Dr Jonna Nyman

Jonna profileLeverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow

Contact Details

Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 1675
Room: Elmfield 1.28
Email: j.nyman@sheffield.ac.uk
Twitter: @jknyman
Website: https://jknyman.com.


I joined the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield in September 2016, having previously worked at the University of Leicester. I undertook my undergraduate (BA International Relations) degree at the University of Birmingham, where I continued my studies supported by a 1+3 ESRC Studentship, completing an MA in Political Science (Research Methods) and a PhD in International Relations. My PhD focused on energy security politics in the United States and China, as a part of which I undertook six months of fieldwork in Washington DC and Beijing funded by a separate ESRC grant. My PhD was awarded in 2014.

My research centres on the politics and ethics of security, with particular interests in energy security, climate politics, and China.

At Sheffield, I am undertaking a three-year research project funded by a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship, titled ‘Securing China: Understanding security politics beyond the West’.

I am a member of the International Politics Working Group at the University of Sheffield.


I consider teaching to be an integral part of academic life, and my love of teaching is one of the reasons why I became an academic. My teaching philosophy is centred encouraging curiosity and I see the classroom as a space where we can all question our own assumptions and explore new ideas while debating the big and small questions of international relations. I use a range of learning activities, from more traditional lectures and seminars, to role plays and simulation exercises, to push students to see the subject from different angles. I draw on ‘flipped classroom’ teaching methods, which emphasise active learning and putting students in charge of their own learning.

My teaching goal is to foster critical thinking skills: teaching students how to think, not what to think. I engage with students as independent scholars, getting them to apply theories independently to develop their own analytical skills, and giving them the tools to do so.

In the past, I have taught a wide range of subjects related to International Relations and Security Studies, at the University of Birmingham and the University of Leicester.

During the 2016-17 academic year, I will teach on the following modules:


My research interests are in the politics and ethics of security, with further interests in energy security, climate politics, and China.

My current research is grouped under three main related themes:

Conceptualising Energy Security

This work builds on my PhD research on the politics and ethics of energy security in the United States and China. It draws on critical approaches to security to understand how energy is constructed as a security issue by key actors, both in discourse and in policy practice. I’m particularly interested in contestation over the meaning of energy security, and what attaching security ‘does’ to energy. I am currently completing a book manuscript based on this work, and have also published three articles on different aspects of this work.

The Politics and Ethics of Security

I’m also interested in how we can theorise the politics and ethics of security more broadly, going beyond energy security. This has developed into further projects, including a co-edited book on Ethical Security Studies and an article on the value of security, published in Review of International Studies.

Chinese foreign and security policy

Drawing both on my previous research on Chinese energy security politics, and on my broader interests in the politics of security, I am in the early stages of a new major research project on Chinese security politics, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. I'm particularly interested in 'Chinese' constructions of security and current debates in Chinese IR.

Key Project and Grants
Securing China: Understanding security politics beyond the West

Awarding Body: The Leverhulme Trust
Years funded for: 2016-19
£ Amount: e. £80,000



Nyman, J. (2018) The Energy Security Paradox: Rethinking Energy (In)security in the United States and China, Oxford: Oxford University Press. [in press]

Nyman, J. and Burke, A. (eds) (2016) Ethical Security Studies: A New Research Agenda, London and New York: Routledge.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

** a translation of this paper has been accepted for publication in China, in Strategy and Management 战略与管理]

Book chapters

  • Nyman J. (2017) ‘Energy security in an age of environmental change’, in Stevenson, H. and Corry, O. (eds) Traditions and Trends in Global Environmental Politics: IR and the Earth, London: Routledge
  • Nyman, J. and Burke, A. (2016) ‘Introduction: Imagining Ethical Security Studies’ in Nyman, J. and Burke, A. (eds) Ethical Security Studies, London and New York: Routledge.
  • Nyman, J. (2016) ‘Pragmatism, practice and the value of security’ in Nyman, J. and Burke, A. (eds) Ethical Security Studies, London and New York: Routledge.
  • Nyman, J. (2016) 'Energy Security under Obama: Some hope, but not much change', in Holland, J. and Bentley, M. (eds) The Obama Doctrine: Legacy and continuity in US foreign policy, London and New York: Routledge.
  • Nyman, J. (2013) ‘Securitisation Theory’ in Shepherd, L.J. (ed) Critical Approaches to Security: Theories and Methods, London and New York: Routledge, p51-62.

Recent invited talks (2013-2016)

  • Nyman J. (2016) ‘Pragmatism, practice and the value of security’, invited Departmental Seminar at the University of Leeds, November 2016.
  • Nyman, J. (2015) ‘The Energy Security Paradox: Understanding energy (in)security in the United States and China’, invited guest speaker at UI (Swedish Institute for International Affairs), Stockholm, May 2015.
  • Nyman, J. (2014) ‘Tales of translations: translating energy security’, invited speaker at Translations of Security conference organised by the Centre for Advanced Security Theory, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, May 2014.
  • Nyman, J. (2013) ‘Positive security in practice: energy security in the United States’, Invited speaker as part of the Emerging Securities Seminar Series, Keele University, March 2013.
  • Nyman, J. (2013) Keynote roundtable: ‘Declining America, Rising China?’ Invited speaker at BISA US Foreign Policy Annual Conference, Warwick University, September 2013.

I have presented my research at a number of national and international conferences, in Europe, the United States, and Asia.

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