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Dr Ben Whitham

Job: Lecturer in International Relations

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Department of Politics & Public Policy

Address: HU3.85

T: +44 (0)116 250 6082




Personal profile

Ben Whitham is a Lecturer in International Relations in the Department of Politics and Public Policy at De Montfort University, Leicester. He holds a Leverhulme Trust-funded PhD in Politics from the University of Reading, an MA in International Relations and Globalisation from London Metropolitan University and a BA in Politics from the University of East London.

Ben’s core research interests lie in the international political economy and sociology of war and (in)security, and in developing Marxian, postcolonial, and intersectional critical theory. His PhD explored the discursive construction of post-Cold War British security policies and practices and contextualised them within the wider framing of a ‘neoliberal way of war’.

In addition to working on research outputs from his doctoral research, Ben is currently leading a pilot research project (2017-2018), funded by DMU’s Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA), exploring the intersectional politics of austerity and anti-Muslim racism / Islamophobia.

Apart from his academic work, Ben has previously worked as a policy professional, focused on consumer and public services policy in England and Wales, and currently sits on the board of directors of the Nuclear Information Service, a non-profit organisation researching and publishing on the manufacture, storage, safety and future of the UK’s nuclear arsenal.

Research group affiliations

Centre for Urban Research on Austerity

Media Discourse Group

Publications and outputs 

Whitham, B. (2017), ‘Post-crash neoliberalism in theory and practice’, Political Studies Review, online early view DOI 10.1177/1478929917720430.

Whitham, B. (2017) ‘On seeking asylum from poverty: Why the refugee/migrant paradigm cannot hold’, Guest-Authored Series, No. 1, Mixed Migration Platform.

Whitham, B. (2017) Review of Timothy P.R. Weaver, Blazing the Neoliberal Trail: Urban Political Development in the United States and the United Kingdom. University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, PA. Political Studies Review, 15: 2. 

Whitham, B., Greenhalgh, L. and Ogunye, T. (2016), Learning from mistakes: How complaints can drive improvements to public services, London: Citizens Advice. 

Greenhalgh, L. and Whitham, B. (2016), Hidden charges in care homes: Exploring consumer protections within the care home market, London: Citizens Advice.

Whitham, B. (2014), Review of Milja Kurki (2012), Democratic Futures: Re-Visioning Democracy Promotion. Abingdon: Routledge. Political Studies Review, 12: 2, May 2014, p. 259.

Whitham, B. (2013), ‘From security to resilience? (Neo)Liberalism, war and terror after 9/11’, Resilience, 1: 3, pp. 219-229.

Research interests/expertise

  • Theories of International Relations (IR)
  • War, (in)security and terrorism
  • Liberalism and neoliberalism in theory and practice
  • Critical social theories and practices (including Marxism, poststructuralism and intersectional feminism)
  • Postcolonial social orders and racism
  • Political and media discourse
  • Rhetoric and political communication

Areas of teaching

  • International relations theory
  • Diplomacy
  • Post-Cold War world order
  • International (in)security


PhD Politics

MA International Relations and Globalisation

BA Politics

Membership of external committees

British International Studies Association (2009-present)

European International Studies Association (2017-present)

Conference attendance

Whitham, B. and Ali, N. (2018) ‘Living With Scandal: Intersecting Anti-Muslim Racism and Austerity’, 5th EISA European Workshops in International Studies, University of Groningen, June 2018.

Whitham, B. (2017) ‘Elements of the neoliberal way of war’, European International Studies Association (EISA) annual convention, Barcelona, September 2017.

Whitham, B. and Ali, N. (2017), ‘The unbearable anxiety of being’, European International Studies Association (EISA) annual convention, Barcelona, September 2017.

Whitham, B. (2017) [invited speaker], ‘Critical discourse analysis in international politics: Rationale, opportunities and challenges’, a research methods workshop for postgraduate students in the School of Public Policy, University College London (UCL), 13th March 2017.

Whitham, B. (2017) ‘Ways of seeing, ways of being: Re-assessing neoliberalism as ideology and governmentality’, accepted for presentation at Neoliberalism in the Anglophone World, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3.

Whitham, B. (2016) ‘Seeking asylum from poverty: Contesting the refugee/migrant paradigm’, presented at Green Economics Institute Conference on Climate and Migration, University of Oxford.

Whitham, B. (2015) ‘Ways of seeing, ways of being: analysing ideological discourse and governmental practice’, presented at Mind the Gap, Please!, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick.

Ali, N. and Whitham, B. (2014) ‘The unbearable anxiety of being Muslim’, presented at Politics in Times of Anxiety, University of Manchester.

Heaven, C. and Whitham, B. (2014) ‘Practicing what you preach? Approaching Discourse and Practice in International Relations’, presented at International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention, Toronto.

Whitham, B. (2013) ‘The Neoliberal Way of War: the diffusion of market ideology in discourses of state violence’, presented at International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention, San Francisco.


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