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Department of International Relations

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International Relations Department
London School of Economics &
Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

 

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NB: the Department is physically located in Clement House, 97-99 The Aldwych, London WC2.

 

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Welcome to the International Relations (IR) Department.  As a Department we are now in our 88th year, making us one of the oldest as well as largest in the world.  Read more about the department

The International Relations Department is pleased to present our popular video: 

International Relations: An Introduction

Download link (right-click, save as)
Watch on YouTube

Featuring academics from the International Relations Department at the LSE, ‘International Relations: an introduction’ is a 10-minute film about the study of international relations, particularly at the LSE. The film looks at what we study, and why, and also at major themes and how to approach them, and debates Star Trek and whether there will ever be world peace.

Contributors: Professor William A Callahan, Dr Toby Dodge, Dr Jens Meierhenrich, Professor Iver Neumann, Professor Karen Smith, Dr Stephen Woolcock

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Aspects of International Relations: International Political Economy
 
Featuring academics from the International Relations Department at the LSE, ‘Aspects of IR: International Political Economy’ is a 7-minute film about the study of international political economy, particularly at the LSE.
 
The film looks at what we study, and why, and also at the major themes in IPE, such as the financial crisis, climate change and globalisation of markets.  It debates how IPE fits into IR, and the rewards and value of studying IPE.
 
Contributors: Dr Julia Gray, Dr James Morrison, Dr Stephen Woolcock

 
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Five LSE Fellow vacancies in the IR Department

We are currently looking for five LSE Fellows to join the Department in 2016-17.  The deadlines for application are 17 June 2016Full details of the positions can be found here.

 
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LSE SU Teaching Excellence Awards 2016 

The three members of the IR Department nominated for the LSESU Teaching Excellence Awards this year have all been Highly Commended. 

Tarak Barkawi - Highly Commended for Inspirational Teaching
Ida Danewid - Highly Commended for Sharing Subject Knowledge
Taylor St John - Highly Commended for Excellent Feedback and Communication.

Read more here.

 
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International Relations Public Conversation:

The History of China's Future

Speakers: Professor William A. Callahan, Dr Leigh Jenco, Professor Jeffrey Wasserstrom
Chair: Isabel Hilton
Date: Thursday 26 May 2016, 6.30 - 8.00pm
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

In China, history isn't just about the past - it shapes the future. With the rise of China over the past four decades, people increasingly look to China's turbulent modern history for clues about what the world will be like in the 21st century.

The panelists will discuss how the newly published book, The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China, addresses such questions through an examination of the broad sweep of modern Chinese history, from the origins of modern China right up through the dramatic events of the past few years (the Beijing Games, the financial crisis, and China's rise to global economic pre-eminence) that have so fundamentally altered Western views of China and China's place in the world.

William A. Callahan is Professor of International Relations at LSE.

Isabel Hilton (@isabelhilton) is a writer/broadcaster who is founding editor of Chinadialogue, and has worked with the BBC, the New Yorker, the Guardian, Granta, the Independent, among others. Her books include Eating Mud Crabs in Kandahar and The Search for the Panchen Lama. In 2009 she was awarded an OBE.

Leigh Jenco is Associate Professor of Political Theory at LSE.

Jeffrey Wasserstrom (@jwassers) is Chancellor's Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine, where he also edits the Journal of Asian Studies.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

For any queries, please contact events@lse.ac.uk or 0207 955 6043.

Suggested hashtag for this event: #LSEChina

 
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LSE Politics and International Relations is ranked third in 2016 world university rankings by subject

LSE Politics and International Relations has been ranked third in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2016 tables for Politics and International Studies.

The LSE scored 91.8 out of 100, following Harvard University and Oxford University. Scores take into account academic and employer reputation surveys, along with citations per faculty. The methodology is explained in detail here.

 
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IR Spotlight Newsletter

The Department of International Relations bi-annual newsletter, IR Spotlight, is an outreach initiative which aims to enhance the Department’s past, present and future community.

Released in January and June each year, IR Spotlight is a unique platform in which readers can gain an insight into the department’s innovative research, bright student body, and impressive alumni, through feature items, interviews and short articles.

The first issue is now available here.

If you would like to subscribe to have IR Spotlight emailed to you twice a year, please e-mail Sophie on  s.wise3@lse.ac.uk.

 
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IR student Dimitrios Stroikos wins ISA prize

One of the IR Department's research students, Dimitrios Stroikos, has just been awarded 'The English School Award for Outstanding Research Paper by a Younger Scholar' awarded by the ISA English School section, for his paper on "International Society in Orbit: Reconceptualizing Order on the Higher Frontier.”

