UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Bohdana Kurylo

Bohdana Kurylo

Recipient of the Victor and Rita Swoboda Memorial Scholarship, the Overseas Research Scholarship and the SSEES Excellence Scholarship

Supervisors: Dr Felix CiutaProf Jan Kubik

Email: bohdana.kurylo.17@ucl.ac.uk

Twitter: @BohdanaKurylo

Present status: PhD Candidate, Postgraduate Teaching Assistant

Working title of thesis: Civil Society and the Politics of Security: The Cases of Poland and Ukraine

Research: Intervening into the debates in Security Studies and International Relations, my project investigates the role of civil society in the politics of security. The puzzle that it seeks to solve is how local civil society groups become empowered to speak and practise security, despite lacking the strategic or political positioning enjoyed by political elites. On the one hand, I examine the attempts of the Polish pro-choice movement to articulate the women’s right to access reproductive health services as a matter of security. On the other, I look at the mobilisation of Ukrainian civil society in response to the outbreak of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. I draw on a vernacular contextualist approach to security in combination with semi-structured interviews and social media research. Examining the discourses and practices of civil society groups gives insight into how the concepts of security, emergency and power are given new meanings by bottom-up collective agents on the ground, transforming the logic by which security politics operates.

Research interests: security studies; international political sociology; Ukraine; Poland; hermeneutic contextualism; vernacular security; civil society; social movements; gender; populism.

Teaching: I have taught on various International Relations modules at UCL SSEES, Queen Mary University of London and King’s College London. In 2020, I became an Associate Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

Peer-reviewed publications:

Kurylo, B., 2022. Emergency: A vernacular contextual approach. International Studies Review, 24(3), pp. 1-23.

Kurylo, B., 2022. Counter-populist performances of (in)security: Feminist resistance in the face of right-wing populism in Poland. Review of International Studies, 48(2), pp. 262-281.

Kurylo, B., 2022. The discourse and aesthetics of populism as securitisation style. International Relations, 36(1), pp. 127-147.

Kurylo, B., 2020. Technologised consumer culture: The Adorno–Benjamin debate and the reverse side of politicisation. Journal of Consumer Culture, 20(4), pp. 619-636.

Kurylo, B., 2017. Pornography and power in Michel Foucault’s thought. Journal of Political Power, 10(1), pp. 71-84.

Kurylo, B., 2016. Russia and Carl Schmitt: the hybridity of resistance in the globalised world. Humanities & Social Sciences Communications, 2(16096), pp. 1-9.


2022 Doctoral Paper Award, Association for the Study of Nationalities

2021 Polish Studies Article Prize, British Association for Slavonic & East European Studies


British International Studies Association


Conversation Six

Diplomatic Academy – The Conversation