Dr Jonna Nyman

Teaching Fellow in International RelationsDr Jonna Nyman

Contact Details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 4658
  • Email: jn147@le.ac.uk
  • Term time office hours: Tuesdays 2-3, Fridays 2-3 (917 Attenborough Tower)


*PLEASE NOTE: I leave the University of Leicester 30 June 2016 to take up a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Sheffield*

Research Interests

My research interests are in the politics and ethics of ‘security’, broadly conceived. I work on energy security in the United States and China, drawing on critical approaches to security to understand how energy is constructed as a security issue. I am currently also working on using this research to better understand the value and ethics of security. Beyond this, I'm interested in critical approaches to security as a growing research agenda, in environmental or climate security and politics, and in Chinese security politics.

Current Research

My current research is grouped under three main interrelated themes:

Conceptualising Energy Security

I am currently finishing my monograph on the politics and ethics of energy security in the United States and China. It draws on critical approaches to security to understand how energy is constructed as a security issue by key actors, both in discourse and in policy practice. This work uses discourse analysis of official texts on energy security as well as interview data from fieldwork in Washington DC and Beijing interviewing policy-makers, experts and stakeholders. I’m particularly interested in contestation over the meaning of energy security, and what attaching security ‘does’ to energy. I have co-organised conference panels on this theme at BISA 2014 with Dr Caroline Kuzemko.

The Politics and Ethics of Security

My interest in the politics and ethics of 'security' is ongoing and underpins all of my work. Together with Dr Anthony Burke and Professor Nicholas Wheeler I organised a workshop on Ethics and Security at the University of Birmingham in 2013. These discussions and the concerns raised by the workshop provoked further roundtables and panels at ISA in New Orleans February 2015, and EISA in Sicily in September 2015. They led to a co-edited book titled Ethical Security Studies: A New Research Agenda (see link below), bringing together emerging theoretical debates on ethics and ethical reasoning within security studies to lay the groundwork for a new field of study.

Chinese foreign and security policy

Based on my research on energy security and environmental security politics in China, my empirical research interests are moving in the direction of Chinese foreign and security policy. I'm particularly interested in 'Chinese' constructions of security and current debates in Chinese IR, and how this fits with calls for a non-Western IR. I have recently published a co-authored article with Dr Jinghan Zeng on securitisation in Chinese climate and energy politics which draws together some of these themes. I will also be presenting some of my work on this at ISA Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong in June 2016, where I have also organised a panel on the rise of China and Chinese IR together with Professor Shaun Breslin.


  • PL1020 Classics of IR
  • PL2000 Political Analysis
  • PL2019 Contemporary US Foreign Policy
  • PL3129/3329 The Politics of Nuclear Weapons
  • DL MA PL7591 Strategy in the Modern World
  • DL MA PL7533 The Politics of Global Modern Nuclear Order
  • DL MA PL7505 International Security


Recent and Forthcoming Publications


Journal articles

Book chapters

I've also published shorter pieces with the LSE Politics and Policy blog, the ICCS brief, SavingHumans.org, and NKnews.

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