University of Tartu, BA
Western Washington University, MSc
Syracuse University, 1999, PhD


I am a political geographer whose work blends the study of geopolitics, policy, and transnationalism to investigate knowledge and power in national and transnational policy-making processes. Put simply, I examine how policy-making institutions, such as government agencies, international organizations, or civil society groups, know what they know, how they have come to know what they know, and how they persuade themselves and others that this is so. Empirically, my research examines transnational regulatory and diplomatic practices in contemporary Europe, but this empirical focus undergirds a broader interest in knowledge and power, structure and agency, in bureaucratic and policy-making settings. I have also worked on, and remain interested in, political identity, subject-formation, and center-periphery relations, especially in contemporary Europe. Further information is available on my personal website.


KUUS, M. 2017 ‘Transnational Bureaucratic Fields: Positionality and Generalization in the Study of Diplomacy’ Political Geography (early view online,

KUUS, M. 2017 ‘Political Economies of Transnational Fields: Harmonization and Differentiation in European Diplomacy’ Territory, Politics, Governance (early view online,



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

KUUS, M. 2016 ‘Diplomacy and Audit: Technologies of Knowledge in Europe’ Geoforum 68(1), 39-47



KUUS, M. 2015 ‘Symbolic Power in Diplomatic Practice: Matters of Style in Brussels’ in Diplomacy and Practice Theory ed V. Pouliot and J. Cornut (special issue: Cooperation and Conflict) 50(3), 368-384.

KUUS, M. 2015 ‘For Slow Research’ (short commentary) in Debates and Developments forum: Urban Policy Mobilities: Moving Forward ed C. Temenos and T. Baker International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 39(4), 838-840

KUUS, M. 2015 ‘Transnational Bureaucracies: How Do We Know What They Know?’ Progress in Human Geography  39(4), 432-448

KUUS, M. 2015 ‘Response: Studying Evaporative Things’, in Bachmann, V. ed. ‘Bureaucratic Fields and the Brussels Machinery: Reading Merje Kuus’ Geopolitics and Expertise‘ (review forum with J. Dittmer, S. Marston, A. Murphy, and A-L. Amilhat Szary), Political Geography 44 (Jan), 26-28



KUUS, M. 2014 Geopolitics and Expertise: Knowledge and Authority in European Diplomacy (London: Wiley Blackwell)



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



Winter 2018

GEOG220 Geopolitics Sections

Political geographic perspectives on todays interdependent world through three themes: borders, regions, and flows.

Winter 2018

GEOG391 Modern Europe: Places and Borders Sections

An introductory survey, focusing on the present-day human geography of the area between the Atlantic and the Ural Mountains.

Winter 2018

GEOG533 Political Geography Sections

Investigate how politics is bound with territorial definition. Examine how the management of political issues is intertwined with the ways in which these issues are understood in geographical and territorial terms.