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Dr George Lawson



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Dept of International Relations|

Dr George Lawson


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

Dr Lawson’s theoretical work is oriented around the synergies between historical sociology and international theory. To that end, he is co-convenor of the British International Studies Association’sWorking Group on Historical Sociology and International Relations|and co-convenor of LSE’s Research Group on Global Historical Sociology|. Dr Lawson applies these theoretical 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). Dr Lawson is currently working on a project with Barry Buzan, which charts the ways in which a range of important dynamics in contemporary international relations have their roots in the 19th century ‘global transformation’. A book version of this argument will appear in the Cambridge Studies in International Relations series in early 2015. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Revolutions
  • Historical Sociology
  • IR Theory

Recent Publications

  • ‘Rethinking Benchmark Dates in International Relations’ (with Barry Buzan), European Journal of International Relations: In Press. Available at EJIR ‘Online First’: http://ejt.sagepub.com/content/early/recent
  • ‘Capitalism and the Emergent World Order’ (with Barry Buzan), International Affairs  90(1) 2014: 71–91.
  • ‘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: 1067–108)
  • Editor (with Chris Abruster and Michael Cox), The Global 1989 (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.