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Dr George Lawson



CLM 5.12
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LSE Experts|

Dept of International Relations|

Dr George Lawson


Dr George Lawson is an Associate Professor  |in the International Relations| Department at LSE| and serves on the LSE IDEAS Management Committee.|.

Dr Lawson works on the relationship between history and theory|, with a particular interest in historical sociology|. He applies these interests to the study of revolutions, which form the subject of two books: 'Negotiated Revolutions: The Czech Republic, South Africa and Chile' (2005) and 'Anatomies of Revolution' (Forthcoming). He also applies these interests to the study of ‘global modernity’, on which he has recently finished a project with Barry Buzan charting the ways in which a range of important dynamics in contemporary international relations have their roots in the 19th century ‘global transformation’. Articles from this project have appeared in International Studies Quarterly|, the European Journal of International Relations| and International Affairs|.| A book| length version of the argument was published as part of the Cambridge Studies in International Relations series in early 2015. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Processes of radical change, especially revolutions
  • Historical Sociology, especially analysis of ‘global modernity'
  • International Relations theory, especially the relationship between history and IR

Recent Publications

The Global Transformation: History, Modernity and the Making of International Relations (with Barry Buzan) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015). Cambridge Studies in International Relations No. 135.

‘Rethinking Benchmark Dates in International Relations’ (with Barry Buzan), European Journal of International Relations 20(2) 2014: 437–462. Chinese translation in: Collected Papers of Historical Studies (史学集刊) 1(1) 2014: 3–19.

‘Capitalism and the Emergent World Order’ (with Barry Buzan), International Affairs 90(1) 2014: 71–91. Chinese Translation in: Journal of International Security Studies (国际安全研究) 32(1): 78–100.

 ‘The Past, Present and Future of Intervention’ (with Luca Tardelli), Review of International Studies 39(5) 2013: 1233–1253.

‘The Global Transformation: The Nineteenth Century and the Making of Modern International Relations’ (with Barry Buzan), International Studies Quarterly 57(3) 2013: 620–634.

‘The Eternal Divide? History and International Relations’, European Journal of International Relations 18(2) 2012: 203–226.

‘Halliday’s Revenge: Revolutions and International Relations’, International Affairs 87(5) 2011: 1067–1085.

Editor (with Chris Armbruster and Michael Cox), The Global 1989 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010). (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).


  • George Lawson on the Arab Uprisings: Opendemocracy
    Analysis of the Arab Uprisings on Opendemocracy by Dr Lawson
  • The Arab Uprisings: Revolution or Protests? LSE IDEAS Special Report
    Dr. Lawson's contribution to the recent LSE IDEAS Special Report on the Arab Spring
  • IDEAS Today: The Tea Party in International Perspective
    plus Do Nations Need Strategies?, The Global 1989, Reappraising the Iran-Iraq War, Organised Crime and more
  • Fred Halliday: Achievements, Ambivalences and Openings
    Colás and Lawson: Fred Halliday was one of the most important scholars of his generation. This article examines Halliday’s intellectual influences, assesses his contribution to International Relations (IR) and probes the broader challenges which his work raises.
  • The global 1989: openDemocracy
    The political transformation and social drama of the 1989 revolutions in east-central Europe promised a decisive rupture with the past. But the perspective of two decades and of a global frame offers a more complex picture of this historic moment, says George Lawson.
  • The Global 1989
    Last night at IDEAS, a roundtable of leading academics debated a new edited volume: The Global 1989. One of the editors, Dr George Lawson, explores the ways in which the central dynamics of contemporary world politics have been shaped, for better or worse, by the social forces unleashed in Central and Eastern Europe some twenty years ago.
  • IDEAS Today - Issue 3: April 2010
    Refugees in Malaysia by Eva-Lotta Hedman, What Next for Iran? by George Lawson, Drifting or Rifting? America and Europe in the age of Obama by Gregorio Bettiza, New fuel for the Falklands dispute? by George Adelman, Extending Models of Diversity: Politics and Society in Trinidad and Tobago Leslie James, and more...
  • Barack Obama's Nobel Prize: A Debate
    Arne Westad, Michael Cox, Nigel Ashton, Danny Quah, et al.: Barack Obama's award of the Nobel Peace Prize, with nominations having closed just a month into his Presidential term, has raised eyebrows. Here a number of Contributors discuss the award. Why was it made, and is it deserved? What’s the political thinking behind it? How will affect Obama’s ability to pursue his foreign policy objectives? What will be reaction domestically?
  • The Global 1989?
    George Lawson: As we approach the twentieth anniversary of ‘1989 and all that’, it might be worth ducking for cover. Lest we forget, the year ‘1989’ has become something of a cliché, caught in a sense of its own triumphalism, considered by all and sundry (or at least by most) to be the ur-contemporary demarcation point in world historical time, a normative, analytical and empirical referent point par excellence.