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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 87th 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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International Relations Public Lecture:

The Political and the International: Reflections on the Singapore Mutiny, 1915

Speaker: Professor Itty Abraham
Chair: Professor Craig Calhoun
Date: Thursday 24 September 2015, 6.30 - 8.00pm
Venue: Clement House 2.02

This lecture will explore how the Singapore mutiny offers a unique window into the processes shaping and regulating an emergent space of the international, a novel imaginary describing an unsettled zone of attraction and desire.

Itty Abraham is a Professor in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore.

Craig Calhoun is the Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required.

Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

For any queries, please contact s.wise3@lse.ac.uk or 020 7955 6821.

 
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IR Fred Halliday Memorial Lecture:
Conflict-related sexual violence: The politics of the UN
Security Council’s approach to the protection of civilians

Speaker:Professor Anne Marie Goetz
Chair: Professor Chris Hughes
Date: Thursday 19 November 2015 Time: 6.30 - 8.00pm
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building

This lecture will provide a history of the policy processes leading to the Security Council resolutions recognizing conflict related sexual violence as a tactic of warfare and outlining political, security, judicial and humanitarian responses.

Anne Marie Goetz is Clinical Professor at the Centre for Global Affairs, New York University.

Chris Hughes is Head of the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economic and Political Science.

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

For any queries, please contact conferences@lse.ac.uk or 020 7955 6043.

 
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Bill Callahan has published the new documentary film 'Mearsheimer vs. Nye on the Rise of China' on the The Diplomat:

The rise of China is the key issue of the 21st century. Can China rise peacefully? Has America’s engagement policy created a peer competitor? How should the U.S. respond to Beijing’s island-building in the South China Sea, and its institution-building in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)?

This short documentary film (19 minutes) by Bill Callahan examines how the personal experiences of iconic IR theorists John Mearsheimer (Chicago) and Joseph S. Nye, Jr. (Harvard) on their first trips to China have framed their strategic understandings of U.S.-China relations. Are Offensive Realists like Mearsheimer correct that a rising China is structurally determined to challenge the hegemonic U..? Can U.S.-China relations be managed through diplomacy and international organisations, as the Liberal Institutionalists argue? Or does America’s China policy need a combination of Realism and Liberalism, as Nye suggests?

Bill Callahan is professor of international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His films can be viewed at www.vimeo.com/billcallahan.

 
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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.

 
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2015 Millennium Conference
Failure and Denial in World Politics

Date:  17-18 October, 2015

Location:   The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, UK.

International relations are enmeshed in political failure and denial: from the governing of global climate change, financial collapse, and nuclear proliferation, to liberal statebuilding, development, and the potential for pandemics. Failure and denial reside in the background of world politics. In spite of their ubiquity and global relevance, however, it is paradoxical that these concepts remain under-theorised and under-conceptualised in International Relations scholarship. The 2015 Millennium Conference thus aspires to open new and critical grounds for debate and discussion by examining this paradox. It is a call for IR to theorise what has remained in the background of its thought and theory until now: failure and denial in world politics.

For full information click here.

 
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International Relations Department Teaching Excellence Awards 2015

The Department is pleased and proud to announce that five of our staff have been awarded Teaching Excellence Awards by the LSE Student Union.

- Leo Baccini, Winner for Inspirational Teaching

- Martin Hearson, Highly Commended for Excellent Feedback and Communication

- Gustav Meibauer, Highly Commended for Innovative Teaching

- James Morrison, Highly Commended for Excellent Welfare and Pastoral Support

- James Strong, Winner for Sharing Subject Knowledge

The panels were made of up of students, SU officers and staff and every nominee received anonymous comments from students.  Each category has one winner and two highly commended nominees.

 
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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.

 
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IR Department alumnus Alexander Stubb is Finnish Prime Minister

Alexander Stubb, who has a PhD from the Department of International Relations, has become the leader of the centre-right National Coalition Party, and now the new Finnish Prime Minister.  His supervisor, Sir William Wallace, has written a few words about Alexander for the IR blog 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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LSE Politics and International Relations is ranked third in 2014 world university rankings by subject

LSE Politics and International Relations has been ranked third in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2014 tables for Politics and International Studies.

The LSE scored 90.5 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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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.

The Dominique Jacquin-Berdal Travel Grant awarded for 2015
The Dominique Jacquin-Berdal Travel Grant was established by the International Relations Department at the LSE in memory of Dr Dominique Jacquin-Berdal who was a lecturer in the Department from 1999 until her death in 2006. She taught on nationalism and … Continue reading

New book from IR Department alumnus Sean McFate
THE MODERN MERCENARY: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order by Sean McFate (PhD International Relations 2011) Published: Oxford University Press; January 2, 2015 ISBN: 9780199360109; 272 pages; $29.95 This book is based on doctoral work that Sean … Continue reading

New online portal on Gulf History involving IR Dept PhD alumnus, Francis Owtram
IR Department  PhD alumnus, Francis Owtram, is currently assisting with the development of an online portal of archival material which will be of key interest to students of the history and international relations of the Arabian/Persian Gulf.  The Qatar Digital … Continue reading

