Dr Alena Drieschova

Postdoc Research Fellow

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 44
47059 Duisburg

Phone: +49 (0)203 379-5249
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276
E-Mail: drieschova@gcr21.uni-due.de


since 01/2016

Cardiff University

Department of Politics and International Relations

Senior Lecturer

09/2008 - 09/2016

University of Toronto

Department of Political Science

PhD Student

01/2007 - 08/2008

International Water Management Institute

Working Group on Government and Societies

Research Assistant

09/2006 - 06/2007

Oxford University

Queen Elizabeth House

MA Student

Research Interests

  • Technology
  • Material Culture
  • Europe
  • History
  • Nationalism
  • International Order
  • Migration

Current Projects

  • The epistemological challenge of truth-subversion to the Liberal International Order (with Emanuel Adler)

  • Conceptualizing International Practices (with Christian Bueger and Ted Hopf) edited volume

  • Representants and International Orders

  • In consideration of evolving matters: A new materialist addition to Emanuel Adler’s cognitive evolution, chapter for edited volume

  • A sociology of the vote in the EU's Council of Ministers

  • The social media revolution and shifts in the climate change discourse, chapter for edited volume

  • Dissemination technologies and truth regimes: A historical perspective, grant application

Expertise and Consulting work

  • Consultant, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Gland, Switzerland
  • Consultant, Oregon State University, Department of Geography, Corvallis, USA


  • International Studies Association
  • European International Studies Association
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Governing Board for New Perspectives
  • Member of the Governing Board for Politologická revue


Dr Alena Drieschova joined the research group 'Global Cooperation and Polycentric Governance' in July 2020 and will be a Postdoc Research Fellow at the Centre until June 2021.


Research Project at the Centre

Representants and International Orders

My book manuscript introduces a new explanation of international order that focuses on representants. Representants are practices, artefacts and language that make the units of the international system present. They are crucial for international relations, given that international relations deal with a macro-realm that can never be fully present, but needs to be represented and made concrete in specific localities. Representants have four interrelated effects: 1) They define the units of the international system; 2) They legitimize them; 3) They provide them with differential degrees of power; 4) They serve as tools for governing. When existing representants are seriously challenged, orders are in crisis; when new representants emerge, a new order has taken hold. I develop a mechanism of change emerging from struggles over representants. Empirically the book focuses on international order change from the medieval period up to the present in Europe. The first three empirical chapters analyze the transition from the medieval order of universal monarchy to a balance of power. Specific representants, such as gothic cathedrals, the mass, and coronation rituals maintained the medieval hierarchical order with the pope/emperor at the apex. The Reformation provided the impetus for kings to challenge the medieval order and adapt existing representants, so that they would portray the independence of kings from the papacy/emperor, and simultaneously position kings above feudal lords. Gradually new representants developed that established a focus on equal power relations that need to be balanced against each other. The last empirical chapter highlights how similar dynamics of representation are shaping the European Union today.


  • University of Toronto nomination for the Merze Tate Award from the American Political Science Association for the best dissertation in the field of international relations, law and politics
  • Marie Curie Seale of Excellence, (Total score 91% in evaluation of the Marie Curie Individual Fellowship – 200.000 Euros for two years)
  • Fred Hartmann Award for best graduate student paper presented at the International Studies Association Northeast
  • Honorable mention International Studies Association International Political Sociology section Graduate Student Paper Award
  • Honorable mention International Studies Association Theory section Pre-PhD Paper Award
  • Award for Excellent Student Essays, University of Economics, Prague
  • First place in bi-national students’ essay competition Vision 2020, Energy 2020, Penta Finance


Adler-Nissen, Rebecca and Alena Drieschova (2019) “Track-Change diplomacy: Technology, affordances and the practice of international negotiations”, International Studies Quarterly 63 (3):531-545.

Marshall, Hannah and Alena Drieschova (2018) “Post-Truth Politics in the UK’s Brexit Referendum,” New Perspectives: Journal of Central and Eastern European Politics and International Relations, Vol. 26(3): 89-105.

rieschova, Alena (2017) “Peirce’s Semeiotics: A Methodology for Bridging the Material-Ideational Divide in IR Scholarship”, International Theory, Vol. 9(1): 33-66.

Giordano, Mark, Alena Drieschova, James A. Duncan, Yoshiko Sayama, Lucia De Stefano, and Aaron T. Wolf (2014) “A review of the evolution and state of transboundary freshwater treaties”, International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law, and Economics, Vol. 14 (3): 245-264.

Drieschova, Alena, Itay Fischhendler and Mark Giordano (2011) “The role of uncertainties in the design of international water treaties: an historical perspective”, Climatic Change, Vol. 105 (3-4): 387-408.

Drieschova, Alena, Mark Giordano and Itay Fischhendler (2008) “Governance mechanisms to address flow variability in water treaties”, Global Environmental Change, Vol. 18 (2): 285-295.

Drieschova, Alena (2019) “A Role for Phenomenology in IR Scholarship,” In: Singh, Jatinder, Carr, Madeline, and Marlin-Bennett, Renee (eds.) Worldviews in Science, Technology, and Art in International Relations, London: Routledge.

Drieschova, Alena and Gabriel Eckstein (2014) “Cooperative transboundary mechanism,” In: Josh Roberts, and Juan Carlos Sánchez (eds.) Transboundary Water Governance: Adaptation to Climate Change, Gland: Switzerland: International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Drieschova, Alena, Mark Giordano and Itay Fischhendler (2009) “Climate change, international cooperation and adaptation: lessons from transboundary water law”, In: Neil Adger, Irene Lorenzoni, Karen O’Brien, (eds.) Adapting to Climate Change: Thresholds, Values and Governance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Drieschova, Alena (2019) “The Velvet Revolution Happened Yesterday,” Editorial, New Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Journal of Central and East European Politics and International Relations 27(3): 7-13.

Drieschova, Alena (2019) “The Multiplicity Straightjacket,” Forum Contribution, New Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Journal of Central and East European Politics and International Relations 27(3): 155-159.

Drieschova, Alena (2019) “Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday Attacks were Meant for International Audience, but have Local Consequences,” The Conversation, 06/06/2019, theconversation.com/sri-lankas-easter-sunday-attacks-were-meant-for-international-audience-but-have-local-consequences-117704.

Seminars and Conferences

Drieschova, Alena (2017) “In consideration of evolving matters,” A celebration of Emanuel Adler’s scholarship and career, Munk School of Global Affairs, Toronto, May 12 2017

Drieschova, Alena (2016) “Change of International Orders: Empire and Balance of Power”, International Studies Association Annual Convention 2016, Atlanta, March 16-19 2016

Drieschova, Alena (2016) “Material Signs, Complexity Theory, and the Conceptualization of the Territorial State”, International Studies Association Annual Convention 2016, Atlanta, March 16-19 2016

Drieschova, Alena (2015) “Peirce’s Semeiotics: A Methodology for Bridging the Material-Ideational Divide in IR Scholarship”, International Studies Association Annual Convention 2015, New Orleans, February 18-21 2015