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Photo of Dr Maria (Mary) Papageorgiou

Dr Maria (Mary) Papageorgiou

Lecturer in Politics and International Relations

 Lecturer in Politics and International Relations

Research interests

I am currently conducting an in-depth investigation into the dynamics of Sino-Russian relations within the framework of great powers cooperation and alignment and the implications of this relationship for the international system. My research employs several methodological approaches to examine the intensity of their cooperation, mutual support, and level/type of alignment. I have also conducted research on their interactions and references in social media platforms, specifically Twitter. My analysis incorporates a wide range of quantitative techniques, including the development of an index, advanced modeling approaches, descriptive statistics, coding schemes, and quantitative computer-assisted content analysis.

From a theoretical perspective, I am interested in examining the applicability of the realist school of thought, particularly neorealism, in the contemporary international system. In the case of Sino-Russian relations, I aim to reconsider state behavior, specifically balancing and the notion of alliances. Following this theoretical orientation, I have a recent focus on investigating technological competitions between states, particularly in emerging technologies, and how the key principles of realism manifest in different sub-systems of power.

Additionally, I am exploring various aspects of the "China question," including China's rise, China as a threat, its strategic partnerships' network, power capabilities and its engagement in other regions, primarily the Middle East.

Research supervision

I am happy to supervise research projects in the broader field of international relations theory. My focus areas include states' bilateral or multilateral cooperation, foreign policy, and regionalism. I am particularly enthusiastic about supervising projects related to any of the following themes:

  • Russia, China and/or US relations/foreign policy
  • Foreign policy on Twitter
  • Realist international relations theory (balancing theory, alliance formation, offense-defense balance, and great power politics)
  • The eclectic approach of realist theory and economic interdependence in states' relations
  • Great power competition in different subsystems (emerging technologies, space exploration)
  • Comparative regionalism (international organisations)
Please feel free to contact me via email to discuss your ideas.


I joined the University of Exeter as a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations in September 2023. My academic journey has seen me hold various positions, including serving as an Associate Lecturer at UCL from 2022 to 2023, during which time I also acted as Co-Director of the Political Science department's Ethics Committee. Prior to that, I was a Teaching Fellow at SOAS University from 2021 to 2022. 

I hold a PhD in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Minho in Portugal, a Master’s degree in International Political Economy from Panteion University of Athens in Greece, and a Bachelor’s degree in International and European Studies from the University of Piraeus, Greece. During my doctoral studies, I embarked on enriching research experiences through visiting periods at King's College London and University of Newcastle in the UK, as well as Saint Petersburg State University in Russia (online).
My research and teaching interests revolve around international relations theory and the foreign policies of great powers, mainly focusing on China, Russia, and the US. Currently, my research agenda covers the following topics: China as a maritime power, securitisation of China as a threat, China’s engagement in the Middle East, Sino-Russian relations, and the responses of Global South states to the war in Ukraine, for which I have been granted the ISA 2024 Conference Workshop fund.
My publications have appeared in leading journals in the fields of political science and international relations. I have also contributed short pieces and political commentary to international think tanks and media. I am additionally an Associate Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and an external postgraduate supervisor at the University of Bradford.
In line with my research and methodological expertise, I teach modules in international relations and research methods, where I have expertise in both quantitative and qualitative designs.
Office hours
Tuesdays 16.30 to 17.30 (online)
Thursdays 15.30 to 16.30 (in person) at Clayden building 1st floor room 1.01

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