Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Personal profile

I hold a PhD in international studies from Cardiff University and an MSc in comparative politics/conflict studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Before coming to UNNC, I was an Assistant Professor at the American University of Kurdistan and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.


Furthermore, I have extensive professional experience outside academia. I began my professional life as a broadcast journalist, editor, and anchor woman in my native country, Germany. Based on my longstanding professional career in journalism, I moved on to serve as journalism instructor and media expert for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO) International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, a position I hold for five years. Following this, I worked as a media expert and media development advisor for several international nongovernmental organisations (INGOs) in South Sudan, before returning to Afghanistan to serve as spokesperson for NATO’s Ambassador, the Senior Civilian Representative (SCR), in the NATO-led Resolute Support (RS) mission. For my service with ISAF and RS in Afghanistan, I was honoured (twice) with the NATO medal (non Art. 5). I was also honoured with an Award of Gratitude for my work with Afghan journalists and towards media progress in Afghanistan by the former government of Kunduz.

Research Interests

My research interests are informed by my professional experience: I have been working as a civilian in a military environment, a woman in male-dominated countries and a ‘westerner’ in the global South. Consequently, I am interested in intercultural exchanges in the international sphere. I use a range of interpretive methods to examine how actors with different values, belief systems, and cultural backgrounds interact with each other and help or hinder cooperation. My interest in how individuals and groups with diverse perspectives interact is a move away from traditional International Relations (IR) and its focus on states and organisations and towards individuals and relational IR. I am particularly interested, for one, in questions of the everyday in the international sphere, especially in violent conflicts and interventions (broadly understood), the local turn, and how to overcome the local/international dichotomy. Second, I am interested in knowledge transfer practices in statebuilding and interventions.


My second research interest lies in understanding the politics and processes of knowledge production. I am interested in understanding if/how research methods enact the social worlds they aim to describe, and what this means for civilian and military interventions. Having a penchant for applied research, my aim is to understand if/how knowledge production can be made more inclusive, equitable, and accessible to diverse communities. This includes studying the ways in which power imbalances and structural inequalities shape knowledge production, as well as exploring strategies for promoting diversity and representation within knowledge-producing institutions and practices.


These interests are interrelated and intersect with each other in many ways, and they both show in my work to date. For example, my research monograph Statebuilding and Media Development: A Context-Sensitive Approach is based on my fieldwork on Western-led media development in South Sudan and argues for the decolonialization of media development. My journal articles on ‘Researching silence’ and ‘Researcher effects in survey-based research’ examine who gets and who wants to speak and how a researcher influences the data they collect. Currently, I am working on a range of articles examining the military intervention in Afghanistan.



  • Diplomacy
  • Dissertation: Preliminary Analysis
  • International Organisations
  • Introduction to IR


  • Core Concepts in International Relations and World History
  • Research Methods (Qualitative)

Person Types

  • Staff


Dive into the research topics where Kerstin Tomiak is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or