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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

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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


We are pleased to announce a NEW VIDEO:

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


International Relations Public Lecture:

Passive Agents? Bureaucratic Agency in Africa-China Negotiations – a case study of Benin

Speaker: Dr Folashadé Soule-Kohndou
Chair: Professor Chris Alden
Date: Friday 4 December 2015, 6.00-7.30pm
Venue: 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, Room B.09

This lecture will expand upon cross-disciplinary research on the bureaucratic politics of negotiation by small states engaged in asymmetrical relations with larger states.

It will focus on the negotiation tactics and manoeuvres of bureaucratic actors of a small francophone African state, Benin, when negotiating infrastructure project contracts with China. It considers the period from 2003 to 2014, when China outpaced France (Benin’s former colony and traditional trade partner) as Benin’s largest trade partner.

Folashadé Soulé is a Research Associate at the CERI - Sciences Po Paris and has been a Post-Doctoral researcher at the LSE Department of International Relations since 2015.

Chris Alden is a Professor of International Relations and Co-Head of the LSE IDEAS Africa International Affairs programme at LSE.

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 s.wise3@lse.ac.uk
or 0207 955 6821.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEGSU

In Wartime (2)

International Relations Public Conversation:

In Wartime: stories from Ukraine

Speaker: Tim Judah
Chair: Robert Cooper

Date: Monday 7 December 2015, 6.30-8.00pm
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building

Veteran war reporter and Economist correspondent Tim Judah explores the impact of the ongoing conflict on the inhabitants of Ukraine. His new book is In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine.

Tim Judah (@timjudah1) writes for the New York Review of Books and the Economist, most recently on the situation in Ukraine. In his career he has covered the aftermath of communism in Romania and Bulgaria and the war in Yugoslavia for The Times and the Economist. His most recent books are Kosovo: What Everyone Needs to Know and The Serbs: History, Myth and the Destruction of Yugoslavia.

Robert Cooper joined the Foreign Office in 1970. He served in several posts including Japan and Germany. In 1989 he was appointed Head of the Policy Planning Staff at the Foreign Office. He was later made the UK's Special Representative in Afghanistan, before taking up a post in the European Union in 2002. Robert is also the author of two influential studies on the modern world: The Post-Modern State and the World Order (2000) and The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty-First Century (Atlantic Press, 2003).

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 see LSE Events FAQ or contact us at events@lse.ac.uk or 0207 955 6043.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEUkraine


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.


Attention all applicants for MPhil/PhD in 2016

All applicants for MPhil/PhD who wish to be considered for School Scholarships for entry in MT 2016, need to apply by 11 January, 2016

Self funded applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by 11 January, 2016, but applications will be accepted throughout the academic year.


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.

Main Entrance

LSE Politics and International Relations is ranked fourth in 2015 world university rankings by subject

LSE Politics and International Relations has been ranked fourth in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2015 tables for Politics and International Studies.

The LSE scored 92.1 out of 100, following Harvard University, Princeton 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.


Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

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


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.


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.

2014-15 MSc Dissertation Prizewinners announced
The International Relations Department is pleased to be able to announce the MSc dissertation prizewinners for the 2014-15 session: MSc International Relations Philip Windsor Dissertation Prize This was awarded to Maia Holtermann Entwistle for her dissertation entitled “Everything Leaks”: Security, Pop … Continue reading

Alumnus Book review: Citizenship in Transition: New Perspectives on Transnational Migration from the Middle East to Europe
As Europe is struggling with an unprecedented wave of refugees, especially from the Middle East, Citizenship in Transition: New Perspectives on Transnational Migration from the Middle East to Europe is a timely book. The implications of this migration for the concept of … Continue reading

European Foreign Policy Unit engaged in debate on Brexit
The current debates in the UK about the future of its relationship with the European Union are heating up, with pressure groups being formed to press the case for a yes or a no vote in the referendum on British … Continue reading

News from the European Foreign Policy Unit
The European Foreign Policy Unit (EFPU) is one of several research units based in the International Relations Department. It links seven full-time members of staff, and acts as a focus for research and teaching on issues relating to European foreign … Continue reading

Professor Peter Trubowitz launches new United States Centre
Peter Trubowitz, Professor of International Relations, is the Director of a new United States Centre at LSE, formally launching in late October. A part of the Institute of Global Affairs, the US Centre will serve as a hub for global … Continue reading

Introducing Dr Janina Dill
Dr Janina Dill joined the LSE International Relations Department as Assistant Professor in September 2015.  She introduces herself here: I am delighted to join the LSE’s IR department. My previous three jobs were all at the University of Oxford: a … Continue reading



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.


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.


Contentious Politics in the Middle East
Popular Resistance and Marginalized Activism beyond the Arab Uprisings
(Palgrave Macmillan 2015)
Edited by Fawaz A. Gerges

While the Arab people took center stage in the 'Arab Spring' protests, academic studies focus on state structure, regime nature, militaries, and external powers to understand popular uprisings in the Middle East. Contentious Politics in the Middle East redresses a gap in focus as it analyzes the complexities of popular agency through the framework of contentious politics theory, without neglecting the negotiations between the people and structural factors. The book's chapters apply familiar questions raised by theorists to the under-researched case study of the Middle East after the uprisings.

Edited by Fawaz A. Gerges and featuring insights from top scholars, this collection seeks to answer these important questions as it advances contentious politics theory.


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.


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.