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Dr Thorsten Wojczewski

Lecturer in International Relations

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

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About

Thorsten is module leader of BA modules Themes and Concepts in International Relations (level 4) and Introduction to International Relations Theories (level 4).

He is interested in supervising doctoral students working on themes relating to foreign policy and identity, populism and the far-right, critical security studies, global order and hegemony. His regional focus is on Europe, South Asia and the United States.  

Career overview

Thorsten moved to Coventry University in August 2021 from King’s College London, where he was a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and previously a teaching fellow in the School of Global Affairs. Before joining King’s in 2016, he was a research fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies in Hamburg. In addition, he has held visiting fellowships at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., the University of Oxford and the Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses in New Delhi.

He studied political science and public law at the University of Hamburg and the University of Reading, and completed his PhD in International Relations at the University of Kiel, Germany. 

Research

His research focuses on the interrelation between foreign policy and identity, regional and international orders, discourse and hegemony, populism and the far-right and the social construction of (in)security. Drawing on poststructuralist IR, the Laclauian-Mouffian discourse theory, Lacanian psychoanalysis and critical security studies, he is interested in how particular discourses become dominant in politics and society and how the discursive construction of meaning and identity makes possible or constrains certain policy practices and produces, institutionalizes or contests certain political orders. In addition, his research sheds light on how discourses unfold their resonance within their audiences by invoking affect and translating it into, often antithetical, emotions such as desire and anxiety, fear and nostalgia that drive the identification with particular political projects.

His most recent research project, which was funded by the Leverhulme Trust, theorized the relationship between populism and foreign policy and explored how foreign policy can serve as a site for constructing a political identity of the people and of the populist actor as its rightful representative. Parts of this research have been published in journals such as International Studies Review and Foreign Policy Analysis.   

External activities

He has appeared as a pundit in the German media (e.g. Deutsche Welle) and delivered an invited talk on India’s role in the global order at the German Foreign Office. He has also written numerous policy briefs and civic education texts.

Publications and press

Monograph

  • 2018. India’s Foreign Policy Discourse and its Conceptions of World Order: The Quest for Power and Identity. London: Routledge. [Re-released as paperback in 2020]

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles (selection) 

  • 2022. Conspiracy Theories, Right-Wing Populism and Foreign Policy: The Case of the Alternative for Germany. Journal of International Relations and Development 25(1): 130–158.
  • 2020. ‘Enemies of the People’: Populism and the Politics of (In)security. European Journal of International Security 5(1): 5-24. 
  • 2020. Trump, Populism and American Foreign Policy. Foreign Policy Analysis 16(3): 292-311. 
  • 2020. Populism, Hindu Nationalism and Foreign Policy in India: The Politics of Representing ‘the People’. International Studies Review 22(3): 396-422. 
  • 2019.  Identity and World Order in India’s Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Discourse. Third World Quarterly 40(1): 180-198.
  • 2018. Global Power Shifts and World Order: The Contestation of ‘Western’ Discursive Hegemony. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 31(1): 33-52.
  • 2016. China's Rise as a Strategic Challenge and Opportunity: India's China Discourse and Strategy. India Review 15(1): 22-60. 

Book Chapters (selection)

  • 2019. Conceptualising the Links between Populism, Nationalism and Foreign Policy: How Modi Constructed a Nationalist, Anti-establishment Electoral Coalition in India. In Populism and World Politics: Exploring Inter- and Transnational Dimensions, edited by David B. MacDonald, Dirk Nabers and Frank A. Stengel. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 
  • (with Daniel Flemes). 2011. Sekundärmächte als Gegenspieler regionaler Führungsmächte? Fehlende Gefolgschaft in Südamerika, Südasien und Subsahara-Afrika [Secondary Powers as Challengers of Regional Leadership Claims in Latin America, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa]. In Regionale Führungsmächte - Theorien und Forschungsperspektiven, edited by Daniel Flemes, Dirk Nabers and Detlef Nolte. Baden-Baden: Nomos.  
 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021