Associate Professor Laura Zanotti’s research and teaching include critical political theory, international ethics as well as UN peacekeeping and NGOs. Her most recent book, entitled Ontological Entanglements, Agency and Ethics in International Relations - Exploring the Crossroads (Routledge Interventions, 2019) addresses the implications of embracing quantum physics’ entangled ontology for International Relations conceptualizations of agency and ethics. The book argues that an entangled ontological imaginary opens the way for re- imagining how as humans we inhabit the world. It nurtures an ethos of responsibility and it raises the bar for adjudicating the ethical validity of political initiatives beyond abstract principles.
In her previous monography, entitled Governing Disorder: United Nations Peace Operations, International Security, and Democratization in the Post-Cold War Era, (Penn State University Press, 2011), Zanotti uses Foucauldian theoretical tools to address the political imaginary and unintended consequences of peacekeeping in Haiti and in Croatia.
Her work has appeared in numerous peer reviewed journals. She is also the co-author and the co-editor of two books. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Zanotti was a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy. She also served as a Visiting Professor at the School of International Relations, Trento University, Italy. Before becoming an academic, Zanotti worked at the United Nations, where she served both in administration and as a political officer for Peacekeeping Operations. She spent several years in the field, both in Haiti and in Croatia, where she performed the functions of the Deputy to the Head of the United Nations Liaison Office.