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  • Dr Ma​ïa Pal

    BA Hon, MA, PhD, PGCTHE

    Senior Lecturer in International Relations

    Department of Social Sciences

    Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

    M Pal Profile Picture

    Phone number: +44 (0)1865 483743

    Email: mpal@brookes.ac.uk


    I am bilingual in French and English and came back to the UK in 2002 to start a BA in International Relations and Philosophy followed by an MA and PhD in International Relations at the University of Sussex, after growing up and studying Law in France. My main research activity focuses on developing the concepts of jurisdictional struggles and jurisdictional accumulation, to compare and understand the contemporary rise of extraterritorial disputes in relation to similar practices since early modernity. My teaching is research-driven, and focuses on the potential of historical sociology to develop critical pedagogies for the study of empires, colonialism and legal subjectivity in international relations.

    Since September 2017, I am co-Secretary of the Oxford Brookes UCU branch and Faculty rep for Department of Social Sciences and the School of Law.

    Since coming to Oxford Brookes in September 2014, I have taught widely accross the Politics and IR programme, at UG and MA levels. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and passed the PGCTHE in June 2017 with Distinction. 

    Modules taught

    • U23201 Level 4 Introduction to International Relations 1: Perspectives (Co-Lecturer)
    • U23130 Level 5 Researching Politics and International Relations: Analytical Modes (Co-Lecturer)
    • U23229 Level 5 International Trade and Migration (Module Leader)
    • U23272 Level 6 Law, Empires, and Revolutions (Module Leader)

    My first area of research is international history with a focus on early-modern European and colonial state-formation. I am specifically interested in the development of sovereign and extraterritorial jurisdictions. The second area of research is contemporary issues in global economic governance and migration, specifically extraterritorial jurisdiction and trade agreements in the North (EU-US). Both areas contribute to theories of International Relations and International Law, and more specifically to global historical sociology, historical materialism and Political Marxism in International Relations. The third area of research is social movements, theories of resistance and critical pedagogies. I explore these in the context of universities in post-Fordist political economies and through Michel Foucault's concept of counter-conduct.

    My main research project is a single authored monograph entitled Jurisdictional Accumulation: An early modern history of law, states and capital (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

    It is based on my doctoral thesis defended in December 2012, which consisted in a historical and theoretical reconstruction of the praxis of extraterritoriality through the cases of the early modern Spanish, French and British empires. 

    Research group membership

    Editor for the peer-reviewed journal Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory and website editor.

    Member of the Centre for Advanced International Theory at the University of Sussex. 

    Member of the Political Marxism Research Group at the University of Sussex. 

    Research projects

    I am currently working on a co-edited volume with Daniel Margolies, Umut Ozsu and Konstantina Tzouvala, The Extraterritoriality of Law: History, Theory, Politics (forthcoming, Abingdon: Routledge). Proposal available here.

    I am also working on articles and book chapters on extraterritorial jurisdiction; the origins or capitalism; Marxism and IR; borders and migrant subjectivity; student resistance and critical pedagogy. 

    Further information

    Academia.edu site

    Journal articles

    • Odysseos L, Pal M, 'Towards Critical Pedagogies of the International? Student Resistance, Other-regardedness and Self-formation in the Neoliberal University'
      International Studies Perspectives (2017)
      ISSN: 1528-3577 eISSN: 1528-3577
      Abstract Website
    • Nişancıoğlu N, Pal M, 'Counter-Conduct in the University Factory: Locating the Occupy Sussex Campaign'
      Global Society 30 (2) (2016) pp.279-300
      ISSN: 1360-0826 eISSN: 1360-0826
      Abstract Website
    • Pal M, 'Old alliances, new struggles: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership'
      Radical Philosophy (190) (2015) pp.8-12
      ISSN: 0300-211X eISSN: 0300-211X
    • Pal M, '"My capitalism is bigger than yours!" : against combining "how the West came to rule" with "the origins of capitalism"'
      Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory ()
      ISSN: 1465-4466 eISSN: 1465-4466
      Abstract Website

    Book chapters

    • Pal M, 'Marxism' in Stephen McGlinchey, Rosie Walters & Christian Scheinpflug (ed.), International Relations Theory, E-International Relations Publishing (2017)
      ISBN: 9781910814192

