Dagmar Rychnovská

I am Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the Techno-science and societal transformation group at the IHS Vienna. I am political scientist specializing in security studies and my work is primarily focused on the changing politics of security.

  • Theoretically, I am interested in the transformation of meanings and practices of (in)security and how this acts back on us in terms of shaping the existing power and knowledge structures. In this regard, my research draws mainly on critical security studies, international political sociology, and sociology of science and technology.
  • Empirically, my current research studies security controversies in the governance of research and innovation concerning bioweapons, biotechnologies, and biobanks. In my prior work, I explored the changing understanding of biological threats, the way UN Security Council approaches new security challenges, the evolution of neutrality etc.
  • Methodologically, I work mostly with qualitative interpretive methods (discourse analysis, practice analysis) and use typically policy documents, interviews, and participant observation.

My interest in studying these issues is probably a result of both my personal experience and my training. I come from the Czech Republic, a small country in Central Europe which has recently undergone huge transformations related to the integration to Western political, economic and cultural structures. Security is an area that has on the one hand gone through most visible changes in principles and policies, but on the other hand epistomizes a field in which customs, professional networks and identities play a huge role. The attempts to understand how this encounter between different systems of meanings looks in practice and what implications it brings about have eventually led me to critical and sociologically-oriented approaches in security studies.

I started my studies at the University of Economics in Prague, where I specialized in International Studies and Diplomacy. My interest in security studies led me to the VU University Amsterdam, where I completed an interdisciplinary LLM in Law and Politics of International Security, and continued with a research-oriented M.A. in Comparative and International Studies at the ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich. I came back to Prague to do Ph.D. in International Relations at the Charles University, which I finished in 2016 with a thesis on the politics of bio(in)security. Prior to joining the IHS Vienna, I worked as a lecturer and researcher at the Charles University and Metropolitan University Prague.

Full CV here.