Maria Mälksoo

Maria Mälksoo


Maria Mälksoo’s research foci are in Critical Security Studies (ontological security, securitization of historical memory); political anthropology (liminality, rituals), and the political practice of deterrence, with a focus on NATO’s eastern flank.

Prof. Mälksoo is the Principal Investigator of the European Research Council's Consolidator Grant RITUAL DETERRENCE  (Ritual Action: Making Deterrence Matter in International Security and Memory Politics, 2022-2027). She is also the PI of the University of Copenhagen team in the Volkswagen Foundation-supported MEMOCRACY consortium (The Challenge of Populist Memory Politics of Europe: Towards Effective Responses to Militant Legislation on the Past, 2021-2024).

She is the author of The Politics of Becoming European: A Study of Polish and Baltic Post-Cold War Security Imaginaries (Routledge, 2010); a co-author of Remembering Katyn (Polity, 2012); an editor of the JIRD Special Issue “Uses of ‘the East’ in International Studies: provincializing IR from Central and Eastern Europe” (2022) and the Handbook on the Politics of Memory (Edward Elgar, 2023).

Maria Mälksoo has been a visiting research fellow at the Centre of International Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science (2015), and Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (2012). She received her PhD in International Studies from the University of Cambridge (2008) and has previously worked at the University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies (2016-2021); the University of Tartu, Estonia (2010-2016); International Centre for Defence and Security, Tallinn (2007-2010); the Estonian Ministry of Defence, and the Office of the President of Estonia.

She was the Executive Secretary of the European International Studies Association (EISA) in 2018-2021, and the President of the Central and East European International Studies Association (CEEISA) in 2019-2022. She is an Associate Editor of Review of International Studies (from 2024) and an editorial board member of the European Journal of International Relations, Global Studies Quarterly, Journal of Genocide Research and International Political Anthropology.


Supervision of PhD students


Mariia Vladymyrova (ERC RITUAL DETERRENCE project): 'Self-Assertion in a Space of Vulnerability: Russian Deterrence at Sea' (2023-2026)

Thomas Chevalier (University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies) (co-supervision with Dr Bojan Savic, BSIS, University of Kent): 'The Role of Sociotechnical Imaginaries in the US and French space and cyber techno-politics' (2019-ongoing)



Birgit Poopuu (University of Tartu, 2016) (sole supervisor): 'Acting is Everything: The European Union and the Process of Becoming a Peacebuilder'

Shota Kakabadze (University of Tartu, 2020) (co-supervision with Prof. Andrey Makarychev): '“The Caucasian Chalk Circle”: Georgia’s Self at the East/West Nexus'

Camilla Edemann Callesen (University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies, 2020) (as secondary supervisior, with Dr Tom Casier): 'Intergroup Dynamics and Protracted Conflicts: an Analysis of the Ukraine and Georgia'

Abdullah Al-Jabassini (University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies, 2020) (as secondary supervisor, with Dr Yvan Guichaoua): 'Tribalocracy: Wartime Social Order and its Transformation in Tribal Regions. Evidence from Daraa Governorate in Southern Syria'


Supervision of postdocs

Dr Dovilė Sagatienė, MEMOCRACY project (2022-2024)

Dr Cameron Hunter, ERC RITUAL DETERRENCE project (2023-2027)

Dr Thomas Fraise, ERC RITUAL DETERRENCE project (2024-2027)



MEMOCRACY project (2021-2024)

RITUAL DETERRENCE project (2022-2027)

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