    Book Chapters

    ‘Early Modern Extraterritoriality and the Origin of Capitalism’ in Daniel Margolies, Umut Öszu, Maia Pal & Konstantina Tzouvala (eds.) The Extraterritoriality of Law: History, Theory, Politics, Abingdon: Routledge (Politics of Transnational Law Series), forthcoming

    ‘International Relations’ in Beverly Skeggs, Alberto Toscano & Sara Farris (Eds.) A Handbook of Marxism, Sage, forthcoming

    ‘David Harvey et la géographie de l’accumulation capitaliste’, Les Nouveaux Cahiers du Socialisme (Société de développement des périodiques culturels québécois - SODEP), Hiver 2015, Issue 13, pp145-151


    'With or Without You! Migrant Subjects and the Never-ending Tragedy of Liberalism' Salvage Quarterly, Issue 5, October 2017, Available here.

    ‘Introduction to ‘Britain versus France: How Many Sonderwegs?’ by Ellen Meiksins Wood’, Historical Materialism, Vol. 24, issue 1, 2016, pp3-10

    Online Essays

    Uncomfortable Pedagogy: decolonising and diversifying the curriculum in Politics, IR, and Sociology’, GPES Bits and Blogs, 20 June 2017

    The Past is Dead. Long Live the Past!  A Manifesto for (Teaching) Social Change’, E-International Relations, 17 July 2015 ()

    #BlackLivesMatter: The New Black Liberation Movement’, The Disorder of Things, 13 January 2015 ()

    Education for sale: Sussex should learn from London Met’, 1 November 2012

    (with Luke Cooper), ‘Lectures from a spin doctor: a NATO strategist’s position at a top British university’, 30 June 2011

    Membership of professional bodies

    Member of professional associations BISA and ISA.


    • 'Jurisdictional Accumulation: Towards Non-Eurocentric Histories of Early Modern European Empire' Lecture to the Centre for Critical International Law (CeCIL) at the University of Kent, 21 November 2017. See report here

    • ‘The space of biopolitics in the neoliberal university: conduct and counter-conduct’ The Space of Biopolitics workshop, School of Law, Oxford Brookes University, 4 July 2017

    • (with Louiza Odysseos) ‘Towards Critical Pedagogies of the International? Student Resistance, Self-formation and Other-regardedness in the Neoliberal University’, BISA, Brighton, June 2017

    • 'Uncomfortable Pedagogies: Diversifying and Decolonising the Curriculum in Politics, Sociology and IR' 17 February 2017 Speakers: Claire Vergerio, Mend Mariwani, Micaela Opoku-Mensah, Dalila Da Silva Lopes, 17 February, Oxford Brookes University    

