Dr Kelly Staples

Academic Director - Politics & International Relations

Lecturer in International Politics

BA (Leeds), MA (Manchester), PhD (Manchester), Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Contact details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 3003
  • Fax: +44 (0)116 252 5082
  • Email: kls25@leicester.ac.uk
  • Twitter: @DrKellyStaples
  • Office: Attenborough Tower 914
  • Office Hours (Semester 2 2017/18): Wednesdays 11-12pm and Thursdays 1-2pm


  • PL7089/PL7589 The Politics of Human Rights
  • PL3118/PL3318 Global Justice and Human Rights
  • PL2015 International Theory


Selected books

Kelly Staples: Retheorising Statelessness book cover


Selected journal articles and chapters

Other publications and media


My research combines theory with the exploration of real-world exercises of state power and their consequences for individuals. I have ongoing interests in the status of the individual in world politics and International Relations (IR), the definition of statelessness, the meaning of international protection, and International Political Theory more broadly.

Current projects

I am currently involved in collaborative work on ethics, imagination and International Relations, and a book on the meaning of international protection.

Recent and forthcoming research activities

  • (2017, May) Participant in roundtable: "Protecting Human Rights in the 21st Century". European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, University of Leeds.
  • (2016, June) Paper. "Contingent cosmopolitanism and the refugee crisis". BISA Annual Conference, Edinburgh.
  • (2016, June) Podcast. Migration Matters, episode 20 "Europe and the Refugee Crisis": https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talking-migration/id1111784863?mt=2#episodeGuid=tag%3Asoundcloud%2C2010%3Atracks%2F273456913
  • (2015, September) Paper. "Ending the decade(s) of repatriation? Re-imagining refugee resettlement". 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, Sicily.
  • (2015, May) Participant in Spring Symposium: "UNHCR's Global Action Plan to end Statelessness: A Critical Examination of Identification Structures". The Duke Human Rights Centre at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University.
  • (2015, March) Paper. "The ethics of deportability". Leicester Migration Network Contemporary Migration Seminars.
  • (2014, September) Paper. "The New Agenda on Statelessness: Plus ca change". ECPR General Conference, Glasgow.
  • (2012, September) Paper. "The "New" Politics of Expulsion". 2012 Workshops in Applied Philosophy. Northeastern University.
  • (2014, May) Invited Paper. "Statelessness and Misrecognition". Workshop on the Right to Citizenship. University of Exeter.
  • (2014, March). Invited Seminar. "The "New" Politics of Expulsion: A constitutive approach". Health and Social Sciences Seminar, University of the West of England.


I am interested in supervising research with a strong theoretical dimension. I am also interested in supervising research into protection-related issues, such as citizenship, refugees, fragile states and statelessness, as well as research in the broader fields of human rights and global ethics.

Current PhD students

  • Pascal Asea: Refugee Return and Reintegration (Distance Learning)
  • Agnieszka Korus: Legal pluralism and women's property rights: a comparative perspective (Distance Learning; with Mark Langan)
  • Barrack Muluka: Exercising the right of return: refugees from Burundi in Tanzania
  • George Revel: Secession and Self-Determination (with Troy Lavers)
  • Nicholas Schenk: Cosmopolitanism (with Steve Cooke)

Learn more and apply for research degrees in Politics and International Relations.

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Contact Details

School of Politics and International Relations

University of Leicester
University Road
Leicester, LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2702
Email: HyPIR@le.ac.uk


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College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Masters Excellence Scholarships

The Masters Excellence Studentships are available to new UK/EU applicants registering for a full- or part-time, campus-based Masters degree in our College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities starting in the 2017-18 academic year. Four nine-month Masters Excellence studentships are available, each providing a full fee waiver. The deadline for applications is 9 June 2017.

Follow this link for more information.