Award-winning novelist Karl Marlantes visits LSE International Relations Department
On 12/13 March 2015 the LSE International Relations Department was visited by decorated Marine and Vietnam War veteran, Karl Marlantes, writer of one of the great books about war in his award-winning novel/memoir Matterhorn. Marlantes agreed to join a ‘Talk … Continue reading

A View from the Border: Everyday lives in Burma’s conflict zones in times of transition
This article originally appeared on the India at LSE blog. This week, a new photo exhibition opened at LSE with images taken by Hkun Lat, Hkun Li and David Brenner portraying the everyday lives of people in Burma’s conflict-ridden Kachin State. … Continue reading

The Global Transformation: history, modernity and the making of international relations – a public discussion
On Tuesday 17 March 2015 the Department of International Relations held a public discussion to launch a new book: The Global Transformation: history, modernity and the making of international relations, co-authored by Barry Buzan and George Lawson. The speakers were: … Continue reading

 

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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.

 
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International Society, Global Polity: An Introduction to International Political Theory
(Sage, 2014)
Chris Brown

This book provides an overview of the current state of the art in International Political Theory (IPT). It offers a coherent account of the field of IPT, placing both traditional and modern work in a clear and logical framework.

The text moves from conventional accounts of the society of states to non-state-centric understandings of global politics. The first part covers international law, war, human rights and humanitarianism. The second part looks at the new human rights regime, the responsibility to protect, the ethics of war and global justice.

Each chapter includes annotated reading lists, highlighting directions you can take to further your reading.

International Society, Global Polity is perfect for students taking courses on International Political Theory, International Theory, Global Ethics and Global Justice.

 
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Cutting the Gordian Knot of Economic Reform: When and How International Institutions Help
(Oxford University Press, 2014)
Leonardo Baccini and Johannes Urpelainen 

Why do leaders of countries opt to join international institutions that constrain their freedom to enact domestic policy? In this book, Leonardo Baccini and Johannes Urpelainen address this enduring question of international relations by looking at liberal economic reforms.

Baccini and Urpelainen argue that international institutions help to cut this Gordian knot by allowing leaders to credibly commit to liberal policies while also creating domestic political support for reform. The book takes a comparative look at developing countries that have engaged in treaties with the US and EU to develop a full theory of when and how leaders enter into international institutions to effect economic reform. The book employs a mixed-method approach combining quantitative analysis and four case studies.

Cutting the Gordian Knot of Economic Reform is the first work to provide a theory on the design of international institutions, the circumstances that cause leaders to form international institutions, and the effects of international institutions on economic reform.

 
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Credit Ratings and Sovereign Debt: The Political Economy of Creditworthiness through Risk and Uncertainty
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)
Bartholomew Paudyn

At the heart of the struggle to constitute the 'politics of limits' – the parameters defining the budgetary realities facing governments – is the growing antagonistic relationship between the imperatives of private (financial) markets and public democracies. Through a new analytical instrumentality, this interdisciplinary account problematizes credit ratings and the problem of sovereign debt to show how the authoritative knowledge underpinning the political economy of creditworthiness is constructed through the deployment of the discursive practices of risk and uncertainty. Unpacking the 'black-box' of sovereign ratings, as a socio-technical device of control and governmentality, we better understand how their authoritative capacity/utility are constituted through their performative effects, which create the conditions and subjectivities that serve to validate and regenerate a disinflationary fiscal normality/rectitude. Political judgment is censured through depoliticizing risk techniques; as a (fallacious) analytics of ratings helps elevate quantitative expertise and relegates competing, qualitative approaches in the design of a neoliberal politics of limits. This exacerbates the asymmetry between epistocracy and democracy, which prompts attempts to reclaim lost fiscal sovereignty.

 
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European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World, 3rd Edition
(Polity, 2014) 
Karen E. Smith

The European Union finds itself at a critical juncture; not only has the deepening crisis in the eurozone weakened the EU’s internal structure, it has impacted significantly on its international image and external relations. The third edition of European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World offers a clear and detailed analysis of the complexities and challenges of contemporary European foreign policy-making.

This accessible and thoroughly researched book will be a valuable resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students of European politics, foreign policy analysis, international relations and related disciplines.

 
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China and Mozambique: From Comrades to Capitalists
(Jacana, 2014)
Edited by Chris Alden & Sergio Chichava

The wide range of reactions to greater Chinese involvement across Africa has varied from enthusiastic embrace by elites to caution from businesses, trade unions and civil society, and even hostility from some local communities. As a once-modest presence in Africa, China has rapidly grown to become one of Africa's top trading partners. Two-way trade surged from just over US$10 billion in 2000 to nearly US$200 billion in 2012.

China and Mozambique moves beyond the conventions of general surveys on China-Africa relations to explore real content and experiences of China's relationship with Mozambique. This book unpacks the complex and sometimes contradictory policies of this relationship, looking at Chinese investment in the Mozambican banking sector and at elite business alliances in agriculture and infrastructure.

A fuller sense of bilateral relations is offered through the focus on this emblematic case; it drills down into the heart of a relationship

For all orders, email orders@onthedot.co.za 

 
   

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