Julia Carver

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

Research Topic:

Virtually inconceivable: Geopolitics, capacity, and sovereignty claims in the digital domain
International Relations Network
Nuffield College
DPhil International Relations

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

other links

I am a DPhil candidate in International Relations under the supervision of Dr Robert Johnson and Professor Dominic Johnson, and a Research Associate at the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre (Dept. Computer Science). My DPhil research is broadly concerned with how foreign policymakers engage with cyber instruments to achieve different strategic objectives. Informed by my background in political science, my work engages across disciplines (strategic studies, IR, development studies, and political geography) and seeks to understand the evolution of 'cyber-IR' and strategic thinking in the contemporary 'information age'. Thus, my dissertation articles examine the relationship between geopolitical strategic thought, great power competition, sovereignty, and the development of cybersecurity policy, with a focus on the European context. My research is jointly funded by the Grand Union DTP (Economic and Social Research Council) and Nuffield College. This project builds upon my studies as an MPhil in the European Politics and Society programme (at Oxford’s DPIR), for which I received a Distinction classification.

Beyond my PhD research, l am a Special (Stipendiary) Lecturer in Politics for Magdalen College, teaching International Relations and the Practice of Politics, and a European Cyber Security Fellow at the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative. In 2021, I founded the Cyber Strategy and Information Operations research group affiliated with Oxford's Changing Character of War Centre and Nuffield College. Recently, l had the pleasure of attending the European Summer Workshop on the Analysis of Military Operation and Strategy (Euro-SWAMOS) in July 2022, run by the European Initiative for Security Studies and the Hertie Centre for International Security (Berlin). Prior to graduate studies at Oxford, I obtained a BA (Honours with Distinction) in Political Studies and World Language Studies at Queen’s University, in Canada, as the recipient of a major national scholarship and four subject prizes in politics and German language studies.

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Practice of Politics (PPE/HistPOL)

  • Politics of the European Union (PPE/HistPOL)

  • International Relations (PPE/HistPOL)

Research Interests

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

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

Postgraduate Honours and Awards

  • ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentship (with Nuffield College)

  • Dahrendorf Scholarship (St Antony’s College)

  • William R Miller Postgraduate Award, St Edmund Hall College

  • St Edmund Hall Schools' Prize

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


Carver, J. (2024). More bark than bite? European digital sovereignty discourse and changes to the European Union’s external relations policy. Journal of European Public Policy, 1–37.

Carver, J. (2024). Trafficking Data: How China is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty: By Aynne Kokas Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022, 288 pp., ISBN: 9780197620502. The Journal of Development Studies60(7), 1164–1166.