Call for PhD applications


Call for PhD applications

Great Powers and Strategic Narratives

The Department of Politics and International Relations has two competitive Home/EU fee waiver scholarships on offer for promising PhD students. Dr Alister Miskimmon and Dr Ben O’Loughlin (Centre for European Politics and New Political Communication Unit) are keen to attract outstanding candidates to work in the area of strategic narratives. The successful candidates will work alongside Dr Miskimmon and Dr O’Loughlin in developing a research framework analysing how the world’s Great Powers project their interests in the context of the new media ecology which shapes political communication.

Major powers have gained internal and external utility from the strategic projection of national narratives. But two trends warrant a renewed focus on such strategies. First, the long-term rise of emerging powers to challenge US pre-eminence will entail narrative ‘work’ on their part, both domestically and internationally, as they each adapt to new power balances. Second, a transformed communications environment means narrative strategies must account for an extended global media ‘menu’ of channels and the unpredictable presence of dispersed, participatory media which can undermine their narratives. As such, the patterns of communication in the international system are likely to become less predictable in coming decades, and major powers will have to adapt their processes of narrative formation and projection. By examining how the Great Powers project their foreign policy narratives, this research offers the starting-point for an empirically-led re-assessment of theories and approaches to analyzing the intersection of interests, strategies and narratives, to explain the forces shaping new major power politics at the beginning of the 21stcentury.

To apply, in the first instance please email in your CV and proposal (1,500-2,000 words) or any enquiries to or

Deadline: 18th May 2009.