Dr Louise Pears


I became a teaching fellow in Politics and International Studies (POLIS) in January 2020. Prior to this I worked as a Research Assistant in the Media and Culture department, on the Democratic Reflections project, an extension of of a three-year project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, exploring how citizens responded to and evaluated televised election debates. I have also held the positions of research assistant on the Swedish Research Council funded project Militarization 2.0, alongside Nick Robinson here in POLIS, and Research Fellow for the Security and Justice Research Group. Outside of academia, I have worked at Google, Oxfam and Friends of the Earth.  

I was awarded my PhD, entitled Terrorists, Heroes and Homeland: How race and gender are negotiated to create meaning in terrorism TV from the University of Leeds in 2015. I also have an MA in Gender Research Methods from the University of Leeds, an MSc in Gender and International Relations from the University of Bristol and an MA(cantab) in Social Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge.

Research interests

My research interests are in Feminist Security Studies, Popular Culture and World Politics, Race and Postcolonial International Relations, Critical Terrorism Studies and Research Methods. What underlies all these areas is an interest in ‘the margins, silences and bottom rungs’ (Enloe, 1996)  of International Relations. I am interested in how security operates at the level of the everyday and the research methods that we can use to better understand this. In particular, I have experience working with focus groups as a tool to study the vernacular of security.

My research plans going forward involve expanding on the area of 'whiteness' in security narratives that emerged in my PhD thesis, as well as further research on contemporary military masculinities in popular culture.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • 2015: PhD, Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, University of Leeds
  • 2012: MA Gender Research, University of Leeds, distinction, excellence prize
  • 2010: MSc Gender and International Relations, University of Bristol, distinction
  • 2007: MA (cantab) Social and Political Sciences, Universtiy of Cambridge
  • University of Leeds Teaching Award

Professional memberships

  • British International Studies Association

Student education

I currently teach Security Studies (PIED2558) and Approaches to Analysis (PIED2721) and supervise Masters dissertations.

I am committed to research led teaching, and endeavour to bring my own research and the research of my colleagues in POLIS in to enliven the courses I teach. My perspective on research led teaching also incorporates the idea of research based learning, whereby students learn as researchers. Alongside this commitment to research based education, it is important to me as a feminist researcher that my teaching practice is inclusive, potentially emancipatory, and student-centred.