Professor Alister Miskimmon

Educational background

BA University of Stirling

PhD University of Birmingham

Personal profile

My research interests are primarily in the areas of strategic narratives, German, European and global security issues and European integration.

I am currently working on three funded research projects. The first is as part of a EU-funded Jean Monnet Network researching crisis narratives in Ukraine and Israel/Palestine. This is a 3-year project led up by Prof Natalia Chaban and Prof Martin Holland at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand with colleagues from The National Institute for Strategic Studies, Kyiv, Ukraine; Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel; TU Darmstadt, Germany; Vytautas Magnus University (VMU), Lithuania; KU Leuven, Belgium. The second project is funded by the Noble Foundation afocsuing on Polish and UK defence policy after NATO's Warsaw summit of 2016. This is a two-year project involving a team based at Royal Holloway, and a team based at Collegium Civitas, Warsaw. The third project is with the Charles University Prague, exploring new theoretical approaches to the study of German foreign and security policy.

I have published a number of books including, Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order, New York: Routledge, 2013 (with Ben O'Loughlin and Laura Roselle) which was awarded the 2016 Best Book Award by the International Communication Section of the International Studies Association; The Politics of the New Germany 2nd Edition, London, Routledge (2011) (with Simon Green and Dan Hough); The Gathering Crisis: Germany and the Grand Coalition since 2005, Palgrave, Basingstoke (2008) (with William E Paterson and James Sloam) and Germany and the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union, Basingstoke, Palgrave, Basingstoke (2007). I am also co-editing a volume with Ben O'Loughlin and Laura Roselle Forging the World: Strategic Narratives in International Relations, which will appear with the University of Michigan Press in early 2017.

Within PIR I serve as Co-Director, alongside Dr Giacomo Benedetto and Dr James Sloam, of the department’s Centre for European Politics. Between 2002-2010 I was Director of European Studies and I served as Director of Graduate Studies from 2010-2012. I was Head of Department from 2013-2016.

I serve on the Executive Committee of the International Association for the Study of German Politics (2014-).

I am External Examiner at the University of Edinburgh. I have held external examining positions at Birkbeck, the British University in Egypt, Kings College London, Loughborough University and Surrey.

I currently supervise one PhD student - Pauline Heinrichs researching strategic narratives of counter-terrorism policy in comparative perspective in Europe.

I have supervised five PhDs to completion: Dr Monika Barthwal-Data (Lecturer, University of New South Wales and MacArthur Foundation Post-doctoral Scholar); Dr Joanna Kaminska (European Parliament and Senior Research Fellow Institute for European Studies, Vrije University, Brussels); Prof Dr Luis Simon Navarro (Institute for European Studies, Vrije University, Brussels); Pepijn van Houwelingen on European Neighbourhood Policy of the European Union, who works in the charity sector in California, and Dr Luuk Molthof on the role of ideas in German European Policy.

During 2005-2007 I was post-doctoral fellow on the European Foreign and Security Policy Studies Programme of the Compagnia di San Paolo - Riksbankens Jubileumsfond - VolkswagenStiftung.

Research interests

I am currently working with Prof Ben O'Loughlin (RHUL) and Prof Laura Roselle (Elon/Duke) on the concept of strategic narrative. We have published two books together. Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order which outlines the conceptual basis of strategic narrative, and seeks to integrate the study of international communication with International Relations. Our second book which was published in January 2017 is an edited collection applying strategic narrative to a range of cases including power transition, European integration and terrorism. This research has been supported by the European Union, the International Studies Association (ISA) and the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC).

I also publish in the field of German domestic and foreign policy as well as wider European and global security issues.

Selected Recent and Upcoming Conference Papers and Invited Presentations

Alister Miskimmon  (2017) ‘Strategic Narratives and International Relations’, EISA-sponsored panel on Narrative in International Relations, chaired by Prof Antje Wiener, International Studies Association Annual Convention, 22-25 February 2017, Baltimore, USA.

Alister Miskimmon and Ben O’Loughlin (2016) ‘The Iran Deal and the Past as Resource: Connective Memory in the Strategic Narratives of the US, EU and Iran’. Paper on the Panel, ‘Power and the contestation of the past: memories, legacies and strategic narratives in international perspective’, European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) Annual Conference, 9-12 November, Prague, Czech Republic.

Akil Anwan, Alister Miskimmon and Ben O’Loughlin (2016) ‘The battle for the battle of the narratives: Sidestepping the double fetish of digital and CVE’. Paper presented at a Swedish Riksbankens Jubileumsfond funded workshop on Countering Violent Extremism, 27-29 October 2016, Lund University, Sweden.

