My research interests are in the politics and ethics of security, with further interests in energy security, climate politics, and China.
My current research is grouped under three main related themes:
The Politics and Ethics of Security
My research is underpinned by a fascination with the question of what it really means to be secure. Rather than accepting state narratives about national security, I am interested in interrogating security arguments to ask, what kind of security are we talking about, for who, and by what means? Whose interests are served by particular security arguments, and what are the consequences? These are questions that run through all of my work, including my recent paper on the everyday life of security (IPS), my paper on the value of security (RIS), and my co-edited book on Ethical Security Studies.
Chinese foreign and security policy
Drawing both on my previous research on Chinese energy security politics, and on my broader interests in the politics of security, I am currently working on a major research project on Chinese security politics which was funded by the Leverhulme Trust. I’m particularly interested in ‘Chinese’ constructions of security and how these have changed over time, and current debates in Chinese IR. Some of this can be seen in my recent paper interrogating the everyday life of security in contemporary China.
The Energy Security Paradox
This work investigates the politics and ethics of energy security, with a focus on the United States and China. It draws on critical approaches to security to understand how energy is constructed as a security issue by key actors, both in discourse and in policy practice. I’m particularly interested in contestation over the meaning of energy security, and what attaching security ‘does’ to energy. This is the focus of my forthcoming book, titled The Energy Security Paradox: Rethinking Energy (In)security in the United States and China, published in 2018 with Oxford University Press. I have also published three articles on different aspects of this work.