Dr Laura Mills

Dr Laura Mills

Associate Lecturer

Researcher profile

+44 (0)1334 46 2941



Dr Laura Mills is the Associate Director of the Centre for Art and Politics. She is the founding co-convenor of the British International Studies Association (BISA) Critical Military Studies Working Group and also serves as Associate Editor of the journal Critical Military Studies.

Prior to joining the University of St Andrews' School of International Relations, Dr Mills was a Teaching Fellow in American Politics and Foreign Policy and Coordinator of the Institute of North American Studies at King's College London. At King's, she was also invited to become a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of War Studies. 

Dr Mills undertook her undergraduate studies at the University of Oxford, before completing her MA and PhD in International Relations at Queen's University Belfast.


Dr Laura Mills is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was invited to become a member of the University’s Enterprise Education Network. She currently serves on the University of St Andrews Entrepreneurial Education Working Group. Her innovative pedagogies have been recognised and awarded at international and national levels.

In 2023, Dr Mills was honoured by the British International Studies Association with the Award for Distinguished Excellence in Teaching International Studies

In 2021, she was one of the inaugural winners of the University of St Andrews Entrepreneurial Education Fund, enabling her to develop a website on Everyday Life and Global Politics, showcasing her innovative pedagogical practice and her students' extraordinary creative work.

In 2020, Dr Mills was conferred the McCall-MacBain Foundation Teaching Excellence Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to teaching and the advancement of teaching and learning scholarship.

She was awarded the 2019-20 Political Studies Association (PSA) Innovations in Teaching Politics (Group) Award with Dr Lydia Cole, Dr Faye Donnelly and Dr Natasha Saunders for introducing engagement with conflict textiles in the teaching of politics and international relations and challenging both established pedagogies and ways of understanding the discipline through this innovative approach.

Research areas

Dr Laura Mills’ research explores two largely under-analysed areas of enquiry in IR – the cultural and the everyday – and argues that culture and everyday life co-constitute global politics. Her work draws on and seeks to contribute to contemporary interdisciplinary debates around aesthetics, identity, global governmentality, performativity, everyday practice and power through critical interrogations of cultural diplomacy, (the afterlives of) war, militarism, and security. More recently, her work is interested in and driven by creative engagements with international relations.

Dr Mills’ research has been awarded grants and fellowships by the British Academy, the Northern Ireland Department of Employment and Learning, the International Studies Association (ISA), and the British International Studies Association (BISA). Her first monograph – Post-9/11 US Cultural Diplomacy: The Impossibility of Cosmopolitanism – is forthcoming with Routledge New International Relations Book Series. Her research has also been published in leading interdisciplinary journals such as Critical Studies on SecurityCultural Studies, International Feminist Journal of Politics, and Survive and Thrive, in disciplinary blogs such as The Disorder of Things and in edited volumes spanning topics such as public diplomacy and the politics of uncertainty, contestations of/on torture, and creative methods in military studies. Her current projects engage with the Invictus Games and military and veteran artwork through (auto)ethnography, visuality, narrative, poetry, and performance. 

Dr Mills is the founding co-convenor of the new BISA working group - Critical Military Studies. She currently serves as Associate Editor of the journal Critical Military Studies. She was also the founding co-editor of Openings, a creative interventions section of the journal Contemporary Voices: St Andrews Journal of International Relations

In addition to her academic research, Dr Mills is also a published poet with her work appearing in Anodyne Magazine, Last Stanza Poetry Journal, Survive and Thrive, and The Candid Review among other publications. 

Dr Mills is a member of Women in International Security UK and the Scotland Feminist Politics and International Relations Network. Within the University, in addition to serving as Associate Director of the Centre for Art and Politics, she is a Steering Committee Member of the Visualising War and Peace Project. She has also been recognised as an Academic Affiliate of the St Andrews Institute for Gender Studies (StAIGS) and is a member of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, the Early Career Women’s Network, and the Cultural Identity and Memory Studies Institute. 

PhD supervision

  • Manxi Cheng

Selected publications


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