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Margarita Petrova

Margarita Petrova

Assistant Professor

Master's in International Security Coordinator


Margarita Petrova is an assistant professor at IBEI where she teaches courses in International Relations and International Peace and Security. She holds a PhD degree in Government from Cornell University and her doctoral thesis, "Leadership Competition and the Creation of Norms: A Cross-National Study of Weapons Restrictions," received the 2008 Helen Dwight Reid award for best dissertation in international relations, law and politics from the American Political Science Association.

Margarita's main interests are in the area of international norm development, ethical and legal issues in international relations, security studies and arms control, and transnational activism and NGO advocacy.

Prior to joining IBEI, she has been a Marie Curie research fellow and a Max Weber postdoctoral fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. In the fall of 2012, Margarita was a visiting fellow at the Centre on Conflict, Development, and Peacebuilding, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.    

Background and education

  • (2007) PhD in Government, Cornell University (USA)
  • (2003) MA in Government, Cornell University (USA)
  • (1998) MA in International Economic Relations, University of National and World Economy (Sofia, Bulgaria)


2008Helen Dwight Reid Award for the best doctoral dissertation in international relations, law and politics, American Political Science Association.

2007-2009Marie Curie Intra-European fellowship.

2006-2007Max Weber postdoctoral fellowship.

2005-2006Research Fellowship, The German Marshall Fund of the United States. 

Professional memberships & affiliations

  • American Political Science Association 
  • International Studies Association
  • European International Studies Association


Research interests

  • International Humanitarian Law
  • NGO advocacy
  • International Relations
  • International Security
  • Arms control
  • International norms

Selected publications

  • Petrova, Margarita.2021.NGOs, Disarmament, and Limits on War Violence.E-International Relations,JanuaryLinkLogo open access
  • Petrova, Margarita.2019.Naming and Praising in Humanitarian Norm Development.World Politics,71(3):586-630LinkLogo open access
  • Petrova, Margarita.2019.NGOs and Peace.In:

    Thomas Davies (Ed)

    Routledge Handbook of NGOs and International Relations.London:Routledge,pp: 315-38.LinkLogo open access
  • Petrova, Margarita.2018.Weapons prohibitions through immanent critique: NGOs as emancipatory and (de)securitising actors in security governance.Review of International Studies,44(4):619-653LinkLogo open access
  • Petrova, Margarita.2016.Rhetorical Entrapment and Normative Enticement: How the UK Turned from Spoiler into Champion of the Cluster Munition Ban.International Studies Quarterly,60(3):387-399LinkLogo open access
  • Petrova, Margarita.2014.Proportionality and Restraint on the Use of Force: The Role of Nongovernmental Organizations.In: Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue (eds).The American Way of Bombing: Changing Ethical and Legal Norms, from Flying Fortresses to Drones.Cornell University Press,pp: 175—190.
  • Petrova, Margarita.2014.Small States in Humanitarian Norm Making.In: Louis W. Pauly and Bruce W. Jentleson (eds).Power in a Complex Global System.Routledge,pp: 194—208.
  • Petrova, Margarita.2010.Banning Obsolete Weapons or Reshaping Perceptions of Military Utility: Discursive Dynamics in Weapons Prohibitions.IBEI Working Papers,2010/31.Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals.
  • Petrova, Margarita.2008.Curbing the Use of Indiscriminate Weapons: NGO Advocacy in Militant Democracies.In: Matthew Evangelista, Harald Müller, and Niklas Schörnig (eds).Democracy and Security: Preferences, Norms and Policy-Making.London and New York:Routledge,pp: 72—101.
  • Petrova, Margarita.2007.Small States and New Norms of Warfare.EUI Working Paper MWP,No. 2007/28. European University Institute
All publications