· State-building and identity politics
· The causes of state violence towards citizens and the development of international norms proscribing such violence
· The forced displacement of peoples
· The relationship between international norms and state practices
· The relationship between liberalism and its 'Others' both historically and in the contemporary world order
Background and Projects
Heather Rae is a scholar of International Relations with a long-standing interest in understanding the causes of state violence towards citizens. This interest is exemplified in her 2002 book State Identities and the Homogenisation of Peoples (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Heather is currently working on a project entitled 'The Frontiers of Liberalism'. One of the most important questions we face today in international relations concerns the nature of the relationships between liberal and non-liberal states and non-state actors in the liberal world order. Recent history has shown us how, in the name of providing security against threats and promulgating liberal principles globally, liberal values can be stretched to, and arguably beyond, breaking point. However, this is not the first time that liberal values have been stretched in this way. Therefore, this project investigates the contradictions of liberalism in historical perspective, taking account of arguments over religious toleration and liberal defenses of imperialism before analyzing the contemporary period.
'Logics of Genocide: The Modern Social Imaginary and Genocide in Australia', in Anne O'Byrne and Martin Schuster, (eds) Logics of Genocide, Indiana University Press, (forthcoming 2017).