Research Network

Vibeke Schou Tjalve

  • Head of the research unit on Defence and security
  • Email:
  • Telephone: +45 3269 8620

Dr. Vibeke Schou Tjalve is senior researcher, head of Defence & Security, at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS). Her research interests in CR and Critical Theory fall in three areas:

1) The intellectual history of classical realism, particularly its American (calvinist, republican, pragmatist) trajectories.

2) The critical dimensions of CR, not least its value as a diagnosis of, and cure for, the ailments of the public sphere in mass democracy.

3) The religious roots of CR and their implications for its approach to science, knowledge, politics and ethics.

Her current work is both historical and contemporary. Historically, it examines the links between realism and pragmatism in the early and mid-twentieth century and its relevance for (foreign) policy debates that continue to this day. Of a more contemporary, sociological and diagnostic nature, is a project on the relevance of CR to critically assessing both the risk rationalities of 21st century security practices and the visual or ‘occular’ nature of contemporary democratic security debate. Publications include:

  • “US Homeland Security and the Politics of Shared Responsibility: ‘Neo-republican’ Security Governance?” (2013), with Karen Lund Petersen. International Political Sociology 7:3, forthcoming. 
  • “Rights, Religion, Security: Christian Realism From Lincoln to Obama” (2012). In Helle Porsdam, Civil Religion, Human Rights and International Relations. London: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • “Designing (De)Security: European Exceptionalism, Atlantic Republicanism, and the Public Sphere” (2011). Security Dialogue 42.
  • “Realism and the Politics of (Dis)Enchantment” (2009). In Duncan Bell, Political Thought and International Relations: Variations on a Realist Theme. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Realist Strategies of Republican Peace: Morgenthau, Niebuhr and the Politics of Patriotism as Dissent (2008). New York: Palgrave.