Dr Clemens Hoffmann

Senior Lecturer

Politics University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Dr Clemens Hoffmann

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About me

About me

Dr Clemens Hoffmann (DPhil International Relations, University of Sussex) joined the Division of History, Heritage and Politics in 2016 from Bilkent University, Ankara in Turkey. His research interests include Political Ecology of the Middle East, Political Economy of Turkish Foreign Policy and Historical Sociology of International Relations. He currently works on a project exploring the “Geo-Political Ecology of the Middle East”, developing a critical, inter-disciplinary understanding of nature-society relations, rejecting mainstream environmental (or climate) determinism. His work analyses the geo-political, postcolonial and global political economic conditions of possibility within which developmental states emerge as the main arbiters of society-nature relations. Recent projects include a co-authored manuscript comparing the ‘Divided Environments’ of Israel-Palestine, Cyprus, Sudan and Syria with Cambridge University Press and analyses of decarbonisation projects from their local to global contradictions. These projects look at the complex social (rather than purely environmental) causes and consequences of development, conflict and peace as part of a socially animated, metabolic circulation of capital, energy and matter across time and space. Social Ecology is, thus, understood as a historically situated, intrinsically geo-political process, rather than an apolitical, pristine 'nature' that remains imagined only. Dr Hoffmann is the programme director of the MSc in International Conflict and Cooperation, the deputy director of the Centre of Environment, Heritage and Policy (CEHP) and the research director for Politics.

Event / Presentation

European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS) European International Studies Association (EISA)

Organisation of the 2017 European Workshop in International Studies (EWIS), hosted by the European International Studies Association (EISA): "Recovering The Middle East In/From International Relations" (University of Cardiff, 7-10 June 2017)


American Political Science Association (APSA) Middle East and North Africa Mentorship Program

I offered guidance on intellectual and career development to a ECR as part of APSA MENA's Mentorship Initiative. With covid-19 restrictions having limited access to traditional networking and scholarly support sources, APSA offers an opportunity for early-career scholars to receive feedback and guidance on a project-specific activity. Participating MENA-based scholars are paired with a senior scholar for communication and mentoring for 3 to 6 months, depending on the project and its planned outcome. In this case, the mentorship has led to a successful first publication by the doctoral candidate.

Other Project

Hydro Nation Chair Crucible 2023 Funding
Water is not only a source of life, but also a source of livelihoods. This concerns, first and foremost, agriculture, but also associated economies, such as tourism, construction, industry, transport, and health (to name but a few), which are highly dependent on the abundant availability of water at high quality and, ideally, low cost. In many environments, it is especially the water sector that is subjected to the effects of climate change, making water security a key research focus. Desalination of water has offered a quick fix to water shortages, especially in the challenging environments of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. While this seems to make for a neat engineering solution to climate change adaptation, most desalination capacity depends on fossil fuel, given the intense energy requirements for the process reverse osmosis. Of similar concern is the heavily saline discharge of desalination plants and the threat to marine life and the associated livelihoods this poses. Other environmentally damaging effects include the poor mineral content of the expensively produced irrigation water for crops, which could lead to lower yields. The quality and quantity of crops, which are frequently exported, thus, may suffer. PV powered desalination projects are now in the making but have yet to capture a larger market. So, desalination brings a set of key challenges, but also opportunities, in the current political economy of water. More recently, this energy-to-water cycle has been reversed. Water has taken on a new and perhaps unexpected role as a potential source of de-carbonised energy and a way out of a fossil economy. This indicates the direction in which the new political economy of water is moving. Whereas it used to be a key ingredient in export-oriented industries, such as agriculture and tourism, it nowadays has also taken on a new role as an energy resource. At a much larger scale than desalination, this related to the ambition of generating dense, mobile energy akin to fossil fuels, namely Hydrogen. Hydrogen production also uses water and energy in high quantities. Not least in the light of the energy crisis caused by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, a lot of (political) capital is currently invested into this new market. Most analysts agree that ‘greening’ these new hydrogen supply chains will take time and will, again, use hydrocarbons to produce and ship hydrogens to high-demand economies in the north. However, it is, on balance identified as a ‘holy grail’ in a ‘net Zero’ transition, especially when produced from abundant sea water. Despite taking on this new role, the new hydrogen economy is arguably still poorly understood, both from a technological, as well as from a logistical and political-economic standpoint. The current project seeks to identify and study more closely the challenges with these water-based transitions towards a post-carbon global economy. It will explore some of the environmental, social, but also geopolitical challenges with building a decarbonised and, to some extent, water-based economy. It will investigate whether research on desalination solutions can also work with hydrogen. The project will invite experts and stakeholders and will also try to identify opportunities to develop Scottish solutions to some of these core challenges and explore ways in which technology and ideas can be a key ingredient in a future export oriented global hydrogen economy. At the academic level, the project aims to deepen interdisciplinary research capacity around water, allowing social science, humanities and natural science researchers to develop their trans-disciplinary language and research culture in line with these recent developments.

