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Dr Hannes Černy

Senior Lecturer in International Relations


His research, broadly conceived, critically examines modes of representation of identities, ethno-nationalist conflict and issues of sovereignty in IR scholarship, in particular as to stateless nations, and how these representations shape political practice. He has conducted extensive fieldwork on these issues in Iraq and Turkey.

Before joining Northumbria Hannes taught politics and international relations of the Middle East as well as conflict and foreign policy analysis at the Central European University (Hungary), the University of Passau (Germany), the University of Hull (UK), the University of Pennsylvania (USA), as a Marie Curie Doctoral Fellow at the University of Coimbra (Portugal), and at the University of Exeter (UK), from where he obtained his PhD in 2015. His thesis, published as a monograph by Routledge in 2017, deconstructs representations of Iraqi Kurdistan and its relations with the PKK in IR scholarships and scrutinizes the effects these representations have on political practice in the Kurdistan Region as well as towards it in Turkey and among the Western interventionist powers.

Prior to the Middle East Hannes’ professional focus was on conflict and diplomacy in Latin America, in particular the civil war in Colombia and US-Cuba relations. In the context of the latter he worked as a Project Coordinator for the Carter Center, the NGO founded by former US President Jimmy Carter, and assisted him in Track II negotiations.

PhD, Politics, University of Exeter (2015)

MA, International Conflict Analysis, University of Kent (2003)

Mag.phil, History and Political Science, University of Vienna (2002)

The overall theme guiding my research is the critical examination of modes of representation of identities, ethno-nationalist conflict and issues of sovereignty in IR scholarship, in particular as to stateless nations and nations without a state, and how these representations shape political practice both at the level of the respective stateless nations as well as Western political and military interventions. This array of questions I have studied in great detail for Iraqi Kurdistan, deconstructing models, frameworks, and portrayals of its political status as well as its relations with the PKK and Turkey and its role in the civil war in Syria in mainstream IR literature. Subsequently, I have scrutinized how these perceptions and portrayals of Kurdistan have been constitutive of Western policies towards the Kurdistan Region during the administration of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq and thereafter up to the international war effort against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria.

More recently, my research is taking on a comparative aspect, collating Western perceptions and representations of Iraqi Kurdistan with Taiwan.


Černy, H. (2017) Iraqi Kurdistan, the PKK and International Relations: Theory and Ethnic Conflict. London: Routledge.


Journal Articles:

Černy, H. (forthcoming) Iraqi Kurdistan and Taiwan: Statecraft as performatively enacted sovereignty in an environment of strategic ambiguity. International Interactions.

Černy, H. (forthcoming) How the Iraqi Kurdistan independence debate came to die. International Journal.

Černy, H. (2014) Ethnic alliances deconstructed: The PKK in Iraqi Kurdistan and the internationalization of ethnicised conflicts revisited. Ethnopolitics, 13 (4), pp. 328-54.

Černy, H. (2004) Wind of change in Miami und bald auch in Washington? Die US-Kubapolitik am vorabend des Präsidentschaftswahlkampfs 2004’, Brennpunkt Lateinamerika, 1694, pp. 173-83.

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