People Feature

Julia Carver

DPhil in International Relations

I am a DPhil candidate in International Relations, under the supervision of Dr Robert Johnson and Professor Dominic Johnson. Broadly, my research explores various strategic policy interventions in state and state-based actors' foreign policy decision-making towards the cyber and digital domains. As part of this study, I explore the interplay between geopolitical strategic thought, sovereignty, and the development of cybersecurity policy by the European Union. Secondly, I examine the role of digital development initiatives in the EU, US and China's foreign policy objectives. 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, l am a Special Lecturer in Politics for Magdalen College (teaching International Relations and the Practice of Politics), and I lead the Cyber Strategy and Information Operations research group affiliated with the 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 (Hons. 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.

Julia Carver


Publications, Working Papers, & Written Conference Contributions

  • 2022- In progress: ‘Virtually inconceivable? Foregrounding the ontological dimension to cyber-IR.’ Working paper oriented towards further theory-building in the cyber-focused IR literature. This paper principally argues that a focus upon ontology is an important contribution to existing explanations about cyber-IR, which presently remain incomplete.
  • October 2022 (forthcoming): ‘Building Cyber Capacity 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. This paper examines how digital development projects through the framework of weaponized interdependence, with a focus upon how ‘peripheral’ states respond to hub state interventions.
  • June 2022: ‘Mainstreaming a maverick? European digital sovereignty discourse and the EU’s evolving external relations policy towards cyberspace.’ Paper presenter and Co-Chair/panellist at the 11th Biennial Conference of the ECPR Standing Group on the European Union (Luiss University, Rome, Italy).
  • April 2022: ‘A sheep in wolf’s clothing? The influence of European digital sovereignty discourse on EU external relations policy change.’ Paper presented at the ‘Digital Sovereignty – Rhetoric and Reality’ Conference (Centre for European Integration Research (EIF), Department of Political Science, University of Vienna). To be published in a special journal issue following the conference.
  • 2019: ‘Zero Tolerance for Gender Considerations: Deconstructing Barriers in Trump’s America’, Politicus Journal (Volume 5, April 2019). Article accessible online:
  • 2018: ‘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). Awarded Honourable Mention for paper and presentation.

Academic Presentations

October 2022 (forthcoming): Panel co-Chair and paper presenter for the panel Weaponizing Interdependence in the Digital Age: Implications for Contemporary and Future Conflicts, together with Scott Singer. For the Netherlands Defence Academy’s The Future of War Conference. Amsterdam, Netherlands.

9th June 2022: Panel co-Chair (and paper presenter) for the panel The EU as a global actor in the age of digitalisation together with Elke Schraik. For the European Consortium for Political Research’s 11th Biennial Conference on the Standing Group on the European Union. Luiss University, Rome, Italy.

25th May 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, hosted by the Changing Character of War Centre, Pembroke College, University of Oxford, UK. Conference report:

2021-2022: Seminar Lead and Presenter, Cyber Strategy & Information Operations Working Group (CSIO), Nuffield College, University of Oxford. CSIO Presentation titles/dates:

  • 01/06/2022: Chinese tech statecraft in a world of interdependence (together with Oxford China Policy Lab/China Research Group – Scott Singer, Kayla Blomquist, and Chris Cash)
  • 25/05/2022: Cyber Strategy in Democratic States 
  • 18/05/2022: AI in War and Conflict (together with Haydn Belfield)
  • 11/05/2022: Cyber- and Space Domain Integration (together with Christopher Morris)
  • 04/05/2022: Operational and Strategic Cyber Activities in Ukraine (together with Christopher Morris)
  • 09/03/2022: Signalling, Shaping, and Coercion in the Cyber Domain (together with Christopher Morris)
  • 23/02/2022: Digital sovereignty and cyber borders
  • 16/02/2022: Cyber-Geopolitics
  • 24/11/2021: Strategic Communications and Countering Disinformation (together with Christopher Morris)
  • 19/11/2021: Disinformation and Information Operations