Julia Carver

MPhil (Oxon), BAH Queen's University (Canada)

Research Topic:

Virtually inconceivable? Geopolitics and the European Union’s foreign policy development in cyberspace
International Relations Network
Nuffield College
DPhil International Relations

Robert Johnson (Department of History, Pembroke College, Oxford)


I am a DPhil candidate in International Relations, under the supervision of Dr Robert Johnson and Professor Dominic Johnson. Broadly, my research is concerned with how geopolitical and sovereigntist concepts have influenced the development of cyber-relevant foreign policies and how this has varied across European and other global contexts. As part of this study, I explore the interplay between geopolitical strategic thought, sovereignty, and the development of cybersecurity policy by the European Union. My research is jointly funded by the Grand Union DTP (Economic and Social Research Council) and Nuffield College. My dissertation project expands upon the research undertaken while reading for the MPhil in European Politics and Society programme (at Oxford’s DPIR), for which I received a Distinction classification.

Beyond my PhD research, I work as a Desk Officer at Oxford’s Changing Character of War Centre (Statecraft and Strategy), and l lead the Cyber Strategy and Information Operations research group affiliated with the Centre and Nuffield College. I am also a member of Oxford's 2022 cohort for the Dahrendorf Scholarship programme (St Anthony's College), which focuses upon questions about 'Europe in a Changing World'.

Prior to graduate studies at Oxford, I obtained a BA (Hons. with Distinction) in Political Studies and World Language Studies at Queen’s University, in Canada, as the recipient of a major national scholarship.

Honours and Awards

  • ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship (with Nuffield College)

  • Dahrendorf Scholarship (St Anthony’s College)

  • St. Edmund Hall Schools' Prize

  • Emerging Thought Leader in Law and Security (Women in International Security Organization, Canada Chapter)

  • Chancellor’s (Alumni National) Scholarship

  • John Rae Prize in Political Studies

  • Herbert F Malcolm Award for German Language

  • Adam Shortt Prize in Political Studies

  • Garnet Grills Award for Political Studies


  • English (native)

  • French (advanced)

  • German (intermediate), and

  • Russian, Spanish, Italian, Dutch (beginner)


My research interests include:

  • Substantive: Cyber strategy, geopolitics and digital technologies, policy conceptualisation and development, European defence and security, EU foreign policymaking and global strategy, capacity building, and consequences of great power competition for non- traditional actors

  • Methodological: Qualitative analysis, elite interviews, quantitative text analysis, archival research


/ Conference Contributions

  • ‘Developing Digital Peripheries for Strategic Advantage: A Comparative Analysis of American, EU, and Chinese Projects in Africa.’
    Paper accepted to ‘Future of War Conference 2022’, hosted by the Netherlands Defence Academy in Amsterdam, October, 2022; Co-chairing the panel on Weaponizing Interdependence in the Digital Age: Implications for Contemporary and Future Conflicts, together with Scott Singer.

  • ‘Mainstreaming a maverick? European digital sovereignty discourse and the EU’s evolving external relations policy towards cyberspace.’ Paper presentation and Panel co-Chair, for the 11th Biennial Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on the European Union (Luiss University, Italy) in June 2022.

  • Presenter, ‘Cyber security and cyber defence: Pressing challenges and avenues for future cooperation between NATO and the EU.’ For The Future of NATO Conference, May 25, 2022, hosted by the Changing Character of War Centre, Pembroke College, University of Oxford, UK. View the Nato in 2022-23: a new era? - report.

  • ‘A sheep in wolf’s clothing? The influence of European digital sovereignty discourse on EU external relations policy change.’ Forthcoming paper presentation at the 'Digital Sovereignty – Rhetoric and Reality’ Conference (Centre for European Integration Research (EIF), Department of Political Science, University of Vienna) in April 2022. To be published in an EIF special issue following the conference.

  • ‘Zero Tolerance for Gender Considerations: Deconstructing Barriers in
    Trump’s America’, Politicus Journal (Volume 5, April 2019).

  • 'Ascription, association or animosity? Heating nationalism and cooling regional relations in the post-Soviet space.’
    Paper presented at the National Undergraduate European Studies Conference (University of Guelph, Canada) in November 2018. Awarded Honourable Mention for paper and presentation.