Dr Kalina Zhekova
I am a Lecturer (Teaching) in Political Science, Departmental Graduate Tutor and Co-Director of the Centre for the Pedagogy of Politics (CPP). I earned my PhD in Russian Foreign Policy and International Relations at the University of Leeds, and I completed an MA (Distinction) in International Politics at the University of Hull.
I work in the field of international studies, war and conflict, with particular focus on Russian approaches to military intervention and state sovereignty within and outside of the post-Soviet space. I have extensive responsibilities for educational provision, student support and academic progression. My work has been recognised as making an outstanding contribution to student learning and educational experience. I hold a UCL Provost Education Award for Academic Support and two UCL Social & Historical Sciences Faculty Education Awards.
My current research focuses on Russian foreign policy and military interventions in the post-Soviet space and the Middle East, and Russian collective (mis-)conceptions of state sovereignty and relations with the West. I am interested in interpretivist and poststructuralist approaches to Russian politics, and I examine the development of external and internal threat constructions, notions of inter-ethnic identities and their mobilisation in the process of policymaking, war and violence. I apply this approach to the study of Russian armed interventions in Syria, Georgia and the war in Ukraine.
- Journal articles
- Zhekova, Kalina. (2023) 'The West in Russian Discourses of Sovereignty During the 2014 Ukraine Crisis: Between ‘Compatriot Protection’ and ‘Non-interference’?' Europe-Asia Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2023.2221836
- Ralph, J., Holland, J. and Zhekova, K. (2017) ‘Before the Vote: UK Foreign Policy Discourse on Syria 2011-13’, Review of International Studies, 43(5), pp. 875–897.
- Blog articles
- von Borzyskowski, I. and Zhekova, K. (2023) ‘Policymaking Skills in Interaction: A Case Study of UN-Student Collaboration’, UCL Education Conference.
I lead a third-year undergraduate module informed by my research in Russian foreign policy: ‘Russia and the West: Conflicts and Interventions’ (POLS0105). I also teach two postgraduate methods modules: ‘Qualitative Methods: Texts and Images’ (PUBL0085) and ‘Qualitative Methods: Case Studies and Comparative Analysis’ (PUBL0086).
As CPP Co-Director, I lead a range of activities to support education-focused academics in conducting and disseminating pedagogical research. As Graduate Tutor, I have oversight and responsibility for pastoral care provision and academic support of all postgraduate students in the Department of Political Science. I previously served as Co-Director of the MSc programme in International Public Policy.