Jonathan Austin

Jonathan AUSTIN

Spoken languages
English, French, Arabic
Areas of expertise
  • Political violence
  • Political Theory
  • Political Aesthetics
  • Design Theory
  • New Materialism
  • Critical security studies
  • International Political Sociology
  • International Political Design


Jonathan Luke Austin is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Copenhagen, where he is also Director of the Centre of Advanced Security Theory (CAST). Austin is also Principal Investigator for the Future of Humanitarian Design (HUD) research programme (with co-PIs Anna Leander and Javier Fernandez Contreras). Austin’s research is located within international relations, security studies, and political sociology and is currently orientated around four main axes: 1) the study of global political violence, 2) the material-aesthetic design of emerging technologies, 3) the state of critique in social science, and 4) applying political science to problems in international public policy. Austin also has 15 years of research and field experience in the Middle East (Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, etc.) and regularly consults for International Organizations, NGOs and the media on current events. Previously, he was Lead Researcher for the Violence Prevention (VIPRE) Initiative at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. Further information about Austin’s research can be found at



  • Forthcoming: Small Worlds of Violence: A global grammar for torture ( Manuscript in preparation for submission to University of Minnesota Press.


  • 2018: Doing and Mediating Critique. Security Dialogue, 50 (1-2), with Rocco Bellanova and Mareile Kaufmann.

  • 2018: (De)Securitization Dilemmas. Review of International Studies, Forthcoming 2018.

  • 2017: We have never been civilised: Torture and the Materiality of World Political Binaries. European Journal of International Relations, 23 (1): 49-73.

  • 2017: Becoming a Torturer: Towards a Global Ergonomics of Care. International Review of the Red Cross, DOI: 10.1017/S1816383117000261.

  • 2016: Torture and the Material-Semiotic Networks of Violence Across Borders. International Political Sociology, 10 (1): 3-21.

  • 2011: Facebook and Fanatics: Islam and the Arab Revolutions. Regulating Religion, Summer 2012.


  • Forthcoming: Post-Critical International Relations? How to change the world political. Manuscript in preparation for submission. Contributors including Christian Bueger, Anna Leander, Mareike De Goede, Audra Mitchell, Jef Huysmans, Joao Nogueira, Keith Krause, Vincent Pouliot, Michael C. Williams, Claudia Aradau and Ole Waever. See

  • Forthcoming: World Political Compositions: Making sense of the International (with Anna Leander). Manuscript in preparation for submission. Contributors including Roland Bleiker, Naeem Inayatullah, Aida Hozic, L.H.M Ling, Charlotte Epstein, Arlene B. Tickner, Anna Leander, Michele Acuto, Sally Butler, Elisabetta Brighi, and Elspeth Van Veeren. See


  • 2019: Normative Reserves and their Practice. In Norms, Practice, Normativity: Towards a New Theory of International Relations (NIRT), Liste, Philip. & Wiener, A. (Eds.) Berlin: VS Springer.

  • 2018: Popular Culture and the Elicitation of Practice. Accepted in How to do Popular Culture in International Relations, Salter, Mark. & Yao, Sandra. (Eds). London: Routledge.

  • 2018:The Chair Sits on the Man: The Non-Human Perpetration of Violence. Accepted in Routledge Handbook of Perpetrator Studies, Knittel, S. & Goldnerg, Z. (Eds.). London: Routledge.

  • 2018: Visibility: Practices of Seeing and Overlooking, with Anna Leander. In Mapping International Practices, Bueger C., Drieschova, A., and Hopf, T. (Eds).

  • 2018: Hot Tea With Sugar and the Translation(s) of Torture. In Translations of Security, Berling TV., Gad, UP., Peterson, JL. and Wæver, O. (Eds), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • 2018: Meaning Making and the Grammar of the City, with Oliver Jütersonke. In Sustaining Peace in the City: New Perspectives on Urban Safety and Peacebuilding, Wennmann, A. (Ed), London: Routledge.

  • 2017: The Futures Mutamash of the Middle East. In Transient Ontologies: A Patchwork of Middle East Futures, Riccardo B. & Mallard G. (Eds).


  • 2018: Doing and Mediating Critique, Security Dialogue, 50 (1-2), co-edited with Rocco Bellanova and Mareile Kaufmann.


  • 2017: The Germination of Abusive Violence and its Restraint. Geneva: The Violence Prevention Initiative.

  • 2017: The Private Sector and Violence Prevention in Kenya, 2007-2013. Commissioned for the United Nations and World Bank, Preventing Violent Conflict, a UN-World Bank Group Study, World Bank Group Chief Technical Specialist Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group, Geneva.

  • 2016: The Private Sector and Violence Prevention in Kenya, 2007-2013. Commissioned for the project ‘The Business Community as a Peacebuilding Actor’ undertaken by CDA Collaborative Learning, the Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement (ACDS), and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), with Achim Wennmann.

  • 2016: Guarantees of Non-Recurrence and the Violence Prevention (VIPRE) Initiative. Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding: Geneva.

  • 2016: Understanding the Grammar of the City: A semiotic perspective of the urban safety-peacebuilding nexusGeneva Peacebuilding Platform White Paper Series, for theTechnical Working Group on the Confluence of Urban Safety and Peacebuilding Practice, UN Habitat. With Oliver Jütersonke.

  • 2011: Hamas and the Peace Process: Resistance, Rejectionism, Reconciliation? Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, The University of St Andrews.