Kathrin Bachleitner

IKEA Foundation Research Fellow in International Relations, Lady Margaret Hall
Lady Margaret Hall

I am the IKEA Foundation Research Fellow in International Relations at Lady Margaret Hall and Oxford’s Department of International Development (Refugee Studies Centre), and an Associate Member of DPIR.

My research focuses on collective identity, memory, and values within International Relations. I am looking at how legacies of war and their contemporary interpretations shape political communities, normative perceptions, and choice in international matters. I am mainly interested in the way historical narratives form foreign policies as well as national and international responses to refugees.

Case studies include how WWII and the memory of the Holocaust affected European decisions vis-a-vis the Middle East conflict. I further study the impact of narratives on European governments’ responses to refugees (Germany, Austria, Hungary), and the effect of war trauma on the emergence of national identity in Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and Syria.


Book cover
Collective memory carries the past into the present. This book investigates whether collective memory influences global outcomes and how and why it matters for IR.

Kathrin Bachleitner, Collective Memory in International Relations. Published: 29 April 2021 by Oxford University Press.

Bachleitner, K (2021). “Ontological Security as Temporal Security? The Role of ‘Significant Historical Others’ in World Politics”, International Relations.

Bachleitner, K (2021). “Legacies of War. Syrian Narratives of Conflict and Visions of Peace". Cooperation and Conflict.

Bachleitner, K (2021). “Collective identities amid war and displacement: Syrians and Syrian Refugees imagine their country”. Nations and Nationalism.

Special Journal Issue on “Belonging to Syria. National Identifications before and after 2011”, Nations and Nationalism (2021). Introduction with Toby Matthiesen.

Kathrin Bachleitner, 'Diplomacy with Memory: How the Past Is Employed for Future Foreign Policy', Foreign Policy Analysis, ory013. Published: 10 December 2018