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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|

The International Relations Department is pleased to present a new 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


International Relations Public Lecture:

Anglo-American Civilisation and its Discontents in World Affairs

Date: Wednesday 6 May 2015, Time: 6.30-8.00pm
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE
Speaker: Professor Peter Katzenstein
Chair: Professor Peter Trubowitz

How should we think about Anglo-America? How does it differ from the world's other civilisations -- Islam, Sinic, Indian, European, Eurasian, African -- and where does it converge with them? Professor Peter Katzenstein will explore these and related questions about Anglo-America, the West, and the possibilities of a more inclusive global civilisation.

Peter Katzenstein is the former President of the American Political Science Association and the Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies at Cornell University.

Peter Trubowitz is Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economic and Political Science.

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.   Twitter hashtag #LSEUKUS


Attention Final Year Undergraduates!|

The International Relations Department has a deep interest in your views on your undergraduate education. We encourage you to participate in the National Student Survey and give us your feedback on all aspects of your undergraduate experience. The survey is live between now and 30 April 2015. Please access the Survey here|.


Global South Unit Public Lecture|

Myanmar: politics, pragmatism, and foreign policy|

Date: Wednesday 22 April 2015, 6.30-8.00pm

Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Speaker: David I Steinberg, Distinguished Professor of Asian Studies Emeritus, Georgetown University and visiting scholar, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Although local and international attention are now naturally focused on the scheduled 2015 Myanmar elections, Professor Steinberg explores longer term past governance trends in Myanmar, their interplay with the country’s international relations, and factors influencing such relations in the post-election period.

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 email d.brenner@lse.ac.uk|.  Twitter hashtag #LSEMyanmar


Global South Unit Public Discussion

Myanmar's 2015 Elections: hopes, expectations, and certitudes

|Date: Thursday 23 April 2015, 12.30-2.00pm

Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

David I. Steinberg, Distinguished Professor of Asian Studies Emeritus, Georgetown University and visiting scholar, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
Min Zin, regular contributor to the Foreign Policy’s Transitions blog and PhD candidate, University of California, Berkeley.
Myat Thu, Director and co-founder, Yangon School of Political Science
Hein Myat Thu Htet, Foundation doctor, New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton

The upcoming general elections in Myanmar are a litmus test for the country’s transition process. This roundtable discusses pre-election strategising and post-election scenarios and implications.

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 email d.brenner@lse.ac.uk|. Twitter hashtag #LSEMyanmar


LSE Arts public exhibition
Atrium Gallery, Old Building 
|Monday 13 April – Friday 12 May, 10am-8pm

A view from the border: Everyday lives in Burma’s conflict zones in times of transition

The photo exhibition portrays Burma’s conflict-ridden borderlands. By doing so it asks how the country’s wider transition affects the everyday lives of ethnic minorities, including displaced communities and insurgents.

This exhibition is open to all, no ticket required. Visitors are welcome Monday-Friday between 10am and 8pm. Please click here for full details|.
NT Info: arts@lse.ac.uk| or call 020 7107 5342.

This exhibition is supported by the International Relations Department at LSE.

Photo credit: Hkun Lat 

ITPU logo

International Trade Policy Unit: Seminars 2015

|The International Trade Policy Unit| (ITPU) in the International Relations Department of the LSE was established to provide a link between academic research on trade-related topics and the wider debate on trade policy and to promote an informed debate on international trade issues.

As one of its activities the ITPU organises occasional talks and short conferences on trade topics and this year sees a number of upcoming events. For further information click 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|.


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|.


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.

Hezbollah, Islamist Politics, and International Society: NEW BOOK by IR Dept PhD alumnus Filippo Dionigi
Islamism constitutes a new variant of the communitarian challenge to a liberal international order. But is it a viable political project in a world where human rights and international humanitarian principles have become so pervasive?  What are the consequences of … Continue reading

US Foreign Policy Conference 2014 – video available
US Foreign Policy Conference 17-19 September 2014 The International Relations Department, together with IDEAS, co-hosted the US Foreign Policy Conference at LSE on September 17-19 2014. Please click here for the detailed programme. Across 3 days, the conference brought together … Continue reading

Cumberland Lodge Conference 2014
When it comes to Cumberland Lodge — a former royal residence, a picture just emerges where political elites were secretly whispering about how to formulate a grand strategy. This was what this year’s IR community were going to do at … Continue reading

New Book by IR Department PhD graduate Dr Kai Monheim
The new book on international negotiations by Dr Kai Monheim, a recent PhD graduate from the Department of International Relations, is due out on 5 November and available for pre-order now: How Effective Negotiation Management Promotes Multilateral Co-operation: The power … Continue reading

Tough trade-offs on the road to Paris: What hopes for a 2015 climate agreement?
Robert Falkner, Associate Professor of International Relations, has written a blog post for the LSE British Politics and Policy blog: A close reading of international climate politics points to subtle but important changes in the diplomatic process and the positions of … Continue reading

NEW BOOK: Cutting the Gordian Knot of Economic Reform
A new book Cutting the Gordian Knot of Economic Reform by Leonardo Baccini (of LSE International Relations Department) and Johannes Urpelainen (of Columbia University) is due to be published by Oxford University Press on 23 October 2014. Summary Why do … Continue reading


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|.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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|.