Dr Nora Stappert

Dr Nora Stappert


I am a Lecturer in International Relations and International Law at the School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds. I am currently also a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research, University of Duisburg-Essen, where I am part of the research group ‘Legitimation and Delegitimation in Global Cooperation’ (February 2022 – January 2023). 

Before coming to Leeds, I was a Marie Curie Fellow at the Centre for International Courts (iCourts) at Copenhagen’s Faculty of Law. In addition, I was a postdoctoral research fellow at Gothenburg University, School of Global Studies, where I worked on a research programme on Legitimacy in Global Governance, a collaboration between the universities of Stockholm, Lund, and Gothenburg.

Research interests

My research is situated at the intersection between International Relations and International Law. In particular, I am interested in how the authority and legitimacy of international (criminal) courts, and international organisations more generally, is established and challenged.

In my current project, I focus on the role of international lawyers as protagonists of processes of (de-)legitimation, specifically with regard to international criminal courts.

Among others, this project follows-up on my previous work with Magdalena Bexell and Kristina Jönsson on the audiences global governance institutions address in their efforts to legitimate themselves, as well as further work on (de-)legitimation co-authored with, among others, Catia Gregoratti and Fredrik Söderbaum that is currently forthcoming.

In addition, I am interested in the day-to-day practices of international law. As part of this research interest, I have used International Relations practice theory to theorise, and trace empirically, how legal meaning develops through the day-to-day interpretive legal practices at international criminal courts.

Furthermore, and as a contribution to international legal scholarship, I have worked on the extent to which international criminal courts draw on academic writings in their judgments, and the functions such references serve.

Since 2021, I have been an Associate Editor for the British Journal of Politics and International Relations. Between 2019 and 2022, I was also a member of the Steering Committee of the ECPR Standing Group on International Relations.

I welcome discussions of PhD supervision for original research that uses International Relations theory, specifically constructivism and practice theory, and/or novel work that uses interdisciplinary approaches and empirical research methods to understand the politics of international law, international courts, international criminal law, and/or the legitimacy and authority of global governance institutions.

<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>


  • 2017: Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil.) in International Relations, University of Oxford
  • 2013: Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.), Yale Law School
  • 2011: Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in International Relations, University of Oxford
  • 2009: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Politics and Law, University of M√ľnster
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//phd.leeds.ac.uk/project/1339-practices-of-international-(criminal)-law:-interdisciplinary-and-empirical-analyses">Practices of International (Criminal) Law: Interdisciplinary and Empirical Analyses</a></li>