I joined SPIRE in September 2012 as a Lecturer in International Relations. I was awarded a PhD from the University of Birmingham (2011); have a MSc in Security and Citizenship from Aberystwyth University (2007); a MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Malmö University, Sweden (2005). Prior to coming to Keele I was teaching Security Studies and IR Theory at the University of Warwick and the University of Birmingham. Oh, and I am Swedish. This is important because my last name is not Ahall, it is Åhäll. Perhaps just call me Linda.

Research and scholarship

My research concerns the interplay between gender politics and ideas about violence and security, often through popular culture, but I am also interested in the politics of emotions and visual global politics more broadly, above all in relation to methods and critical methodologies. As such my research contributes to IR theory, primarily through subfields such as critical- and feminist security studies; Popular culture and world politics; Everyday IR; and Emotions research in IR.

In my monograph Sexing War/Policing Gender: Motherhood, Myth and Women’s Political Violence (Routledge 2015), which is based on my doctoral research at the University of Birmingham, I analyse how female perpetrators of political violence are portrayed in a Western ‘war on terror’ [pop] cultural context. The book argues that cultural representations of female bodies’ violent actions are saturated with notions of motherhood, which means that ideas about motherhood, not motherhood itself, function to police contemporary gender norms and understandings of agency in war. In addition to the monograph, the results from my doctoral research project are published in two single-authored journal articles, one in Security Dialogue and another in the leading feminist IR journal International Feminist journal of Politics.

When I was working on my doctoral dissertation it soon became apparent that emotions mattered in multiple and diverse ways. This curiosity about how emotion, emotionality, sensibility and affect matters for IR still drives my current research agenda. My research on emotion is published in a book chapter in my first co-edited book Gender, Agency and Political Violence (Palgrave 2012, with Laura Shepherd); a co-edited ‘Intervention-section’ on ‘Emotions, Security, Affect’ in Critical Studies on Security (2013); and the co-edited book Emotions, Politics and War (2015) published in Routledge’s Interventions-book series (both with Tom Gregory).

I regularly present my research at international conferences such as ISA and EISA. Due to my interest in visual and emotional methods and methodologies I have been invited to participate in two pre-conference workshops at ISA: In 2013 on ‘Film in IR/Filming IR’ and in 2016 for the ‘Parsing the Passions’-workshop on emotions. I have also participated in the innovative Critical Security Studies Methods Café at ISA twice, in 2015 as an expert on ‘Emotions and Affect’ and in 2016 on ‘Feminist Methodologies’. In addition, I have published a book chapter (co-authored) on visual methods in the textbook Critical Approaches to Security edited by Laura Shepherd and have written the chapter on ‘Gender’ in Visual Global Politics, edited by Roland Bleiker (forthcoming, Routledge).

Last, some links:

Sexing War/Policing Gender

Emotions, Politics and War

Gender, Agency and Political Violence:

Profile at Academia.edu

Twitter: @Linda_Ahall


I teach the first-year undergraduate module Securing Global Order, the MA-level module Reading War (through CULTURE), the final-year module Gendering Global Politics, the MA-dissertation module Perspectives. In the past I have also taught The Politics of Global Security and contributed to Theories of Global Security, both modules now revamped into new exciting ones.

In addition to my teaching commitments I enjoy supervising dissertations, at final year undergraduate, Master’s level as well as doctoral research projects. To see people (and their work) develop and grow is what it is all about.


PhD Supervision

I am happy to supervise doctoral students interested in critical security studies, particularly feminist and poststructuralist approaches to security /insecurity/ war/ violence, but also topics related to the politics of emotions, aesthetics and popular culture. 

Further information is available about studying in SPIRE, including funding available for pursuing a doctoral research degree.

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