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 (Assistant Professor) 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, civil society and advocacy, feminist foreign policy, and visual global politics. 

Columba co-convenes with Dr Emma A. Foster the Gender and Feminist Theory research group, a vibrant research group hosted in POLSIS which brings together academics and students across the institution interested in gender and feminist theory.


  • PhD Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick
  • MPhil International Relations, University of Oxford
  • PGCHE Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education


Columba Achilleos-Sarll joined the department in September 2021 after completing her PhD at the Politics and International Studies Department at Warwick University. Columba’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. Beyond the WPS agenda, Columba’s research extends to feminist foreign policy, visual global politics, and civil society and advocacy. Her research has been published in several journals including Security Dialogue, International Studies Quarterly, International AffairsInternational Studies Reviewthe International Feminist Journal of Politics, and the Journal of International Women’s Studies. She has also written several 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 several research prizes including: the 2019 ISA Edward Said Award; the 2021 International Affairs early career prize (shortlisted); and the 2017 Feminist Studies Association Prize (shortlisted). In 2019, she received a Departmental Commendation for Outstanding Contribution to the Department’s Teaching at Warwick University and was also nominated for a Warwick Award for Postgraduates who Teach.


Columba currently co-convenes the first-year undergraduate module Global History. In addition, she convenes the postgraduate module Gender, Peace and Security.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Achilleos-Sarll is interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas: feminist and post/decolonial approaches to international relations; the Women, Peace and Security agenda; civil society and advocacy; visual global politics; feminist foreign policy.

Current Students

(Co-supervising with Dr Danielle Beswick) Scarlet Elliott-Vass, ESRC Studentship: ‘Sub State Translations: Exploring the Localisation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Uganda’.


Research Interests

Dr Achilleos-Sarll’s research focuses on several areas:

  • The Women, Peace and Security Agenda
  • Civil society and advocacy
  • Visual global politics
  • Feminist Foreign Policy


Other activities

Memberships: International Studies Association (ISA); British International Studies Association (BISA)



Achilleos-Sarll, C. (2024) Reconceptualising Advocacy through the Women, Peace and Security Agenda: Embodiment, Relationality, and Power’. International Political Sociology 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1093/ips/olad026.

Achilleos-Sarll, C., Sachseder S, & Stachowitsch, S (2023). 'The (Inter-)Visual Politics of Border Security: Co-Constituting Gender and Race through Frontex's Risk Analysis', Security Dialogue. 54(4) https://doi.org/10.1177/09670106231182314

Achilleos-Sarll, C (2023). 'The (Dis-)Appearance of Race in the United Kingdom's Institutionalisation and Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda'. International Studies Quarterly 67(1). https://doi.org/10.1093/isq/sqad006

Achilleos-Sarll, C., Thomson, J., Haastrup, T., Färber, K., Cohn, C., Kirby, P (2023). 'The Past, Present, and Future(s) of Feminist Foreign Policy'. International Studies Review 25(1). https://doi.org/10.1093/isr/viac068

Achilleos-Sarll, C (2020). ‘“Seeing” the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda: Exploring the Visual Reproduction of WPS through UK Government National Action Plans’, International Affairs 96(6): 1463-1663. https://doi.org/10.1093/ia/iiaa168

Achilleos-Sarll, C & Chilmeran Y (2020). ‘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): 596-605. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616742.2020.1803097

Achilleos-Sarll, C (2018). 'Reconceptualising Foreign Policy as Gendered, Sexualised and Racialised: Towards a Postcolonial Feminist Foreign Policy (Analysis)', Journal of International Women’s Studies 19(1): 34-49. https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol19/iss1/


Achilleos-Sarll, C (2022). “Race” and Coloniality. In Gender Matters in International Politics 3rd Edition. Edited by Laura J. Shepherd and Caitlin Hamilton. (London: Routledge 2022).

Achilleos-Sarll & Martill B (2019). ‘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).

Blogs & Other Public-Engagement Publications

Achilleos-Sarll, C, Stachowitsch S, & Sachseder J (2021). ‘#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/

Achilleos-Sarll, C (2020). ‘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’ (2018). E-International Relations. https://www.e-ir.info/2018/11/26/interview-columba-achilleos-sarll/

Achilleos-Sarll, C (2018). ‘Gendering Boris Johnson’s Cabinet Exit’ LSE Dahrendorf Forum. https://www.dahrendorf-forum.eu/gendering-boris-johnsons-cabinet-exit/

Achilleos-Sarll, C & Galvin-Elliott A (2018). ‘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/

Achilleos-Sarll, C (2018). ‘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/

Achilleos-Sarll, C (2017). ‘Deal or No Deal: The Hypermasculinity of the ‘Businessperson as Leader’ Rhetoric’, UCL European Institute Blog. https://ucleuropeblog.com/2017/06/12/deal-or-no-deal-the-hypermasculinity-of-the-businessperson-as-leader-rhetoric/

Achilleos-Sarll, C (2017). ‘Where are the Women at the Big Boys’ Table?’ UCL European Institute Blog. https://ucleuropeblog.com/2017/06/26/where-are-the-women-at-the-big-boys-table/

Book Reviews

Review of Laura J. Shepherd's Narrating the Women, Peace and Security Agenda: Logics of Global Governance, International Affairs 97(4), (2021): 1257-59.

Review of Sara E. Davies & Jacqui True (eds), The Oxford Handbook on Women, Peace and Security, LSE Review of Books, (2020).

Review of Inderpal Grewal, Saving the Security State Exceptional Citizens in Twenty-First-Century-America, International Feminist Journal of Politics 20(4), (2018): 672-674.

Review of Laura J. Shepherd, ‘Gender, UN Peacebuilding, and the Politics of Space: Locating Legitimacy’, International Feminist Journal of Politics 20(2), (2018): 285-288.

View all publications in research portal


  • Women, Peace and Security Agenda
  • Civil society and advocacy
  • Visual global politics
  • Feminist Foreign Policy