He will receive the award at the 2016 ISA convention in Atlanta.

 
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Two LSE MSc IR alumni have been appointed cabinet ministers in the Government of Canada

Catherine McKenna (MSc International Relations 1996) is Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and William Morneau (MSc International Relations 1987) is Minister of Finance.

 
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Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

We are proud that the LSE International Relations and Government submission to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 was ranked first in the UK for the percentage of its research graded world leading or internationally excellent. For full details click here.

 
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Pippa Malmgren, LSE International Relations alumnus, talks to LSE Connect

Pippa received an MSc International Relations 1986 and a PhD in 1991 from the IR Department. She has an illustrious career as a political economist. She served as financial market advisor to the President in the White House and on the National Economic Council from 2001-2002. She was a member of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets and the Working Group on Corporate Governance. She dealt with Enron, Sarbanes Oxley as well the Anti-Money Laundering provisions of the Patriot Act and had responsibility for terrorism risks to the economy on the NEC after 9/11.

Read the interview here.

 
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Professor Fred Halliday's papers available to view online

A collection of Fred Halliday's papers is now available to view via the LSE Archives.  The collection consists of over 350 files of personal effects, correspondence, memoirs, draft texts, travel-notes and work documents, all available for researchers to consult.  The collection should appeal to students of the history and politics of the Middle East and those with an interest in the more theoretical issues dealt with in the discipline.  A bibliography listing all of Halliday's academic works, both published and unpublished, has also been created.

Further information available here.

 

For more news for the IR Department, visit our News and Events page.

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Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge event 2016
The LSE sent a team of four students and a coach to the Geneva Centre for Security Policy to compete in the Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge hosted at the centre in conjunction with the Atlantic Council.  The competition involved students … Continue reading

Do Britons and other Europeans disagree on policy issues? The answer might surprise you.
This article originally appeared in the LSE BrexitVote blog – read the original here. Eurosceptics in the UK and elsewhere often argue that the EU subverts democracy by forcing countries with different values and economic systems to follow the same rules. The … Continue reading

Dr Katerina Dalacoura workshops on Contemporary Turkish Discourses on Culture in IR
In the context of her British Academy project on ‘Alternative Universalisms? Contemporary Turkish Discourses on Culture in International Relations’, Dr Katerina Dalacoura co-organised two workshops, one in Ankara, Turkey, and the other in Washington DC. Both were funded by the … Continue reading

Dr James Strong talks to LSE alumni groups in US
Dr James Strong of the International Relations Department gave two talks at LSE Alumni events in April 2016 in Chicago and Washington DC on “The death of greatness? Britain’s role in the 21st century world order”. Dr James Strong writes: “I … Continue reading

Workshop: Brexit and EU foreign policy: the view from other member states
On 9 March 2016, the Department of International Relations and European Foreign Policy Unit at the London School of Economics organized a workshop on ‘Brexit and EU Foreign Policy: The View from Other EU Member States’. The workshop formed part … Continue reading

 

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Taming the Imperial Imagination
Colonial Knowledge, International Relations, and the Anglo-Afghan Encounter, 1808–1878
Martin J Bayly
(Cambridge University Press, 2016) 

This book marks a novel intervention into the debate on empire and international relations, and offers a new perspective on nineteenth-century Anglo-Afghan relations. Martin J. Bayly shows how, throughout the 19th century, the British Empire in India sought to understand and control its peripheries through the use of colonial knowledge.

Addressing the fundamental question of what Afghanistan itself meant to the British at the time, he draws on extensive archival research to show how knowledge of Afghanistan was built, refined and warped by an evolving colonial state.

This knowledge informed policy choices and cast Afghanistan in a separate legal and normative universe. Beginning with the disorganised exploits of 19th-century explorers and ending with the cold strategic logic of the militarised 'scientific frontier', this book tracks the 19th-century origins of contemporary policy 'expertise' and the forms of knowledge that inform interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere today.

 
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ISIS: A History
Fawaz A Gerges
(Princeton University Press, 2016)

The Islamic State has stunned the world with its savagery, destructiveness, and military and recruiting successes. What explains the rise of ISIS and what does it portend for the future of the Middle East? In this book, one of the world's leading authorities on political Islam and jihadism sheds new light on these questions as he provides a unique history of the rise and growth of ISIS. Moving beyond journalistic accounts, Fawaz Gerges provides a clear and compelling account of the deeper conditions that fuel ISIS.

An authoritative introduction to arguably the most important conflict in the world today, this is an essential book for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the social turmoil and political violence ravaging the Arab-Islamic world.

