Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I would be interested in hearing from prospective PhD students who are interested in the following fields, broadly conceived.

- Terrorism, extremism, and radicalisation
- Political myths and/or identity
- Ontological security in politics and IR
- Radical right and LGBTQ discourses

Willing to speak to media

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Personal profile


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.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Politics, PhD, Political Myth and the Need for Significance: Finding Ontological Security During Times of Terror

23 Sept 201223 Jan 2017

Award Date: 9 Mar 2017


Dive into the research topics where Xander Kirke is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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