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Maja Zehfuss


Personal profile


Maja Zehfuss received her doctorate from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Post-Compulsory Education (Higher Education) from the University of Warwick. She taught at the University of Warwick before joining Manchester in 2006. 

She co-edits the successful textbook Global Politics: A New Introduction, now in its third edition, and has published three research monographs with Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press.  Her most recent book, War and the Politics of Ethics (OUP 2018) received an honourable mention for the BISA Susan Strange Book Prize.

Maja Zehfuss is the co-founder of the British International Studies Association Poststructural Politics Working Group which she co-convened from 2001 to 2007. She served on the executive of the British International Studies Association from 2001 to 2005 and was a member of the Governing Council of the International Studies Association for 2008-09. From 2012 to 2017 she served as Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research in the Faculty of Humanities.  She is the Chair of the editorial committee of Manchester University Press and co-editor of Review of International Studies.  She also serves on the international advisory board of the Journal of International Relations and Development and on the editorial board of Critical Studies on Security. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Research interests

Maja Zehfuss works on migration, war, ethics, the idea of humanity, vulnerability, memory, refusing and relationality, the question of the international and poststructural thought.


Supervision areas:

Maja Zehfuss is especially interested to supervise theses engaging with migration, ethico-political questions arising in relation to war, the production of ethics, the problematic of memory or the question of reality, or theses inspired by poststructuralist thought.


PhD Students


Dan Bulley, Ethics and Foreign Policy: Negotiation and Invention, ESRC funded. Awarded 2006. Winner of the Political Studies Association Lord Bryce Prize for Best Dissertation in International Relations/Comparative Studies in 2008.

Aggie Hirst, Encountering the Abyss: Deconstructing the Political Philosophy of Leo Strauss and the Straussian Interventions relating to the Invasion of Iraq, ESRC funded. Awarded 2010. 

Patrick Pinkerton, Biopolitics, Temporality and the International Presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, ESRC funded.  Awarded 2011.

Tom Gregory, Rescuing the Women of Afghanistan: Gender, Agency and the Politics of Intelligibility, funded by the School of Social Sciences. Awarded 2012.

Nordin, Astrid, “Time, Space and Multiplicity in China’s Harmonious World”, ESRC funded.  Awarded 2012. 

Prieto Corredor, German, “The Role of Collective Identity and Regional Institutions in the Andean Community”. Awarded 2013.

O’Callaghan, Ronan, “Ethics as Response: A Critical Analysis of Michael Walzer’s Just War Theory in the Context of Iraq”, funded by the School of Social Sciences. Awarded 2013.

Johnson, Jamie, “The Politics of Violence in Afghanistan: Subjectivity, Temporality and Ethics”, funded by the School of Social Sciences. Awarded 2014.

James Alexander, “The Security-Technology Nexus: Investigating the interplay between politics, technological solutions and the market for security technologies”, ESRC funded.  Awarded 2014.

Copley, Clare, “Rewriting Wrongs: National Socialist Architecture and Contested Memory in Post-Unification Berlin”,  AHRC funded.  Awarded 2014.

Furtado Tavares, Henrique, “Politics of Impunity: Rethinking the Representations of Violence through the Disciplinary Role of the Brazilian Truth Commission”, funded by CAPES (Brazilian research council).  Awarded 2016. Winner of the 2014 ISA Theory Section Pre-PhD Paper Award and winner of the Best Postgraduate Paper at the annual Critical Terrorism Studies BISA Working Group (CSTWG) Conference.

Andrew Slack, "Docile Bodies? Power, Violence and Resistance in Contemporary Slavery", funded by the School of Social Sciences.  Awarded 2016.

Palmer, Will, "The visibility of the UK Armed Forces and the depoliticisation of war", funded by the School of Social Sciences. Awarded 2017.

Villanave, Sabrina, “The racialisation of security apparatus in Brazil”,  funded by CAPES (Brazilian research council). Awarded 2018.  


Vieira, Moisés, “Politics of hospitality in the National Health Service: Healthy bodies and surveilled subjects”, funded by the School of Social Sciences.


I am currently teaching:

POLI20902 How to do Politics Research

POLI30822 War and the Politics of Ethics

POLI70412 Critical Approaches to International Politics

Other teaching information

In June 2012, I was a Guest Professor at Gregynog Ideas Lab, Summer School in PostInternational Politics to teach a workshop on Jacques Derrida. 

In November 2011, I led the workshop "War the gentle way? Kulturelle Kompetenz und die Sozialwissenschaften im Krieg" as part of the Annual Meeting for Award Holders of the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (German National Scholarship Foundation) held at the University of Manchester. 

I have also held workshops and masterclasses in Australia, Colombia, Germany, Ireland and the United States.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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