"A specific, timely, well-rendered exegesis of the unfolding global threat."--Kirkus (starred review)

Read review here.

 
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Undertaking Discourse Analysis for Social Research
Kevin C Dunn and Iver B Neumann
(Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2016)

Kevin C. Dunn and Iver B. Neumann offer a concise, accessible introduction to discourse analysis in the social sciences. A vital resource for students and scholars alike, the book combines a theoretical and conceptual review with a “how-to” guide for using the method. In the first part, the authors discuss the development of discourse analysis as a research method and identify the main theoretical elements and epistemological assumptions that have led to its emergence as one of the primary qualitative methods of analysis in contemporary scholarship.

Then, drawing from a wide-range of examples of social science scholarship, the authors provide an indispensable guide to the variety of ways discourse analysis has been used. They delve into what is gained by using this approach and demonstrate how one actually applies it. They cover such important issues as research prerequisites, how one conceives of a research question, what “counts” as evidence, how one “reads” the data, and some common obstacles and pitfalls. The result is a clear and accessible manual for successfully implementing discourse analysis in social research.

 
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Future War
Christopher Coker
(Polity Press 2015)

Will tomorrow's wars be dominated by autonomous drones, land robots and warriors wired into a cybernetic network which can read their thoughts? Will war be fought with greater or lesser humanity? Will it be played out in cyberspace and further afield in Low Earth Orbit? Or will it be fought more intensely still in the sprawling cities of the developing world, the grim black holes of social exclusion on our increasingly unequal planet? Will the Great Powers reinvent conflict between themselves or is war destined to become much 'smaller' both in terms of its actors and the beliefs for which they will be willing to kill?

In this illuminating new book Christopher Coker takes us on an incredible journey into the future of warfare. Focusing on contemporary trends that are changing the nature and dynamics of armed conflict, he shows how conflict will continue to evolve in ways that are unlikely to render our century any less bloody than the last. With insights from philosophy, cutting-edge scientific research and popular culture, Future War is a compelling and thought-provoking meditation on the shape of war to come.

 
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Diplomacy and the Making of World Politics
Edited by Ole Jacob Sending, Vincent Pouliot and Iver B. Neumann
Cambridge Studies in International Relations, Cambridge University Press 2015)

This book examines world politics through the lens of diplomatic practice. It argues that many global phenomena of our time, from the making of international law to the constitution of international public power, through humanitarianism and the maintenance of global hierarchies, are made possible and shaped by evolving forms of diplomacy. The study of diplomacy is largely dominated by firsthand accounts and historical treaties, with little effort at theoretical discussion. This book shows how diplomatic studies can benefit from more explicit theorizing, and argues that the study of world politics should pay more attention to what goes on in the diplomatic 'engine room' of international politics.

 
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Evaluating transitional justice: accountability and peacebuilding in post-conflict Sierra Leone
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)
Edited by Kirsten Ainley, Rebekka Friedman and Christopher Mahony


Demonstrating groundbreaking analysis, this is the first major study to evaluate the transitional justice programme in Sierra Leone. Rather than focusing on a single mechanism, the authors examine how the Special Court, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), local justice initiatives and reparations programme interacted. Contributors to the book include the Prosecutor of the Special Court and one of the Commissioners from the TRC, alongside a range of experts on transitional justice, on international law and on Sierra Leone. The authors consider the political and normative drivers of transitional justice and the lessons that the Sierra Leone programme stands to offer other post-conflict situations. The importance of long-term planning, local partnership and the management of the politics and trade-offs for future transitional justice programmes cannot be underestimated. This edited volume makes a significant contribution to the field by demonstrating how contextual knowledge should be used alongside normative standards when evaluating transitional justice.

 
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The Global Transformation: History, Modernity and the Making of International Relations
(Cambridge University Press, 2015)
Barry Buzan and George Lawson

The 'long nineteenth century' (1776–1914) was a period of political, economic, military and cultural revolutions that re-forged both domestic and international societies. Neither existing international histories nor international relations texts sufficiently register the scale and impact of this 'global transformation', yet it is the consequences of these multiple revolutions that provide the material and ideational foundations of modern international relations. Global modernity reconstituted the mode of power that underpinned international order and opened a power gap between those who harnessed the revolutions of modernity and those who were denied access to them. This gap dominated international relations for two centuries and is only now being closed. By taking the global transformation as the starting point for international relations, this book repositions the roots of the discipline and establishes a new way of both understanding and teaching the relationship between world history and international relations.

Read the symposium on the book here.

 
   

For more publications by members of the IR Department, visit the pages on Staff Publications: new booksolder books and Staff Publications: articles and chapters.