For descriptions of current research themes, see the ‘Research Themes’ section. Copyright laws do not permit me to post PDF files on the web. If you have trouble accessing the articles (list after the books), feel free to request a copy from me.


Kuus_Geopolitics_Expertise_coverKuus, M. Geopolitics and Expertise: Knowledge and Authority in European Diplomacy, Wiley-Blackwell, 2014 (paperback, hardcover, and e-book). Link to the book’s page at Wiley.  The introductory chapter is freely available for download at the publisher’s site.

Geopolitics and Expertise is an in-depth exploration of how expert knowledge is created and exercised in European Union institutions. It traces how geopolitical arguments are deployed by foreign policy professionals there and how these practices fit into and transform the social milieu of the European Quarter. Rigorous, empirical, and engaging, the book incorporates over 100 interviews with EU foreign policy professionals over the course of seven years. Blending human geography with international relations, anthropology, and sociology, this account illuminates the inner workings of knowledge and power in transnational regulatory institutions.

Kuus_Ashgate_coverDodds, K., Kuus, M. and Sharp, J. (eds). The Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics, Ashgate, 2013. ISBN: 1409423808, 9781409423805. Link to the book’s site.

Since the late 1980s, critical geopolitics has gone from being a radical critical perspective on the disciplines of political geography and international relations theory to becoming a recognised area of research in its own right. Influenced by poststructuralist concerns with the politics of representation, critical geopolitics considers the ways in which the use of particular discourses shape political practices. Bringing together leading researchers associated with the different forms of critical geopolitics, this volume produces an overview of its achievements, limitations, and areas of new and potential future development.

refrramed_coverKuus, M. Geopolitics Reframed: Security and Identity in Europe’s Eastern Enlargement. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

Security and identity are the rhetorical pillars of European Union (EU) and NATO enlargement. Across Europe, enlargement – not a one-time event but an ongoing process — is proclaimed to stabilize East-Central, Europe, to codify its European and western identity, and to create a Europe that is finally “whole and free”. Enlargement is a profoundly geographic and geopolitical project as it is based on geographically and territorial conceptions about the essence of places, the borders of cultures, and the locations of  threat.  Geopolitics Reframed asks how the bundling up of geopolitics and culture works, how it affects political debate, and how it is transformed in the course of Europe’s eastern enlargement.

Articles, commentaries, book chapters

Kuus, M. (2020) “Professions and their expertise: charting the spaces of ‘elite’ occupations”. Progress in Human Geography. Online early:

Kuus, M. (2020) ‘Europe’s future depends on perspective not policy’. New Perspectives 28 (issue TBD): 1-5. Essay based on Keynote Address 1B at the Hamburg (Insecurity) Sessions, 21 November 2019.

Kuus, M. (2020) ‘Regulatory power and region-making in the Arctic: China and the European Union’ (Euro commentary). European Urban and Regional Studies.

Kuus, M. (2021, online early) ‘Political Geography III: Bounding the International’. Third of three progress reports on political geography. Progress in Human Geography (

Kuus, M. (2020) ‘Toward the geopolitics of geoeconomic ideas’. In ‘Reading Geopolitics of the Knowledge-Based Economy by Sami Moisio’ (review forum). Political Geography

Kuus, M. (2020, in press) ‘Powerful and Elite Subjects’. In J. Darling and H. Wilson (ed.). Research Ethics for Human Geography: A Handbook for Students.

Kuus, M. 2020. ‘Political Geography II: Institutions’. Progress Report. Progress in Human Geography  44(1) 119–128. Second of three progress reports on political geography.

Kuus, M. 2019. ‘The terroir of bureaucratic practice: Everyday life and scholarly method in the study of policy’, Environment & Planning C: Politics & Space, 2019, 37(4) 617–633:

Kuus, M. 2019. ‘Political Geography I: Agency’, Progress in Human Geography 43 (1): 163-171, 2019. First of three progress reports on political geography.

Kuus, M. 2019. ‘State Power, Spatial Inequality, and Geographical Expertise: Notes on Method’. In Thilo Lang and Franziska Görmar (eds). Regional and Local Development in Times of Polarisation: Rethinking Spatial Policies in Europe. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 79-94.

Kuus, M. 2018. ‘Political Economies of Transnational Fields: Harmonization and Differentiation in European Diplomacy’, Territory, Politics, Governance, 6(2): 222-239.

