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Dr Xander Kirke

Assistant Professor

Department: Social Sciences

Xander Kirke's research focuses on the role that political myths and ontological security play in terrorism, extremism, and radicalisation. He has investigated the role of political myths in extremist material, such as the online al-Qaeda magazine Inspire, that seek to radicalise predominately young people into acts of terrorism. Using insights from existentialist and phenomenological philosophy, he has highlighted how political myths are deployed in order to provide potential recruits with a sense of significance and thereby encourage violence.

Xander is also currently exploring how certain identities are mobilised by the radical and far-right in unlikely ways. In particular, how some radical right rhetoric has shifted to appeal to LGBTQ+ people - although this rhetoric is mostly targeted towards cisgender homosexuals. He has several upcoming projects investigating the radical right, political myths, and ontologial security.


Xander Kirke

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Ontological security, myth, and existentialism, Kirke, X., Steele, B. 1 Dec 2023, In: Review of International Studies
  • ‘Straighten Up and Fly Right’: Radical right attempts to appeal to the British LGBTQ+ community, Foster, R., Kirke, X. 1 May 2023, In: The British Journal of Politics and International Relations
  • Ontological Security, Myth, and Existentialism, Kirke, X. 2021, British International Studies Association Conference
  • Kirke, Xander Anxiety and Covid-19: The Role of Ontological Security and Myth, Kirke, X. 2020
  • Hans Blumenberg: Myth and Significance in Modern Politics, Kirke, X. 2019
  • Review of the Book Rethinking Power, Institutions and Ideas in World Politics: Whose IR? by Acharya, A. Political Studies Review, 13, (3): 393-469, Kirke, X. 2015, In: International Studies Review
  • Violence and Political Myth: Radicalizing Believers in the Pages of Inspire Magazine, Kirke, X. 1 Dec 2015, In: International Political Sociology
  • People on the Move — Ideas on the Move: Academic Cultures and the Problematic of Translatability, Kirke, X. 2014, Émigré Scholars and the Genesis of International Relations

Politics PhD March 09 2017

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