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Dr Mark Shirk

Dr Mark Shirk


Office Phone: 01223 767258


Mark joined POLIS in 2018.  He earned his PhD in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland in 2014.  He was previously a post-doctoral fellow at Stonehill College.  He has also taught at the University of Maryland, the Universities at Shady Grove, Dickinson College, and American University.

Research Interests

Mark’s research interests are in transnational violence, global order, and state development.  He is working on a book project on the role of certain episodes of transnational violence in the development and change of global order.  This project focuses on 18th century Caribbean piracy, turn of the 20th century anarchist violence, and al Qaeda and the War on Terror in the 21st century.  He is also beginning a project on the role of ecological factors in the manifestation of violence historically with a view to helping us understand the possible consequences of climate change.  He has also published papers on piracy and global order.



Transnational Violence, Terrorism, Piracy, and Crime in Global and History Context, MPHIL course

Supervisions for POL2 and POL14

Director of Studies in Politics for Sidney Sussex College


Key Publications


(2019) “The Universal Eye: Anarchist ‘Propaganda of the Deed’ and the Development of the Modern Surveillance States,” International Studies Quarterly, 63(2). 2019. P.334-345.

(2017) “‘Bringing the State Back in’ to the Empire Turn: Piracy and Empire in the 18th century Atlantic,” International Studies Review 19(2): 143-65. 

(2016) “Busting Blackbeard’s Ghost: Placing Somali Piracy in Historical Context,” Global Change, Peace and Security, 28(1):17-34

(2015) “How Does Violence Threaten the State?: Four Narratives of Piracy”  Terrorism and Political Violence 29(4): 656-673.

(Forthcoming) “An Evil of Ancient Date: Piracy and the Pax Britannica in 19th century Southeast Asia”, Chapter in edited volume titled, The Two Worlds of Nineteenth Century International Relations, ed. By Daniel M. Green. Routledge