Dr Columba Achilleos-Sarll

Dr Columba Achilleos-Sarll

Department of Political Science and International Studies

Contact details

POLSIS - School of Government
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Columba Achilleos-Sarll is a Lecturer in Political Science and International Studies. Her primary research examines the United Nation’s Security Council’s ‘Women, Peace and Security’ (WPS) agenda. More broadly, her work focuses on feminist and post/decolonial approaches to international relations, gender, race and security, civil society and advocacy, feminist foreign policy, and visual politics. 


  • PhD Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick
  • MPhil International Relations, University of Oxford
  • BA History and International Relations, University of Exeter


Columba Achilleos-Sarll’s primary research examines the United Nation’s Security Council’s ‘Women, Peace and Security’ (WPS) agenda. She focuses in particular on the UK’s implementation and institutionalisation of the agenda and the role of networked, and transnational, civil society drawing from feminist and post/decolonial approaches to International Relations. Beyond the WPS agenda, Columba’s research extends to feminist foreign policy, gender, race and security, the gendered nature of Brexit, civil society and advocacy, migration, and visual politics. Her research has been published in International Affairs, the International Feminist Journal of Politics, and the Journal of International Women’s Studies. She has also written a number of blogs and opinion pieces.

Before joining Birmingham, Columba was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Vienna, an affiliated research fellow at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP), and a visiting researcher at the Centre for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. She has been shortlisted or the recipient of a number of research prizes including the 2019 ISA Global Development Studies Section Edward Said Award, shortlisted for the 2021 International Affairs early career prize, and shortlisted for the 2017 Feminist Studies Association Prize.



  • Global History (first year)


  • Dilemmas in International Relations


Research Interests

 Current projects

  • Women, Peace and Security Agenda
  • Civil society and advocacy
  • Visual global politics
  • Migration and security

Other activities

  • Affiliated visiting research fellow at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP)
  • Memberships: International Studies Association (ISA); British International Studies Association (BISA)


Journal Articles


  • "Seeing" the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda: Exploring the Visual Reproduction of WPS through UK Government National Action Plans’, International Affairs 96(6), (2020): 1463-1663.
  • With Yasmin Chilmeran, ‘Interrogating the “Local” in Women, Peace and Security: Reflections on Research on and in the UK and Iraq’, International Feminist Journal of Politics 22(4), (2020): 596-605.


  • 'Reconceptualising Foreign Policy as Gendered, Sexualised and Racialised: Towards a Postcolonial Feminist Foreign Policy (Analysis)', Journal of International Women’s Studies 19(1), (2018): 34-49.

Book Chapters

  • (Forthcoming) ‘“Race” and Coloniality’ in Gender Matters in International Politics 3rd Edition. Edited by Laura J. Shepherd and Caitlin Hamilton.


  • With Benjamin Martill, ‘Toxic Masculinity: Militarism, Deal-Making and the Performance of Brexit.' In Dustin, Moira, Ferreria, Nuno, Milns, Susan (eds.) Gender and Queer Perspectives on Brexit, pp. 15-44 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).

View all publications in research portal



With Saskia Stachowitsch and Julia Sachseder. ‘#SecurityHasNoGender. Frontex, Border Security, and the Politics of Gender Neutrality.’ https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/wps/2021/03/31/securityhasnogender-frontex-border-security-and-the-politics-of-gender-neutrality/.

 ‘Why Images Matter to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda’, International Affairs Blog – Medium, http://medium.com/international-affairs/why-images-matter-to-the-women-peace-and-security-agenda-562219d37cfd.



‘Interview–Columba Achilleos-Sarll’, E-International Relations. https://www.e-ir.info/2018/11/26/interview-columba-achilleos-sarll/.

‘Gendering Boris Johnson’s Cabinet Exit’, LSE Dahrendorf Forum, http://www.dahrendorf-forum.eu/gendering-boris-johnsons-cabinet-exit/.

With Amy Galvin-Elliott. ‘Feminist Allies: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’, Disorder of Things, https://thedisorderofthings.com/2018/05/30/feminist-allies-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/.

‘The WPS Agenda Requires a Complementary Approach to Foreign and Domestic Policy’, LSE WPS Blog, http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/wps/2018/03/05/the-wps-agenda-requires-a-complementary-approach-to-foreign-and-domestic-policy/.


‘Deal or No Deal: The Hypermasculinity of the ‘Businessperson as Leader’ Rhetoric’, UCL European Institute Blog, https://ucl-brexit.blog/2017/06/12/deal-or-no-deal-the-hypermasculinity-of-the-businessperson-as-leader-rhetoric/. Quoted in a New Statesmen blog, and in The Book of Man blog.

‘Where are the Women at the Big Boys’ Table?’ UCL European Institute Blog, https://ucl-brexit.blog/2017/06/26/where-are-the-women-at-the-big-boys-table/