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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Elisabeth Schweiger

Elisabeth Schweiger
Elisabeth Schweiger
Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
UN Security Council, War on terror, Discourse Theory, critical theory, International Law & International Relations, Law and Regulation

Supervisors: Dr. Xavier Guillaume and Dr. Andrea Birdsall


Abstract:          Customary international law changes through consistent state practice and the reactions of governments (opinio juris). It is before this background that the silence of a majority of governments – as in the case of drone killings – can become legally significant. It has been used as evidence by international law experts in the struggle for or against a changing right to self-defence. This PhD explores the functions of silence as acquiescence in international law formation from a discursive perspective and critically investigates the construction and reproduction of silence in the diplomatic discourse on counterterrorism force and targeted killing.



03/2015               “The Risks of Remaining Silent – International Law
                                 Formation and the EU Silence on Drone Killings”

Article published at Global Affairs 2015, Issue 3, Volume 1

07/2014               “Targeted Killing in International Law”

Paper Presentation at the University of Bremen, BIGSSS Summer School

09/2013               “You Are What You Eat – The Hauzenberg Protest
                                 against Food Packages and What it Says About Bare

Paper Presentation at the University of Sussex, Centre for Advanced International Theory, Workshop ‘Discipline(s), Dissent and Dispossession’



12/2015                  Silence Mini-Conference at the University of Edinburgh

In order to build up a network of researchers in social sciences who are interested in studying the functions and effects of silence in political discourse, my colleague Rosie Anderson and I have organized and convened a one-day conference at the University of Edinburgh. This has initiated a number of projects and output ideas and set up an inspiring network of researchers at different stages of their careers.



I have taught more than fifteen tutorial groups of undergraduate students in ‘Introduction to Politics and International Relations’,  ‘Political Thinkers’ ,  'Theories of International Relations' and 'Global Security' at the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh.
In my tutorials I incorporate different teaching techniques from structured debates, small group work, poster presentations and role plays. I have improved teaching skills through workshops in teaching methods offered by the SSPS and the Institute for Academic Development and have further researched and experimented with didactic methods such as the 'fishbowl debate'.



From July 2015, I have worked as Research and Evaluation Associate for EVOC (Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council) in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council. Regarding the policy implementation of 'Reshaping Care for Older People' I have conducted evaluation across over 20 organisations and developed a new evaluation tool which captures the impact of funded projects on the individual, household, community and system level to evaluate outcomes on a city-wide scale. In the context of this work, I have formulated and presented a number of policy briefs and recommendations at the City of Edinburgh Council. I am currently working on evaluation tools to measure social return for investment of preventive projects. 



Convenor of the International Relations Research Group at the University of Edinburgh with weekly meetings of staff members and PhD students

Convenor of the PhD Discussion Group Challenge, facilitating  weekly, cross-disciplinary debates on current political issues



From 2014           University of Edinburgh 

PhD International Relations

2012 - 2013         University of Aberdeen

MSc International Relations                            With distinction

2008 - 2012:         University of Passau, Germany

BA Governance and Public Policy                   1st class