Professional membership

Security in Context
University of Oklahoma
Working group member ('Affiliated Researcher) in the 'Security in Context' networks' working group on multipolarity, including regular meetings, contribution to a special issue (forthcoming), online lecture on the Geopolitics of Decarbonisation.

Working Group Convenor British International Studies Association
I'm the co-convenor of the British International Studies Association's working group on Historical Sociology and International Relations. This is a leadership position, which involves the convening of panels at the annual BISA convention, as well as the budgetary planning and organisation of regular (usual annual) workshops hosted by the working group itself.

Research (1)

Geo-Political Ecology of the Middle East; Global Political Economy; Energy; Water; Geopolitics; Middle East


The Geo-Political Economy of Turkey’s Rise and its Contemporary Crisis
PI: Dr Clemens Hoffmann
Funded by: The British Academy

Outputs (29)


Book Chapter

Hoffmann C & Cemgil C (2017) Diş Politikanın ve Uluslararası Ilişkilerin Tarihsel Sosyolojisi: Eleştirilere Cevaplar [Foreign Policy and the Historical Sociology of International Relations: A Reply to the Critics]. In: Ergenc C & Akder D (eds.) “Uluslararası” Kavramını Yeniden Düşünmek - Kuramsal ve Yöntemsel Tartışmalar [Rethinking the Concept of "International": Theoretical and Methodological Discussions]. Siyaset Bilimi-Uluslararası İlişkiler, 53. Ankara, Turkey: Heretik, pp. 149-175. http://heretik.com.tr/kitap/uluslararasi-kavramini-yeniden-dusunmek/

Book Chapter

Hoffmann C (2017) Anti-Colonial Empires: Creation of Afro-Asian Spaces of Resistance. In: Bilgin P & Ling L (eds.) Asia in International Relations: Unlearning Imperial Power Relations. Rethinking Asia and International Relations. London: Routledge, pp. 137-148. https://www.routledge.com/Asia-in-International-Relations-Unlearning-Imperial-Power-Relations/Bilgin-Ling/p/book/9781472469076

Book Chapter

Hoffmann C (2016) Die geopolitischen Ursprünge der Baghdad Bahn: Inter-Imperialistische Rivalitäten im Osmanischen Reich des frühen 20. Jahrhunderts [The geopolitical origins of the Baghdad Railway: Inter-Imperial Rivalry in the early 20th century Ottoman Empire]. In: Hertsch M & Er M (eds.) Die Bagdadbahn: Ein Umriss deutsch-türkischer Beziehungen Gesammelte Beiträge. Studien zur Geschichts­forschung der Neuzeit, 91. Hamburg: Kovač Verlag, pp. 61-72. http://www.verlagdrkovac.de/978-3-8300-8787-8.htm?lang=english

Edited Book

Selby J & Hoffmann C (eds.) (2015) Rethinking Climate Change, Conflict and Security. London: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/Rethinking-Climate-Change-Conflict-and-Security/Selby-Hoffmann/p/book/9781138915398


Hoffmann C (2015) Imagining a Middle Eastern ‘International Society’? A reply to Ayla Göl. Commentary on: Göl, Ayla. 2015. “Imagining the Middle East: The state, nationalism and regional international society.” Global Discourse 5 (3): 379–394. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1080/23269995.2015.1053191.. Global Discourse, 5 (3), pp. 395-397. https://doi.org/10.1080/23269995.2015.1053191

Book Chapter

Hoffmann C (2013) The contradictions of development: primitive accumulation and geopolitics in the two Sudans. In: Allan T, Keulertz M, Sojamo S & Warner J (eds.) Handbook of Land and Water Grabs in Africa: Foreign Direct Investment and Food and Water Security. Routledge International Handbooks. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, pp. 57-70. https://www.routledge.com/Handbook-of-Land-and-Water-Grabs-in-Africa-Foreign-direct-investment-and/Allan-Keulertz-Sojamo-Warner/p/book/9781857436693



UG: Wicked Problems, Sustainable Solutions Global Political Economy World Politics from the Great War to the Contemporary Crisis Politics of the Middle East Research Methods

PG: Approaches to International Politics Researching International Politics Study Trip Geneva