Dr Vassilios Paipais, Lecturer


Vassilios earned his PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He holds an undergraduate degree in Law (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), an MA in International Relations and Strategic Studies (Panteion University, Athens) and an MRes in International Relations (LSE).

He has also been awarded a Post-Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCertHE) and he is a Higher Education Academy Fellow. He is currently programme coordinator for International Political Theory.

Research areas

Vassilis’ research focuses on three interrelated areas: the critique of meta-theoretical reflection in political theory and IR, the role of theological ideas in world politics, and the theory and history of realism as an ethico-political response to the crisis of modernity in the 20th century.

He is currently working on his second monograph on the significance and impact of messianic ideas in the constitution of revolutionary subjectivities and emancipatory praxis in world politics.




  • (2018) ‘‘Already/Not Yet’: St Paul’s Eschatology and the Modern Critique of Historicism’, Philosophy and Social Criticism (online advance publication)
  • (2018) ‘Introduction: Political Theologies of the International: bringing theology back in’, Journal of International Relations and Development (special issue, forthcoming)
  • (2017) ‘Introduction: Critical Exchange: Democracy, Critique and the Ontological Turn’ (with Mihaela Mihai and Mathias Thaler), Contemporary Political Theory, vol. 16, no. 6.
  • (2017) ‘Towards a Formal Political Ontology’, Contemporary Political Theory, vol. 16, no. 6.
  • (2016) 'First Image Revisited: Human Nature, Original Sin and International Relations', Journal of International Relations and Development (advance online publication)
  • (2016) 'The Promise of Ontology: Nihilism for a Pluralist World', Millennium: Journal of International Studies, vol. 45, no. 1: 64-71
  • (2016) ‘Overcoming ‘Gnosticism’? Realism as Political Theology’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, vol. 29, no. 4: 1603-1623
  • (2014) ‘Between Politics and The Political: reading Hans J. Morgenthau’s double critique of depoliticisation’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, vol. 42, no. 2: 354-375
  • (2013) ‘Necessary Fiction: Realism’s Tragic Theology’, International Politics, vol. 50, no. 6: 846-862
  • (2011) ‘Self and Other in Critical International Theory: Assimilation, Incommensurability and the Paradox of Critique’, Review of International Studies, vol. 37, no.1: 121-140.

Chapters in edited volumes

  • (2020) ‘Introduction’ in V. Paipais (ed.), Theology and World Politics: Metaphysics, Genealogies, Practices (Basingstoke: Palgrave McMillan, forthcoming in 2020)
  • (2019) ‘The Christian Realist Pendulum: Between Pacifism and Interventionism’ in A. Reichwein and F. Rösch (eds.), Trends in European IR Theory, Vol. 2: Realism as a European Tradition in IR (Basingstoke: Palgrave McMillan, forthcoming in 2019)

Book reviews

  • (2018) ‘Review of Alison McQueen, Political Realism in Apocalyptic Times’, Contemporary Political Theory
  • (2017), ‘Review of Winfried Schroeder (ed.), Reading between the lines – Leo Strauss and the history of early modern philosophy’, Hobbes Studies, vol. 30, no. 1: 116-120
  • (2015) ‘Review of Madeleine Fagan, Ethics and Politics After Poststructuralism: Levinas, Derrida, Nancy’, Contemporary Political Theory, vol. 14(2): e216-e219.



  • IR5601 Research in International Relations
  • IR5414 Politics After the 'Death of God': Evil and Tragedy in Modern Politics
  • IR5401 Texts in International Political Theory (Convener)
  • SS5102 Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences (Convener)
  • IR4560 Faith, Politics and War: The Augustinian Tradition in International Relations
  • IR3071 Realism in International Relations
  • IR2005 Theories of International Relations
  • IR1005 Introduction to International Relations

Research students

Principal supervisor

  • Borislav Tsokov

Second supervisor

  • Tim Zajontz
  • Flaminia Incecchi

PhD supervision topics

  • International Relations Theory
  • Critical International Theory
  • Ontology and World Politics
  • Political Theology of the International
  • Philosophy of Science in IR
  • Realism in IR
  • Christian Realism
  • Nihilism
  • Messianism
  • Continental Political Thought (post-Nietzschean political philosophy)

Further information


  • Associate to the Centre of Global Constitutionalism, University of St Andrews
  • Associate to the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).


  • 2014 Russell Trust Development Award (£2,000).

Editorial positions