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Kingston University
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Politics - PhD students

All research students are seen as a vital part of the research environment. Students are encouraged to take part in the departmental research events as well as to attend Faculty and University research training events.


Peter Finn

pic ofThe US has deployed numerous controversial policies in the pursuit of its national security objectives. These policies have included torture, the redaction of documents and the fostering of proxy forces associated with human rights abuses. My research examines the myriad of strategies that are drawn on to prevent knowledge of such policies leaking into the public domain. My main case study is detention operations carried out during the Iraq War.


  • Supervisor: Dr Sam Raphael
  • Title of PhD: Dirty wars, clean operations: US national security operations and the concealment of controversial policies

Paul Julius

pic ofMy research explores the elite-(in)security nexus in an oil producing, multi-ethnic African state, Nigeria. It deconstructs the politics of security decision-making by focusing on the authoritarian and rentier context of state power. The aim of the thesis is to enhance the understanding of the factors which influence certain security strategies and the consequences on national security. The study adopts both qualitative and quantitative research methods to unravel the contestation over the distribution of resources, and the environmental basis of the oil-minorities’ grievances spawned by the elite-(in)security linkage.


  • Supervisor: Prof Francois Nectoux
  • Title of PhD: Nigerian Political Elites’ Perception And Construction Of Security Strategies 1999-2012. The Case Of The Niger Delta Oil Conflict

Aranee Manoharan

This research aims to use and develop postcolonial theory within international relations and security studies to examine internal armed conflicts involving identity politics. It intends to achieve this by bringing the discipline of international relations into discourse and dialogue with cultural studies; problematising security studies’ main assumptions by analysing the historical foundations and political dynamics of contemporary culture to more accurately understand the social, economic and political factors associated with the protracted nature of such conflicts.


  • Supervisor: Dr Sam Raphael
  • Title of PhD: The Postcolonial ‘Gaze’ - Rethinking Global Politics’ Understanding of Identity-based Internal Armed Conflicts

Athanasios Noikokyris

My thesis investigates the issue of the EU’s democratic legitimacy in relation to the employment of new modes of governance (NMG) in policy-making processes. It examines the EU as a multilevel system of governance and seeks to find out whether new modes of governance, non-hierarchical, flexible and collaborative networks of public and private actors, can have an impact on the EU’s democratic legitimacy. To analyse this connection, I focus on the employment of the NMG on the EU’s regional policy. In particular, I examine the implementation of the EU regional policy in four representative EU member states (Austria, Denmark, Italy, Poland). Through a comparative analysis I find out that NMG, under certain conditions, can play a complementary role towards the democratic legitimation of the EU’s political system.


  • Supervisor: Dr Atsuko Ichijo
  • Title of PhD: EU democratic legitimacy and new modes of governance

Sharon Young

pic ofMy research hypothesizes that assisted suicide (AS) is a social construct and that a discourse of human rights has been developed and adopted by those in favour of AS in an attempt to legitimize calls for the “right to die”. Using a mixed methods approach; critical discourse analysis explores the evolution of language within the House of Lords Parliamentary Debates on AS from 1936, 2003 and 2006. A case study on the campaigning organisation Dignity in Dying reveals that current arguments for legalising assisted suicide concern personal choice, dignity and suffering. These concepts, including how “rights” are prioritised at the end of life form the basis for questions to be used in Focus Group discussion with Day Hospice patients.


  • Supervisor: Dr Hannah Miller
  • Title of PhD: Where is the “right” in assisted suicide?

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