Alister Miskimmon (2016) Research Workshop Participant – Contemporary German Narratives of German Economics and Ordnung, German Studies Association Annual Conference, 29 September – 2 October 2016, San Diego, USA.

Alister Miskimmon (2016) ‘How do we talk about Nukes? EU, US and Iranian Strategic Narratives in Contemporary Diplomacy’. 10th ECPR General Conference, 8-10 September 2016, Prague, Czech Republic.

Alister Miskimmon and Ben O’Loughlin (2016) ‘The EU's Struggle for a Strategic Narrative on China’, 46th UACES Annual Conference, London, 6th September 2016.

Alister Miskimmon and Ben O’Loughlin (2016) ‘Doing Narrative Research using Q-Sort methodology’, C3EU Jean Monnet Network Project Meeting, 1-3 September 2016, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Alister Miskimmon (2016) ‘The Politics of Narrative – In conversation with Prof Dina Matar’. The Mosaic Rooms, London, 13 July 2016.

Alister Miskimmon ‘Shifting narratives of German foreign policy: Narrating change and continuity in German foreign policy post-unification’. International Association for the Study of German Politics Annual Conference, 16-17 June, Prague, 2016.

Alister Miskimmon and Ben O’Loughlin ‘Weaponising Information: Putin, the West and Competing Strategic Narratives of the Ukraine Crisis’. International Studies Association Annual Convention, Atlanta, 18-21 March 2016.

Alister Miskimmon (2015) Opening Keynote Address: “Strategic Narratives of Identity: The EU, Europe and the World”, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, 27 February 2015. Keynote at Symposium Strategic Narratives of Identity: The EU, Europe and the World, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, 27 February 2015.

Alister Miskimmon and Ben O’Loughlin (2015) The Strategic Narrative of the Ukraine Crisis, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, 24 February 2015.

Laura Roselle, Ben O’Loughlin, and Alister Miskimmon (2015) ‘Public Narratives about Syria: A Q-Sort Analysis of UK and US Students’, ISA Annual Conference, New Orleans, 18-21 February 2015.

Alister Miskimmon (2015) ‘What’s wrong with Soft Power’? Sandhurst Military Academy, 27 January 2015.

Alister Miskimmon (2014) ‘Communicating an EU Narrative’, International Relations and Communication: Connecting Spaces and Places, 28 March 2014, International Studies Association Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada.

Alister Miskimmon (2013) ‘Germany’s evolving strategic narrative in foreign and security policy’, Georgetown University, Washington D.C. 9 December 2013.

Alister Miskimmon (2013) ‘The development of German foreign and security policy after the 2013 German Federal Elections’. Johns Hopkins Bologna Center, Bologna, Italy. 30 November 2013.

Alister Miskimmon (2013) ‘The Strategic Narrative of the Euro-Crisis’, American Political Science Association Annual Conference, Chicago, 29 August 2013. 

Alister Miskimmon (2011) Keynote Address, ‘Political Communication and International Relations, International Studies Association South Annual Meeting, Elon University, North Carolina, 14-15 October 2011.

Alister Miskimmon (2011) “Breaking down the remaining walls”: Prospects for EU-NATO co-operation, 46th Annual Security Conference, Norwegian Atlantic Committee, 8th February 2011, Oslo, Norway.

Alister Miskimmon (2010) Germany and the EU’s role as an actor in international security policy, Germany in International Security Policy: 20 Years After re-unification, Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies Conference, Oslo 19th November 2010.

Alister Miskimmon, Ben O’Loughlin and Felix Ciuta (2010) Section Convenors, Strategic Narratives and International Relations, Standing Group on International Relations, European Consortium for Political Research, Stockholm, September 2010.

Alister Miskimmon (2009) Co-convenor for conference entitled, ‘Reframing the Nation: Media Publics and Strategic Narratives’, 18-19 May 2009, The Open University, Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London. Co-organised by the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, Open University and the Centre for European Politics and the New Political Communication Unit, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Alister Miskimmon (2009) Co-convenor of International Studies Association Catalytic Workshop entitled, Great Powers after the Bush Presidency: Interests, Strategies, Narratives, Marriott Hotel, Times Square, 14 February 2009. Presented paper entitled, ‘Great Powers and Strategic Narratives: The State of the Field’ with Andreas Antoniades and Ben O'Loughlin.



  • ES2001: European Integration since 1945 (course co-leader)
  • ES3001: Contemporary Issues in Europe (course co-leader)
  • PR3530 The Politics of Modern Germany (course co-leader)


  • PR5805: European Union Foreign Policy (course leader)
  • PR9000: Professional Development and Research Seminar for PhD students (course co-leader)

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