Milja Kurki

Prof, BA University of Hull; MscEcon University of Wales, Aberystwyth; PhD University of Wales, Aberystwyth

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Personal profile


I'm interested in how we think about the world and the differences in how we see and 'read' what is going on around us. I've explored questions around how we analyse 'causes' (of wars, development) in international politics and also the contested nature of democracy and how this affects the attempts to promote democracy.

Since 2015 I've worked on a cross-disciplinary project on cosmological imagination in the study and practice of international relations. This has involved exploration of questions around scientific cosmology, post-humanism and decolonisation of knowledge.

I'm Co-director of the Planetary Challenges and Politics Centre at Aberystwyth University's Department of International Politics. 

Between 2008 and 2012 I acted as the Principal Investigator of a major research project 'Political Economies of Democratisation' funded by the European Research Council.

Research interests

My research is focused on theoretical and conceptual study of international politics but I'm is also interested in exploration of the policy implications of conceptual issues. My PhD was focused on the analysis of the meaning of causality in IR scholarship. I then led a European Research Council project on the conceptual foundations of democracy promotion practices between 2008 and 2012, a project which involved extensive policy engagement.

Currently, I'm working on an open-ended research agenda on planetary and multispecies politics, a project with important implications for how we tackle climate change politics and environmental harms. I'm also interested in the ways in which our cosmological assumptions structure how we approach international relations and what would happen to ways in which we can do politics if we rethink cosmological framings. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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