Dr Sibylle Scheipers, Professor


Sibylle joined the School of International Relations in 2011. Previously, she held positions as Director of Studies for the Changing Character of War programme at Oxford University and as a Transatlantic Postdoctoral Fellow in International Relations and Security Studies as Chatham House. Sibylle received her doctorate in Politics from Humboldt University in Berlin in 2006.

Research areas

Sibylle’s research areas include irregular warfare, the law of armed conflict, prisoners and detainees in war and the work and impact of Carl von Clausewitz.

She has a particular interest in the nexus between language, law and power.



  • On Small War: Carl von Clausewitz and People’s War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2017).
  • Unlawful Combatants: A Genealogy of the Irregular Fighter (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).


  • "The Most Beautiful of Wars: Carl von Clausewitz and Small Wars", European Journal of International Security 2/1 (2017).
  • "Military Auxiliaries since 1945: Special Forces, 'Martial Races' or Resistance Fighters", International History Review 39/1 (2017).
  • "The Use of Camps in Colonial Warfare", Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 43/4 (2015): 678-98.
  • "Counterinsurgency or Irregular Warfare: Historiography and the Study of 'Small Wars'", Small Wars & Insurgencies 25/5 (2014): 879-99.

Chapters in edited volumes

  • "The Most Beautiful of Wars": Carl von Clausewitz and Moral Victories, in Cian O’Driscoll, Andrew Hom and Kurt Mills (eds.) Moral Victories (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2017).

Book reviews or review essays

  • Review essay on Christopher Daase and James W Davis (ed. and transl.), Clausewitz on Small War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), Small Wars & Insurgencies 27/2 (2016).

Other publications

  • "Unlawful Combatants: The West’s Treatment of Irregular Fighters in the 'War on Terror'", Orbis 58/4 (2014), 566-83.
  • "Auxiliaries at War in the Middle East", Survival 57/4 (2015), 121-38.


  • IR 3029 Irregular Warfare (currently covered by Dr Luke Middup)
  • IR 4540 The Changing Character of War (currently covered by Dr Luke Middup)
  • IR 4564 Strategic Studies
  • IR 5043 Clausewitz: Life, Work and Reception
  • HI 5010 Directed Reading (this semester as a 2-on-1 format with two students on "Counterinsurgency after 2001")
  • IR 5800 Modern War and Strategy or IR 5801 Strategic Theory in the autumn semester 2017 as part of the compulsory element of the M.Litt in Strategic Studies

Research students

First Supervisor

  • Jan Tattenberg (starting in 2017/18)

Second Supervisor

  • Tom Hughes
  • Christopher Flaherty
  • Edward Burke (completed in 2016)

PhD supervision topics

  • Strategic studies
  • Law of armed conflict
  • Clausewitz and strategic theory

Further information


  • Leverhulme Research Fellowship, 2013-2014, "Unlawful Combatants", £45,000
  • British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, "Clausewitz and Irregular Warfare", £105,000