SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Dr Meera Sabaratnam

BA (Hons) (Oxon), MSc, PhD (LSE), SFHEA
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Meera Sabaratnam
Department of Politics and International Studies

Admissions Tutor: BA Politics/International Relations

Dr Meera Sabaratnam
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4722
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
On Sabbatical:


Meera Sabaratnam is a Reader in International Relations. Her research interests are in the colonial and postcolonial dimensions of world politics, in both theory and practice. She has worked on questions of decolonisation, Eurocentrism, race and methodology in IR. She has applied these concepts to the analysis of international development aid, peacebuilding and statebuilding, most recently in her book Decolonising Intervention (2017). Her regional interests are in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region. Currently she is working on questions of race in IR theory and a postcolonial historiography of the First World War. 

She is a member of the International Studies Association and has chaired its Global Development Section. From 2013-17 she was a founding co-convener of the Colonial / Postcolonial / De-colonial Working Group of the British International Studies Association. She has served as Online Editor for International Studies Quarterly and as a Trustee and former Editor of Millennium: Journal of International Studies. She is a member of the Editorial Boards of the journals International Studies Quarterly and Security Dialogue.

Meera is also interested in questions of higher education policy and practice, particularly in terms of racialised inequalities, access to research and academic governance. At SOAS she has chaired the Academic Senate and the Decolonising SOAS Working Group. In the latter role she lead-authored the Decolonising SOAS Learning and Teaching Toolkit and has delivered many talks internationally about this project. Prior to joining SOAS she was Temporary Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Cambridge. She received her first degree from the University of Oxford, her MSc and PhD from the London School of Economics and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  

Meera is pleased to engage with prospective PhD students working on questions relating to:

  • IR theory and political theory, particularly postcolonial approaches and questions of race and racism
  • Global inequalities, especially as relating to the aid / development sector
  • Historical approaches to the international, particularly relating to empire and statebuilding
  • War, violence, security and conflict



International theory; postcolonial approaches; race and racism; intervention, statebuilding and development; global history; southern Africa


For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email

Available for
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • Global
Country Expertise


Authored Books

Sabaratnam, Meera (2017) Decolonising Intervention: International Statebuilding in Mozambique. London: Rowman & Littlefield International.


Sabaratnam, Meera (2021) 'In the ruins of canonicity: women and their practices of thought'. International Politics Reviews, (9), pp 246-250.

Sabaratnam, Meera (2020) 'Is IR Theory White? Racialised Subject-Positioning in Three Canonical Texts'. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, (49) 1, pp 3-31.

Sabaratnam, Meera and Nisancioglu, Kerem and Weber, Martin (2020) 'Teaching IR Globally, Part II'. Contexto Internacional, (42) 2, pp 375-415.

Gallagher, Julia and Death, C. and Sabaratnam, Meera and Smith, K. (2016) 'Teaching Africa and international studies: Forum introduction'. Politics, (36) 4, pp 441-452.

Sabaratnam, Meera (2015) 'Staging a Battle, Losing the Wars? International Studies, ‘Science’ and the Neoliberalisation of the University'. Millennium - Journal of International Studies, (43) 3, pp 975-979.

Sabaratnam, Meera (2013) 'Avatars of Eurocentrism in the critique of the liberal peace'. Security Dialogue, (44) 3, pp 259-278.

Sabaratnam, Meera (2011) 'IR in Dialogue... but Can We Change the Subjects? A Typology of Decolonising Strategies for the Study of World Politics'. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, (39) 3, pp 781-803.

Edited Books or Journals

Hoover, Joe and Sabaratnam, Meera and Schouenborg, Laust, (eds.), (2011) Interrogating Democracy in World Politics. Abingdon; New York: Routledge.

Campbell, Susanna and Chandler, David and Sabaratnam, Meera, (eds.), (2011) A Liberal Peace? The Problems and Practices of Peacebuilding. London: Zed Books.

Book Chapters

Sabaratnam, Meera (2019) 'Postcolonial and Decolonial Approaches'. In: Baylis, John and Smith, Steve and Owens, Patricia, (eds.), The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sabaratnam, Meera (2013) 'History repeating? Colonial, socialist and liberal statebuilding in Mozambique'. In: Chandler, David and Sisk, Timothy D., (eds.), Routledge handbook of International Statebuilding. London: Routledge.

Hoover, Joe and Sabaratnam, Meera and Schouenborg, Laust (2011) 'Introduction'. In: Hoover, Joe and Sabaratnam, Meera and Schouenborg, Laust, (eds.), Interrogating Democracy in World Politics. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon England; New York: Routledge.

Sabaratnam, Meera (2011) 'The Liberal Peace? A Brief Intellectual History of International Conflict Management, 1990-2010'. In: Campbell, Susanna and Chandler, David and Sabaratnam, Meera, (eds.), A Liberal Peace? The Problems and Practices of Peacebuilding. London: Zed Books.

Sabaratnam, Meera (2011) 'Situated Critiques of Intervention: Mozambique and the Diverse Politics of Response'. In: Campbell, Susanna and Chandler, David and Sabaratnam, Meera, (eds.), A Liberal Peace? The Problems and Practices of Peacebuilding. London: Zed Books.

Book Reviews

Sabaratnam, Meera (2016) 'Review: A Discussion of Robert Vitalis’s White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations'. Perspectives on Politics, (14) 4, pp 1129.

Opinion Pieces / Media / Blogs

Sabaratnam, Meera and Hudson, Valerie M and Weldes, Jutta and Brennan, Kathleen PJ and Sylvan, David and Thakur, Vineet and Daniel III, J Furman and Musgrave, Paul (2019) Popular Culture Matters.

Sabaratnam, Meera (2019) If we want a ‘global Britain’, we need to decolonise the curriculum.

Sabaratnam, Meera (2018) On Situatedness, Knowledges and Absences: A Response to the Symposium on Decolonising Intervention.

Sabaratnam, Meera and Patomäki, Heikki and Leander, Anna and Abraham, Kavi and Laffey, Mark and Avant, Deborah (2017) Can Networks Govern?.

Sabaratnam, Meera and Scheel, Stephan and El Qadim, Nora and Frowd, Philippe M and Bridgen, Noelle K (2017) Walking with Migrants: Ethnography as Method in IR.

Sabaratnam, Meera (2017) Decolonising the Curriculum: What's All the Fuss about?.

Sabaratnam, Meera and Kirby, Paul (2014) Why Metrics Cannot Measure Research Quality: A Response to the HEFCE Consultation.

Kirby, Paul and Sabaratnam, Meera (2012) Open Access: HEFCE, REF2020 and the Threat to Academic Freedom.


This list was last generated on Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 20:18 Europe/London.