “Soziale Medien und die Legitimitätspolitik der Bundeswehr,” Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen, forthcoming (pre-print).
  • “Militarizing Antimilitarism? Exploring the Gendered Representation of Military Service in German Recruitment Videos on Social Media,” International Feminist Journal of Politics, online first (2021), doi: 10.1080/14616742.2021.1935289 with David Shim.
  • “Social Media, Gender and the Mediatisation of War: Exploring the German Armed Forces’ Visual Representation of the Afghanistan Operation on Facebook”, Global Discourse, online first (2017), doi: 10.1080/23269995.2017.1337982 , with David Shim (pre-print available on ResearchGate and Academia).

Populism and World Politics

This project is concerned with the nexus between populism and world politics. Although populism as such has received significant research interest across the social sciences, its international dimensions remain largely unexplored. At the same time, the project strives to contribute also to International Relations (IR) scholarship, which has so far neglected populism as a research topic. However, if there is indeed a “global rise of populism” (Moffitt) – and this seems to be the case –, this will unavoidably have (and de facto already has) a significant impact on a broad range of topics commonly considered to be among IR’s core concerns, including foreign policy, international conflict and cooperation, rule and resistance in IR, and regional and global order(s). As such, doing IR will become ever more difficult in the future if populism is not taken into account.

Together with Dirk Nabers and David B. MacDonald, I have convened a working group at the 2017 annual convention of the International Studies Association in Baltimore, which has culminated in an edited volume that brings together the different contributions presented at Baltimore. The volume has been published with Palgrave Macmillan in 2019.

Project Publications:

  • “Forget Populism!” Global Discourse 9:2 (2019), pp. 445-451, doi: 10.1332/204378919X15628418445603.
  • Populism and World Politics: Exploring Inter- and Transnational Dimensions, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2019, co-edited with David B. MacDonald and Dirk Nabers, including:
    • “Introduction: Analyzing the Nexus Between Populism and International Relations”, with David B. MacDonald and Dirk Nabers.
    • “Sedimented Practices and American Identity in Donald J. Trump’s Election Campaign”, with Dirk Nabers.
    • “Conclusion: Populism, Foreign Policy and World Politics”, with David B. MacDonald and Dirk Nabers.
  • Trump und der Populismus. Berlin: Heinrich Böll Stiftung 2017, with Dirk Nabers.


Non-state Actors and Foreign Policy

In this project, Rainer Baumann (University of Würzburg) and I tentatively explored two questions: (1) to what extent non-state actors are involved in states’s foreign policies and (2) if theoretical approaches to the study of foreign policy are equipped to address non-state actor involvement.

Project publications:

Policy Coordination in German Conflict Prevention Policy

This project, which I conducted together with Christoph Weller, examined German conflict prevention policy. Specifically, we evaluated the German government’s action plan for civilian conflict prevention as an instrument to facilitate policy coordination between different national and non-state actors and to increase effectiveness.

Project publications: