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Research areas and themes

These themes and topics are the focus of IDEAS research activity across our projects, reports, and teaching priorities.

The way the IDEAS team makes original impact-based research possible and then consistently supports the outcomes produced by such initiatives marks it out as special.

Professor Conor Gearty


IDEAS was founded as research centre for the study of Strategy, Diplomacy, and International Affairs.

We continue to see strategic thinking as central to successful foreign policy. Good strategy maximises your assets and influence. With politics dominated by points-scoring and posturing, strategy remains focused on keeping your key goals clear.

We ask these questions in all our research - what are the relevant strengths and aims, whether for a country or a diplomat. We aim for our work to inform those practising strategic approaches.


IDEAS was founded as research centre for the study of Strategy, Diplomacy, and International Affairs.

We still believe that the effective practice of diplomacy is a vital skill in the modern world. Factors such as the growing importance of leaders and economic power have not reduced the ability of good diplomatic work to achieve incredible results internationally. Diplomacy no longer only takes place in the embassy but is practised in global business, online, and directly to world populations.  

In addition to working to train the next generation of diplomats, we aim for our work to inform those professionally practicing diplomacy in the public and private sector.

International Affairs

IDEAS was founded as research centre for the study of Strategy, Diplomacy, and International Affairs.

We maintain that understanding global events requires exploring the history and ideas that have shaped the international system. The drama of current affairs in recent years have their origins in ongoing foreign policy and geopolitical trends.

We aim to help practitioners, in both the private and public sector, and the public better understand the current international affairs.

Power Shifts

Several academics who have been leading figures at IDEAS in the last decade including Director Michael Cox, Danny Quah, and Nick Kitchen are among the world's leading experts on changes in global power.

The idea of Power Shifts in the international system is now widely accepted: particularly from the US to China, from West to East, and from states to non-state actors.

We seek to investigate those claims and understand the basis of power in the international system, the context in which power operates, and how power may transition from one actor to another.


The UK's decision to leave the European Union is one of the most important geopolitical events in a generation.

We are working to understand the implications of this process, with a particular focus on how it will change Britain's relations with other countries outside Europe. We are also utilising our links with policymakers and diplomats to support them during negotiations and help the public understand the complicated withdrawal process.



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LSE IDEAS, Floor 9, Pankhurst House, 1 Clement's Inn, London, WC2A 2AZ