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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 86th year, making us one of the oldest as well as largest in the world.  Read more about the department|

National Student Survey - deadline 30 April 2014|

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 2014. Please access the Survey via the following link: http://www.thestudentsurvey.com|  


Alexandros Petersen

The International Relations Department is saddened to learn that Alexandros Petersen, a former MSc and PhD student in the Department, died in Kabul on Friday 17th January 2014.

Alex was killed in an attack on a popular restaurant for which the Taliban claimed responsibility. Alex began work as an Assistant Professor, Political Science, at the American University of Afghanistan just two days before his death.

Alex was a MSc student in the Department of International Relations during 2006-7, after which he registered on the PhD programme and obtained his doctorate in 2012. Alex had attachments to many research institutes and wrote the book The World Island: Eurasian Geopolitics and the Fate of the West. He was popular at the LSE and will be greatly missed.

(Alex's former supervisor, Dr Roy Allison)


International Relations Department and Transatlantic Academy Public Debate

The Future of the Liberal World Order|

Date: Thursday 23 January 2014

Speakers:  Barry Buzan, Trine Flockhart, John Ikenberry, Charles Kupchan

Chair: Peter Trubowitz

This roundtable of leading scholars debated the future of the liberal international order. The liberal order is a global system based on shared norms, economic openness, and commitment to cooperation through multilateral institutions. Will this system of global governance persist, or is the global system likely to become more fragmented, mercantilist, and more conflictual?

Audio and video podcasts and downloads are available 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| page.

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

Tarak Barkawi: The Globalisation of the Hollywood War Film
For a long time, people in other countries had to watch American war films. Now they are making their own. Recently, Russia and Germany have produced dueling filmic visions of their great contest in World War II. Paid for with … Continue reading

Tomila Lankina: Why Crimea Might Be Worse Off Under Russian Rule
Tomila Lankina, associate professor in International Relations, wrote a guest blogpost for the Washington Post political blogs forum ‘The Monkey Cage’ on 9 March 2014 in which she talks about why Crimea might be worse off under Russian rule. You … Continue reading

Tomila Lankina: interview on the Ukrainian situation
Tomila Lankina, associate professor in International Relations, recently gave an interview on the Ukrainian situation to CNBC in which she says that by leaving for a scheduled trip to China, the Ukrainian president is signalling he feels secure. You can … Continue reading

Cumberland Lodge Conference 2013
This year at the Cumberland Lodge Conference, students from the Department of International Relations (IR) were joined by scholars from different departments of LSE and abroad in exploring the various historical approaches to the study of IR. This year’s group … Continue reading

Katerina Dalacoura: Iran’s Diplomacy shows a recognition of its decline
Dr Katerina Dalacoura, Associate Professor in the International Relations Department, recently published an article in the Financial Times (21 October 2013) looking at Iran’s recent change in foreign policy. Iran’s Diplomacy shows a recognition of its decline


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.
Classics of International Relations: Essays in Criticism and Appreciation
|(Routledge, 2013)
Edited by Henrik Bliddal, Casper Sylvest and Peter Wilson

This book introduces, contextualises and assesses 24 of the most important works on international relations of the last 100 years. Providing an indispensable guide for all students of IR theory, it asks why are these works considered classics? Is their status deserved? Will it endure?  With an international cast of contributors, many of them leading authorities on their subject, Classics of International Relations will become a standard reference for all those wishing to make sense of a rapidly developing and diversifying field.
The Handbook of Global Climate and Environment Policy
|(Wiley-Blackwell, 2013)
Edited by Robert Falkner

This book presents an authoritative and comprehensive overview of international policy on climate and the environment. It brings together a global team of experts from the fields of environmental politics, international relations, economics, and law, who explore current debates and the latest thinking in the search for global environmental solutions. The volume reviews the key environmental challenges, concepts, and approaches; examines the role of global actors, institutions, and processes; and considers the links between the global economy and global environmental politics.

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)|