Since October 2014, I am a DPhil (PhD) student in International Relations at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. My research focuses on norm contestation, and thus explores debates over the meaning of international norms.
I seek to contribute to the emerging literature in International Relations and International Law which considers normative frameworks to be incomplete and ambiguous. I analyse how agreement on the meaning of norms can come about when new contexts emerge and the incomplete and ambiguous elements of norms give rise to debate. I develop a typology of the different outcomes norm contestation can have and discuss explanations for this variation in outcome. I look at contestation by the United States but also by less powerful actors such as international courts and small states. My case studies include high-stakes debates over maritime boundaries, the interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and over the right to self-determination. With my research, I seek to bridge divides between constructivist and rational choice scholars and I am particularly interested in insights from rhetorical approaches.
Before starting a doctorate at Oxford University, I studied the M.A. in Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School, Tufts University, and a B.A. In International Relations at the University of Dresden. In-between degrees, I worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Panama. Furthermore, I coordinated the canvassing campaign of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in the federal elections 2014 and worked as chief of staff of a member of the German Bundestag.
When I don’t do research on norm contestation, I like to write theatre reviews for Oxford Opening Night, (think about) training for the next 5 or 10k, watch football and discuss politics.