Kuus, M. 2018. ‘Transnational Institutional Fields: Positionality and Generalization in the Study of Diplomacy’, Political Geography 67, pp. 156-165. Link:,

Kuus, M. ‘Diplomacy and the Other – and Wagner’. Discussion forum ‘On On Diplomacy: James Der Derian’s Classic 30 Years On’ (with H. Leira, J. DerDerian, I. Neumann, M. Acuto, P. Sharp), New Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Journal of Central & Eastern European Politics and International Relations 25(3), 2017, pp. 19-24. Link to the entire forum, which is free to dowload

Kuus, M. ‘Locating Europe’s Power, or the Difference between Passports and Passporting’. in ‘Interventions in Europe’s Political Futures’ (with Fiona McConnell, Alex Jeffrey, Adrian Smith, Nick Vaughan-Williams, Heaven Crawley) Political Geography, 60, 2017, pp. 261-271.

Kuus, M. ‘Diplomacy and Audit: Technologies of Knowledge in Europe’, Geoforum, 2016, vol. 68 (January): 39-47.

Kuus, M. “‘To Understand the Place’: Geographical Knowledge and Diplomatic Practice”, The Professional Geographer, 2016, vol. 68 (4) 546-553.

Kuus, M. ‘Transnational Diplomacy in Europe: What is Transcended and How?’. In J. Dittmer and F. McConnell (eds.), Diplomatic Cultures and International Politics: Translations, Spaces and Alternatives. London: Routledge, 2015, pp. 41-58.

Kuus, M. ‘Symbolic Power in Diplomatic Practice: Matters of Style in Brussels’, in V. Pouliot and J. Cornut (eds.) “Diplomacy and Practice Theory”, special issue of Cooperation and Conflict, 2015, vol. 50 no. 3 368-384.

Kuus, M. ‘Crafting Europe for its Neighbourhood: Practical Geopolitics in European Institutions’, in V. Bachmann and M. Müller (eds.) Perceptions of the EU in Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa: Looking from the Outside In. London: Palgrave, 2015, pp. 34-49.

Kuus, M. ‘Regional Institutions’, in A. Agnew, V. Mamadouh, A. Secor, and J. Sharp (eds.). The Companion to Political Geography (2nd ed.). Routledge, 2015, pp. 311-323.

Kuus, M. ‘For Slow Research’, In Temenos, C., and T. Baker (eds.), Debates and Developments forum ‘Urban Policy Mobilities: Moving Forward’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2015. DOI: 10.1111/1468-2427.12257

Kuus, M. ‘Response: Studying Evaporative Things’, In Bachmann, V. (ed.) ‘Bureaucratic Fields and the Brussels Machinery: Reading Merje Kuus’ Geopolitics and Expertise (Review forum), Political Geography, 44 (Jan): 19-28, 2015.

Kuus, M. ‘Transnational Bureaucracies: How Do We Know What They Know?’, Progress in Human Geography, 30 (4), pp. 432-448, 2015.

Kuus, M. ‘Places of Lower Rank: Margins in Conversations’. Invited commentary. Political Geography, 36 (6), pp. 30-32, 2013.

Kuus, M. ‘Introduction: Human Agency in Geopolitics’, In Dodds, K., Kuus, M. and Sharp, J. (eds). The Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics, Ashgate, pp. 383-386, 2013.

Dodds, K., Kuus, M., and Sharp, J. ‘Introduction: Geopolitics and its Critics’. In Dodds, K., Kuus, M. and Sharp, J. (eds). The Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics, Ashgate, pp. 1-18, 2013.

Kuus, M. Foreign Policy and Ethnography: A Skeptical Intervention’. Geopolitics, 18 (1), 2013: 115-131.

Kuus, M. ‘Banal Huntingtonianism: Civilizational Geopolitics in Estonia’. In Stefano Guzzini (ed.) The Return of Geopolitics in Europe?: Social Mechanisms and Foreign Policy Identity Crises. Cambridge University Press, 2012, 174-191.

Kuus, M. ‘Bureaucracy and Place: Expertise in the European Quarter’. Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs, 2011 (4), pp. 421-439.

Kuus, M. ‘Policy and Geopolitics: Bounding Europe in Europe’. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 101(5) 2011, 1140-1155.

Kuus, M. ‘Whose Regional Expertise?: Political Geographies of Knowledge in the European Bureaucracy’. European Urban and Regional Studies, 18 (3), 2011, pp. 275 – 288.

Kuus, M. ‘Geopolitics. Part II’. In Agnew, J., and Duncan, J. (eds.) Companion to Human Geography. Blackwell, 2011, pp. 512-522.

