Christopher Coker

Tributes to late Professor Christopher Coker

LSE IDEAS would like to thank everybody who has left a tribute to our late Director, Professor Christopher Coker. Please find a selection of them below.

A superb colleague and leader at IDEAS, and the kindest person

Emilia Knight, Centre Manager

A memorial will take place for Christopher on Thursday 30th November, further details to follow. If you are interested in attending please email with your name, contact details and association to Professor Coker. Please note spaces are limited and will be prioritised.

'Christopher was a unique scholar, highly original, and gifted both in his writing and his teaching. He was completely lacking in any ambition in the conventional worldly sense. But he was also a highly social being with a wonderful sense of humour and great rhetorical skill which could reduce a room to fits of hopeless mirth. He was an unusual, gracious, kind, and remarkable, human being who has died far too young. I was always delighted to be in his company.'

'This is incredibly sad news. It was a pleasure to work with Christopher for a few years during my time at LSE IDEAS. What a great loss this is for all those who knew him, the team at LSE IDEAS, LSE as a whole, and the IR community.'

'As many have noted on these pages, Christopher was kind, modest and generous. In addition to his devotion to his students and teaching, and his exceptional contributions to scholarship, his long record of service to the Department and the LSE should also be celebrated - though he would never have demanded recognition for it. Indeed, the only time that I can recall in which he expressed pride about his service came after one Department Meeting that he chaired as HoD (late 2000s) when he told me that he must now hold the record for chairing the shortest DM (an accomplishment which has proved impossible to match). He had, as noted elsewhere in these comments, quite the sense of humour; I kept the email he circulated to the IRD after Trump's election, which contained just one brilliantly selected quote by H.L. Mencken summing up his (Coker's) 'reflection on our troubled times'. What a loss for us all.'

'Prof Coker was my academic mentor when I was pursuing my BSc in Politics and International Relations. He was nurturing and caring and was genuinely concerned about the well being of his students. He went beyond his duty to ensure that my academic needs were well taken care of. I truly appreciated my conversations with him.'

'It’s shocking. I’m so grateful that I was able to have a wonderful, unscheduled catch up with Chris just a couple of months ago in London. He was his usual self: cracking dry jokes with a slightly mischievous glint.
I've been a beneficiary of his kindness from when he was director of the centre for international studies. We will all miss him.'

'A 30 year friendship comes to an end. He taught me in my undergrad, supervised my PhD, and we worked on several LSE initiatives since including most recently the Jinnah Fellowship. I’m so sad to learn of his passing away - he was incredibly intelligent, kind and funny. I will miss him a lot.'

'Christopher Coker was a rare combination of genius, generosity, & genuineness. The study of war in the contemporary world has benefited from his curiosity & insight. His colleagues & students, of which I am proud to call myself one, were privy to glimpses of awe & wonder.'

Read all of the tributes left to Professor Christopher Coker here.