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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


Department staff contact details |


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


Finding your way around LSE: room numbering and accessibility|





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|
Clement House

Welcome to new International Relations students!

Please see our New Arrivals| page for information about the department's orientation meetings and other useful information. 


The Paradox of China's Peaceful Rise|

Tuesday 7 October 2014, 6.30 - 8.00pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, NAB

Speaker: Professor Barry Buzan
Discussant: Professor Arne Westad
Chair: Professor Michael Cox

Despite the widespread view that China does not have a coherent grand strategy, China has already articulated one that is based on the home-grown idea of ‘peaceful rise/development’ (PRD). The key issue is whether the logic of this grand strategy, and the contradictions within it, are fully understood, and whether China has sufficient depth and coherence in its policy-making processes to implement such a strategy. This lecture will explore key issues arising from their idea of ‘Peaceful Rise/Development’.


Department of International Relations and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment public lecture

The Politics of Climate Change 2014: what cause for hope?
Date: Tuesday 14 October 2014 Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Professor Lord Giddens Chair: Professor Stuart Corbridge

Professor Lord Giddens published The Politics of Climate Change in 2007and is currently preparing a new edition for publication in 2015. In this lecture he will consider how much progress has been made since the work was first published in containing global warming - arguably one of the greatest threats to a stable future for humanity.

Anthony Giddens is a former director of LSE and a Member of the House of Lords.

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 contact events@lse.ac.uk| or 0207 955 6043.


Department of International Relations public lecture

Nominal Democracy? Prospects for Democratic Global Governance
Date: Tuesday 28 October 2014 Time: 6.30-8pm
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Professor Robert O Keohane

Democratic global governance is a worthy ideal, but it is a naïve pursuit which risks purely nominal democracy.

Robert O Keohane is Professor of International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEdemocracy

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 contact us at events@lse.ac.uk| or 0207 955 6043.


LSE IDEAS in conjunction with the International Relations Department|

The EU, Russia and Ukraine: Lessons Learned

|Thursday 6 November 2014, 6.30 - 8.00pm, Wolfson Theatre, NAB
Speakers: Dr Tomila Lankina, Professor Karen E Smith, Professor Vladislav Zubok, Dr Gwendolyn Sasse; Chair: Professor Michael Cox

LSE experts will be debating what the EU got right and what it got wrong in the political crisis that followed Ukraine’s refusal to sign the Association Agreement in November 2013.

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 more information please email ideas.events@lse.ac.uk|


Slacktivists - cover story of Science News|

A report on an article about the structure of online activism co-authored by IR Department's Dr Jens Meierhenrich has become the cover story of popular science magazine Science News.

You can read the original article here.|


US Foreign Policy Conference 17-19 September 2014
Together with LSE IDEAS|, the International Relations Department is co-hosting the US Foreign Policy Conference at LSE on September 17-19. Please click here for the detailed programme|.

Across 3 days, the conference will bring together scholars of US foreign policy from the UK, Europe, the United States and Canada, along with policymakers and postgraduate students – over 100 participants in all.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Global Perspectives’.

Dominique Jacquin-Berdal

The Dominique Jacquin-Berdal Travel Grant for 2014| has been awarded to Maddalena Procopio for her research in Kenyan State-Society's negotiations vis-a-vis China.

You can read more about this year's award on the IR blog here|.


Alexander Stubb is new Finnish Prime Minister|

Alexander Stubb, who has a PhD from the Department of International Relations, has become the new 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|.


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|.

Main Entrance

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|.

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 2014
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

Global South Doctoral Fieldwork Research Award 2014-15
The Global South Doctoral Fieldwork Research Award has been established this year in the Department of International Relations at the LSE and is funded by an alumnus of the IR Department as part of a donation funding research on the … Continue reading

Pippa Malmgren (MSc International Relations 1986, PhD 1991)
This month, Pippa Malmgren has spoken to Chris Kendrick at LSE for a piece in the alumni magazine LSE Connect.  Pippa received an MSc International Relations 1986 and a PhD in 1991 from the IR Department.  She has an illustrious … Continue reading

Alexander Stubb to become Finnish Prime Minister
Alexander Stubb, who has a PhD from the Department of International Relations, has become the new leader of the centre-right National Coalition Party, and is set to become the new Finnish Prime Minister this week.  His supervisor, Sir William Wallace, … Continue reading

Featured Alumni: Dr Eric Helleiner (MSc Politics of the World Economy (1987), PhD International Relations (1991))
Eric Helleiner MSc Politics of the World Economy (1987), PhD International Relations (1991) Dr Helleiner is currently Professor and Faculty of Arts Chair in International Political Economy, Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo and Balsillie School of International Affairs. … Continue reading

Tomila Lankina: What Putin gets about soft power
Tomila Lankina, associate professor in International Relations, and PhD student Kinga Niemczyk, co-wrote a guest blogpost for the Washington Post political blogs forum ‘The Monkey Cage’ on 15 April 2014 in which they talk about Russia’s hard and soft power. … Continue reading


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.


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| 


Men At War: What Fiction Tells us About Conflict, from the Iliad to Catch-22
|(Hurst, 2014)
Christopher Coker

Since Achilles first stormed into our imagination, literature has introduced its readers to truly unforgettable martial characters. In Men at War Christopher Coker discusses some of the most famous of these fictional creations and their impact on our understanding of war and masculinity. Grouped into five archetypes—warriors, heroes, villains, survivors and victims—these characters range across 3000 years of history, through epic poems, the modern novel and one of the twentieth century’s most famous film scripts.

Great authors like Homer and Tolstoy reveal to us aspects of reality invisible except through a literary lens, while fictional characters such as Achilles, Falstaff, Robert Jordan and Jack Aubrey are not just larger than life, they are life’s largeness; and this is why we seek them out. Although the Greeks knew that the lovers, wives and mothers of soldiers are the chief victims of battle, for combatants war is a masculine pursuit. Each of Coker’s chapters explores what fiction tells us about war’s hold on the imagination of young men and the way it makes—and breaks—them. War’s existential appeal is also perhaps best conveyed in fictional accounts, and this too is scrutinised.


Can War be Eliminated?
|(Polity, 2014)
Christopher Coker

Throughout history, war seems to have had an iron grip on humanity. In this short book, internationally renowned philosopher of war, Christopher Coker, challenges the view that war is an idea that we can cash in for an even better one - peace. War, he argues, is central to the human condition; it is part of the evolutionary inheritance which has allowed us to survive and thrive. New technologies and new geopolitical battles may transform the face and purpose of war in the 21st century, but our capacity for war remains undiminished. The inconvenient truth is that we will not see the end of war until it exhausts its own evolutionary possibilities.



The New Middle East: Protest and Revolution in the Arab World|
(Cambridge University Press, 2014)
Edited by Fawaz A Gerges

This book is the first comprehensive and interdisciplinary study to examine the causes, drivers, and effects of the events of the Arab Spring on the internal, regional, and international politics of the Middle East and North Africa. Gerges and his team of leading scholars investigate specific conditions, but also highlight broader connections between individual case studies and systemic conditions throughout the Arab world, which include the crisis of political authority, the failure of economic development, and new genres of mobilisation and activism, especially communication technology and youth movements. Last but not least, they also reflect on the prospects for democratic change in individual states and in the region as a whole.

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

International Relations Student Handbooks|

If you have an LSE account you can read and download the IR student handbooks here:

IR Taught Courses Student Handbook (Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Research)|