Dr Maria Mälksoo

Senior Lecturer


Maria Mälksoo earned her PhD in International Studies at the University of Cambridge (2008). Before joining BSIS in 2016, she worked as Senior Researcher in International Relations at the University of Tartu in her native Estonia. She has held post-doctoral research fellowships at the Centre for International Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science (2015), Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (2012), and the University of Tartu (2010-2014).

Dr Mälksoo has policy experience from the Estonian Ministry of Defence, International Centre for Defence Studies in Tallinn, and the Office of the President of Estonia. She is a member of the editorial boards of International Political Anthropology, Contemporary Security PolicyJournal of Genocide Research and New Perspectives. Maria currently serves at the CEEISA Executive Committee and the EISA Governing Board where she is in charge of organising the European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS).

Research Interests

Her main research interests are at the intersection of security, memory and identity politics, and critical IR theory. Her previous research has covered social theoretic perspectives of the EU and NATO’s eastern enlargements, liminality in IR, conflicts over historical memory between Russia and its former Soviet/East European dependants, and the nexus between transitional justice and foreign policy on the example of post-communist Russia. Maria has collaborated with historians, lawyers and Russianists in her academic work. 

Her current research focuses on (i) the ritual practices of deterrence in NATO's eastern flank countries; (ii) hybrid warfare and Eastern Europe in European ontological security debates; and (iii) memory laws and memory wars in contemporary Ukraine.  Maria is the author of The Politics of Becoming European: A Study of Polish and Baltic Post-Cold War Security Imaginaries (Routledge, 2010) and a co-author of Remembering Katyn​ (Polity, 2012). Her most recent articles have been published in International Studies ReviewSecurity Dialogue, Contemporary Security Policy, and International Political Sociology.


Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository


  • Malksoo, M. (2019). The Normative Threat of Subtle Subversion: The Return of ‘Eastern Europe’ as an Ontological Insecurity Trope. Cambridge Review of International Affairs [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09557571.2019.1590314.
  • Malksoo, M. (2018). Countering Hybrid Warfare as Ontological Security Management: The Emerging Practices of the EU and NATO. European Security [Online] 27:374-392. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09662839.2018.1497984.
  • Malksoo, M. (2018). The Transitional Justice and Foreign Policy Nexus: The Inefficient Causation of State Ontological Security-Seeking. International Studies Review, https://doi.org/10.1093/isr/viy006 [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1093/isr/viy006.
  • Malksoo, M. and Piirimäe, K. (2018). EleVant 100 ehk piltide seletamine elusale jänesele. Diplomaatia [Online] 173. Available at: https://www.diplomaatia.ee/artikkel/elevant-100-ehk-piltide-seletamine-elusale-janesele/.
  • Malksoo, M. (2018). A Baltic Struggle for a "European Memory": The Militant Mnemopolitics of The Soviet Story. Journal of Genocide Research [Online] 20:530-544. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/14623528.2018.1522828.
  • Piirimäe, K. and Malksoo, M. (2016). Western policies and the impact of tradition at critical junctures: the Baltic states after the First World War and the Cold War. Ajalooline Ajakiri : The Estonian Historical Journal [Online]:337-345. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.12697/AA.2016.3-4.01.
  • Malksoo, M. (2016). From the ESS to the EU Global Strategy: external policy, internal purpose. Contemporary Security Policy [Online] 37:374-388. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13523260.2016.1238245.
  • Malksoo, M. (2015). In Search of a Modern Mnemonic Narrative of Communism: Russia's Mnemopolitical Mimesis during the Medvedev Presidency. Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society [Online] 1:317-339. Available at: http://spps-jspps.autorenbetreuung.de/de/jspps.html.
  • Malksoo, M. (2015). 'Memory Must Be Defended': Beyond the Politics of Mnemonical Security. Security Dialogue [Online] 46:221-237. Available at: http://sdi.sagepub.com/content/46/3/221.abstract.
  • Malksoo, M. (2015). Mäluseadused ja julgeolek [in Estonian; trans. Memory Laws and Security]. Vikerkaar [Online] 10-11:120-128. Available at: http://www.vikerkaar.ee/archives/13395.
  • Malksoo, M. (2014). Criminalizing Communism: Transnational Mnemopolitics in Europe. International Political Sociology [Online] 8:82-99. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ips.12041.

Book section

  • Berg, E. and Malksoo, M. (2018). Konfliktid ja nende reguleerimine. in: Berg, E. et al. eds. Sissejuhatus rahvusvahelistesse suhetesse. Tartu, Estonia: Tartu University Press, pp. 225-251.
  • Malksoo, M. (2018). Liminality and the politics of the transitional. in: Wydra, H. and Thomassen, B. Ã. ¸rn eds. Handbook of Political Anthropology. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar, pp. 145-159. Available at: https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/handbook-of-political-anthropology.
  • Malksoo, M. and Toomla, R. (2018). Julgeolekupoliitika. in: Berg, E. et al. eds. Sissejuhatus rahvusvahelistesse suhetesse. Tartu, Estonia: Tartu University Press, pp. 252-274.
  • Malksoo, M. (2017). Kononov v. Latvia as the Ontological Security Struggle over Remembering the Second World War. in: Belavusau, U. and Gliszczynska-Grabias, A. eds. Law and Memory: Towards Legal Governance of History. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Available at: http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/law/socio-legal-studies/law-and-memory-towards-legal-governance-history?format=HB#EZmMwJWrQtLuREV8.97.
  • Malksoo, M. (2015). The Challenge of Liminality for International Relations Theory. in: Horvath, A., Thomassen, B. and Wydra, H. eds. Breaking Boundaries: Varieties of Liminality. New York, Oxford: Berhgahn Books, pp. 226-244. Available at: http://www.berghahnbooks.com/title.php?rowtag=HorvathBreaking.
  • Malksoo, M. (2014). Introduction. in: Saueauk, M. ed. HIstorical Memory versus Communist Identity. Proceedings of the Conference 'The Shaping of Identity and Personality under Communist Rule: History in the Service of Totalitarian Regimes in Eastern Europe'. Tartu, Estonia: Tartu University Press, pp. 9-18. Available at: http://www.oapen.org/search?identifier=507876.

Internet publication

  • Malksoo, M. (2018). Decommunization in Times of War: Ukraine's Militant Democracy Problem [Internet publication]. Available at: http://verfassungsblog.de/decommunization-in-times-of-war-ukraines-militant-democracy-problem/.
  • Malksoo, M. (2017). Interview - Maria Mälksoo [Online publication]. Available at: http://www.e-ir.info/2017/09/22/interview-maria-malksoo/.
  • Opperman, K. et al. (2016). Brexit Symposium [Open access website]. Available at: http://www.e-ir.info/2016/09/10/brexit-symposium/.
Showing 20 of 59 total publications in KAR. [See all in KAR]