Kuus, M. ‘EUrope and the baroque.’ Commentary in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 28, 3, 2010, pp. 381-387.

Kuus, M. ‘Critical Geopolitics’. In R. Denemark (ed.) The International Studies Encyclopedia. Blackwell, Volume II (Co-Ec), 2010, pp. 683-701.

Kuus, M. ‘Europe’, in R. Kitchin and N. Thrift. (Editors-in-Chief) The International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Elsevier (2009), pp. 644-648.

Kuus, M. ‘Political Geography and Geopolitics’. (Contribution to a special series of articles on the direction of Canadian geography.) The Canadian Geographer (TCG) / Le Géographe Canadien (LGC) 53 (1) 2009: 86-90.

Kuus, M. ‘All We Need is NATO? Frontiers of Security Cooperation in Europe’. In Klaus Dodds and Alan Ingram, eds. Spaces of Security and Insecurity: Geographies of the War on Terror. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009, pp. 185-204.

Kuus, M. ‘Cosmopolitan Militarism?: Spaces of NATO Expansion’. Environment and Planning A. 41 (2009), pp. 545-562.

Kuus, M. ‘Professionals of Geopolitics: Agency in Spatializing International Politics’. Geography Compass. 2/6 (2008): 2062–2079.

Kuus, M. ‘Civic Militarism?’. In Flusty, Steven, Dittmer, Jason, Gilbert, Emily, and Kuus, Merje. ‘Interventions in Banal Neoimperialism’, Political Geography 27 (2008), pp. 617-629.

Kuus, M. ‘Marginals and Outsiders’. Contribution to the discussion forum ‘Teaching European Identities’ in Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 32 (3), 2008.

Kuus, M. ‘Švejkian Geopolitics: Subversive Obedience in Central Europe’. Geopolitics vol. 13, no. 2, 2008, pp. 257- 277.

Kuus, M. ‘The Ritual of Listening to Foreigners: Appropriating Geopolitics in Central Europe’, in N. Parker (ed.) The Geopolitics of Europe’s Identity: Centers, Boundaries, and Margins. New York: Palgrave, 2008, pp. 177-194.

Kuus, M., and J. Agnew. ‘Theorizing the State Geographically: Sovereignty, Subjectivity, Territoriality’, in K. Cox, J. Robinson, and M. Low (eds.) The Handbook of Political Geography. Sage Publications, 2008, pp. 117-132.

Kuus, M. ‘‘Love, Peace and Nato’: Imperial Subject-Making in Central Europe’. Antipode, vol. 39, no. 2, 2007, pp. 269-290.

Kuus, M. ‘Ubiquitous Identities and Elusive Subjects: Puzzles from Central Europe’.  Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 32 no. 1, 2007, pp. 90-101.

Kuus, M. ‘Intellectuals and Geopolitics: The ‘Cultural Politicians’ of Central Europe’. Geoforum, vol. 37, no. 2, 2007, pp. 241-251.

Kuus, M. ‘Multiple Europes: Boundaries and Margins in European Union Enlargement’. Editorial introduction to a discussion forum on EU enlargement Geopolitics, vol. 10, no. 3, 2005, pp. 567-570.

Kuus, M. ‘Europe’s Eastern Enlargement and the Re-Inscription of Otherness in East-Central Europe’ Progress in Human Geography, vol. 18, no. 4, 2004, pp. 472-489.

Kuus, M. ”Those Goody-Goody Estonians’: Toward Rethinking Security in the European Union Applicant States’. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space vol. 22, no. 2, 2004, pp. 191-207.

Kuus, M. ‘Toward Co-operative Security? International Integration and the Construction of Security in Estonia’. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, vol. 31, no. 2, 2002, pp. 297-317.

Kuus, M. ‘Sovereignty for Security?: The Discourse of Sovereignty in Estonia’, Political Geography, vol. 21, no. 3, 2002, pp. 393-412.

Kuus, M. ‘European Integration in Identity Narratives in Estonia: A Quest for Security’, Journal of Peace Research vol. 39, no 1, 2002, pp. 91-108.

Feldman, M. (former name). ‘European Integration and the Discourse of National Identity in Estonia’, National Identities, vol. 3, no. 1, 2001, pp. 5-21.

Feldman, M. ‘Waterfront Revitalization and Local Governance in Tallinn, Estonia’, Europe-Asia Studies, vol. 52, no. 5, 2000, pp. 829-850.