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Kerry Goettlich

  • Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes
  • Programme Director for MA Conflict and International Security

Modules Convened:

  • PO2GPH (Global Politics and History)
  • PIM65 (Strategic Studies)
  • PO2SOP (The Study of Politics – Qualitative Sub-Module) 

Areas of interest

I am an interdisciplinary researcher with broad interests in Global History, Historical Sociology, and International Relations Theory. My current project examines the historical origins of modern territoriality. In contrast to most work on the topic, which begins with the European state ideal and claims or assumes that this was ‘exported’ to the rest of the world, I argue that the surveying and demarcation of linear borders has historically been a practice relatively separate from the sovereign state. Modern borderlines in most of the world emerged out of colonialism, and I examine the particularly colonial circumstances that led to their origins.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome PhD proposals in a broad range of topics in international relations theory, international history, and historical sociology, as well as interdisciplinary topics.


I am a Lecturer in International Security in the Politics and International Relations Department at the University of Reading. I joined the department in 2019 after completing my PhD in the International Relations Department at the London School of Economics, on the historical origins of modern territoriality. At the LSE I served as an editor of Millennium: Journal of International Studies (vol. 46), with Sarah Bertrand and Christopher Murray, producing a conference and special issue on ‘The Politics of Time in International Relations’. I obtained my BA from Williams College, majoring in Political Science and Classics.

I also enjoy hiking, travelling (especially when there is no pandemic), and baking sourdough bread.

Academic qualifications

• PhD International Relations, London School of Economics

• MSc International Relations (Research), London School of Economics

• BA Political Science and Classics (double major), Williams College

Awards and honours

• Best Dissertation Award, European International Studies Association, 2021

• ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2019 (declined)

• Pre-PhD Paper Award, International Studies Association, Theory Section, 2019

• Founders Fund Grant, British International Studies Association, 2018

• R.J. Vincent Memorial Scholarship, London School of Economics, International Relations Department, 2017

Selected publications


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