Dr Jill Steans

Jill Steans

Department of Political Science and International Studies
Senior Lecturer in International Relations Theory

Contact details

Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom


  • BA (Politics, University of Nottingham) MA (International Relations, University of Nottingham)
  • PhD, Keele University)
  • SEDA (Staff Educational Development Association, ILT) LEVEL II


Jill Steans joined POLSIS in 2000 having previously been employed as a lecturer in International Relations at Keele University and Nottingham Trent University.

Jill's research interests fall mainly in the area of gender in International Relations. Her award winning book Gender and International Relations (now in its 3rd edition) is known throughout the world and has been translated into Greek and Portuguese. Jill is the lead author of a major teaching text International Relations: Perspectives and Themes (also in its 3rd edition), which is recommended reading on IR courses throughout the world.

Her current recent focuses on issues of gender and sexuality as these arise in situations of conflict and humanitarian crises. She is currently the Principal Investigator for an ESRC funded strategic network on the health needs of LGBTI people across the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

During her time at Birmingham, Jill has performed a variety of senior administrative/managerial roles including: School Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer; Deputy Head of Department; Finance Officer; Acting Director of Learning and Teaching and Director of the Graduate School. She has acted as first or second supervisor to 20 MPhil/PhD students, most of whom have now completed their degree. This includes students supported by the ESRC.

Along with Professor Thomas Diez (now at Tubingen University) she set up new undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in IR at Birmingham and she is a founding member of the Department’s Research Group on IR Theory (now IR Theory and Security). The group has hosted several conferences and workshops, generating publications in the Review of International Studies and Global Society. She is also a member of the POLSIS International Political Economy Group and is a founding member of the cross-College research cluster on Gender and Feminist Theory.

Beyond Birmingham, Dr Steans has acted as an External Examiner (University of Southampton), has engaged in public consultancy exercises (including the British FCO and INSTRAW ) and has provide expert witness testimony to parliamentary Select Committees (most recently the House of Lord’s Select Committee on Sexual Violence in Conflict). She has refereed for national and international research funding bodies including the ESRC, Leverhulme, the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Canadian Research Council, Norwegian Research Council and Qatar Research Council. She has served on a number of Editorial Boards and Committees including: the Review of International Studies; the British Journal of Politics and International Relations; and the International Feminist Journal of Politics. Dr Steans is involved in a number of national and international research networks, including: the British International Studies Associations Working Group on Gender and IR; the British International Studies Association International Political Economy Group.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Steans welcomes applications from prospective MPhil/PhD students in the following areas:

Gender in International Relations and International Politics; Gender and Human Rights (both women’s rights and LGBT rights); Global Governance, especially in relation to gender issues in conflict and humanitarian crises; International Relations Theory.


Research interests

  • Gender in International Relations
  • International Relations Theory
  • Women's Rights and LGBT Rights as Human Rights
  • Global Governance, especially in relation to conflict and humanitarian crises


Steans, Jill and Daniela Tepe-Belfrage (2016) (Eds.) Handbook of Gender in World Politics, Oxford: Edward Elgar. www.e-elgar.com/shop/handbook-on-gender-in-world-politics.

(with Daniela Tepe) ‘The New Materialism: Reclaiming a Debate from a Feminist Perspective’, Capitalism and Class, 40, (2), 2016: 305-326.

(2013) Gender and International Relations: Theory, Practice, Policy, Cambridge: Polity Press.

(with Lloyd Pettiford, Thomas Diez, Imad El-Anis) (2009) 3rd ed. International Relations: Perspectives and Themes, London: Pearson.

‘Telling Stories about Women and Gender in the ‘War on Terror.’ Global Society, 21, 1, January 2008.

‘Negotiating the Politics of Difference in the Project of Feminist Solidarity’, Review of International Studies, 33, 4, October, 2007: 729-743.

‘Debating Women’s Human Rights as a Universal Feminist Project: Defending Women’s Human Rights as a Political Tool.’  Review of International Studies January, 33, 2007: 11-27.

(with Thomas Diez) ‘Habermas and International Relations: A Useful Dialogue?’ Review of International Studies, 31, 1, January, 2005: 127-140

View all publications in research portal