    • ‘Territory, Sea, Migrants: New Agents of Accumulation’ Panel with Dr Chris Hesketh, Dr Alex Colas, Dr Liam Campling, and Dr Ashley Bohrer, Historical Materialism Annual Conference, London, 5-8 November   
    •  'Migrants and borders: exploring new historical subjects for critical pedagogies in international law and international relations' Legacies of the Tricontinental, University of Coimbra (Portugal), 22-25 September 2016
    • ‘Counter-Conduct in the University Factory: Locating the Occupy Sussex Campaign’ International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention, Atlanta (USA), 16-19 March 2016
    • ‘My Capitalism is Bigger than Yours: Early-Modern Legal Sovereignties and UCD's theoretical delusions’, Historical Materialism Annual Conference, London, 5-8 November 2015
    • 'Retrieving Agency in IR/IL: a Historical Sociology of Jurisdiction', British International Studies Association (BISA) Annual Conference, London, 17-19 June 2015
    • 'From Conflict of Laws to Jurisdictional Resistance: Rights against States and Capital', Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty Research Conference, Oxford Brookes University, 11 June 2015
    • ‘Jurisdictional Struggles’, Symposium to celebrate the work of Ellen Meiksins Wood, organised by Verso Publishers and the Politics Department at Birkbeck University, London, 4 November 2015
    • Participation in Roundtable 'Resisting Everyday Sexism in the Academy: Stories and Strategies', International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference, New Orleans (USA), 18-21 February 2015
    • 'Extraterritorial Obligations and Jurisdictional Accumulation: Towards A Historical Sociology', International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference, New Orleans (USA), 18-21 February 2015
    • Organisation of panel ‘Contending Perspectives of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction: International Law, International Relations, Historical Sociology’, International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference, New Orleans (USA), 18-21 February 2015
    • 'Thoughts on theory and jurisdiction from IR and Political Marxism', Symposium: Towards a Materialist History of International Law’, London School of Economics, 5-6 December 2014
    • 'Human Rights or State Capitalism ‘Beyond Borders’? Extraterritorial Obligations and Jurisdictional Accumulation', Annual Historical Materialism Conference, London, 6-9 November 2014
    • 'Is HE a Public Space? Occupying universities for asylum seekers in France', Critical Legal Conference, Brighton, 4-6 September 2014 
    • 'Beyond Capitalism (The Alternative Queen's Speech)' People's Parliament, House of Commons, Committee Room 8, Wednesday 4 June 2014, Chaired by MP John McDonnell, with Dr. Luke Cooper, Simon Hardy, Prof. Lynne Segal, Mary Griffiths Clarke 
    • Occupy Sussex: Counter-Conduct in the University Factory, ‘Governing Academic Life’: Conference at the London School of Economics and British Library, 25-26 June 2014
    • Jurisdictional accumulation: the geographical and political limits of transhistorical concepts ‘Geographies of Law: Power, Space, Borders’ workshop Altonaer Stiftung fur philosophische Grundlagenforschung, Hamburg (Germany), 16-18 May 2014
    • Methodological Problems in Theories of International Law: Calling for a Historical Sociology of Jurisdiction, 55th International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Conference, Toronto (Canada), 26-29 March 2014
    • Processes of Jurisdictional Accumulation in Early Modern Spain and France: a pre-capitalist history of international law, Annual Historical Materialism Conference, London, 7-10 November 2013
    • Sussex Against Privatisation: Educational Notes from a Campaign, Radical Lawyering: Theory and Practice, Cumberland Lodge Weekend hosted by Birkbeck Law School and Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, 13-15 September 2013
    • Occupy Sussex: Beyond Counter-Conduct? Presented with Kerem Nisancioglu at Counter-Conduct in Global Politics CAIT Workshop, University of Sussex, 10-12 September 2013
    • Thinking Beyond the Neoliberal Project: Comparing Cases of Jurisdictional Struggles, Understanding Neoliberal Legality: Perspectives on the Use of Law By, For, and Against the Neoliberal Project Workshop, University of Oxford, 21 June 2013
    • The Sussex Occupation: Ideas and Practices Against Neoliberalism in Education, The Utopian Law School and the Fate of the University, Law On Trial Series, Birkbeck University, 17 June 2013
    • Le concept d’hégémonie et le problème d’extraterritorialité: une critique des approches néo-gramsciennes, CÉDIM (Centre d’Études du Droit International et de la Mondialisation), UQÀM (Université du Québec À Montréal, Canada), 8-10 May 2013
    • Historical Materialism and International Law: Developing Legal Agency in Political Marxism, Social and Political Thought Research Group Seminar Series, Brunel University, 13 December 2012
    • Social Movements Against the Extraterritorial Application of SOPA and PIPA: Jurisdictional Agency vs. Juridical Accumulation? Annual Historical Materialism Conference, London, 8-10 November 2012
    • La transformation du concept ‘d’amélioration territoriale’ en pratique d’extraterritorialité par l’Empire Brittanique du XIXème siècle : enjeux contemporains pour les droits de propriété intellectuelle (SOPA - PIPA), Congrès annuel Société Québécoise de Science Politique (SQSP), Ottawa (Canada), 23 May 2012
    • Des enclosures à la globalisation juridique : socialiser l’histoire de l’extraterritorialité, 80e Congrès de l’Association Francophone pour le Savoir (Acfas) Montréal (Canada), 11 May 2012
    • English state formation, the rise of capitalism and nineteenth century international law: a legacy of double standards, Annual Historical Materialism Conference, London, 7-10 November 2011
    • The Separation of International Relations from International Law: A Critical Marxist Approach European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Joint Sessions Muenster (Germany), 22-27 March 2010


    Other experience

    I previously taught at the University of Sussex and at the University of Brighton in Hastings.