from the Department of International Relations

We are ranked 5th in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2020


Our department Welcome pages are now online!

Check out our new 2020 Welcome pages which include information about our Welcome events and MSc course option videos.

More information here



Yulian Dragoslavov

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Yulian Dragoslavov, a student on the MSc in International Political Economy 2019/20 in our department. He will be deeply missed by students and staff here in the Department of International Relations.

We are considering ways of remembering and celebrating Yulian’s life.

On our blog you can read some thoughts and tributes from his teachers and supervisors in the department



BSc Prizewinners 2019/21

We're thrilled to announce the IR BSc prizewinners for 2019/20! 

Congratulations to:

  • Eva Richter - The Goodwin Prize - for the best examination performance by a second year BSc IR student
  • Ludovico Picciotto - The Coral Bell Prize - for the best degree performance overall by a third year BSc IR student
  • Ines Soderstrom - The Philip Noel-Baker Prize - for the best dissertation by a third year BSc IR student
  • Beatriz Tiago Fernandes - The Geoffrey Stern Prize - for the best performance by a first-year BSc IR student in the IR100 Concepts of International Society examination

Find out more about these prizes on our blog post



Book Awards - congratulations to Karen E Smith, George Lawson and Jeffrey Chwieroth

Professor Karen E. Smith's recent co-authored book Group Politics in UN Multilateralism has been awarded the Academic Council on the UN System Biennial Book Award for 2020.

This book was recognised for its new perspective on diplomacy and negotiations at the UN. This recognises that group dynamics and shifting, ad-hoc groupings around issues are key to understanding diplomatic practice at the UN. 

Dr George Lawson's book Anatomies of Revolution was awarded the Hedley Bull Prize. This award by the European Consortium for Political Research recognises one book each year which makes a substantial and original contribution to theory and/or empirical studies in any field of International Relations.

You can read the jury's full remarks, as well as Dr Lawson's own comments on the ECPR web page.

Professor Jeffrey Chwieroth's book The Wealth Effect: How the Great Expectations of the Middle Class Have Changed the Politics of Banking Crises, co-authored with Professor Andrew Walter from the University of Melbourne, was awarded the Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research by the European Consortium for Political Research. 

The jury described the book as a ‘masterful’ long-term analysis of the politics of banking crises. Read their full remarks on the ECPR web page.



BISA's Distinguished Contribution Prize 2020 is awarded to Emeritus Professor Margot Light

Margot Light is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at LSE. She has been an authoritative scholarly voice on Soviet and Russian foreign policy since the 1980s. Informed by a deep knowledge of Russia’s politics, culture and language, Margot’s work has also been sensitive to broader, theoretical developments. Her first book The Soviet Theory of International Relations was followed by others, edited and co-authored, analysing the internal and external factors that shape Russia’s approach to the world. Early in her career Margot co-edited two state of the art books on IR theory (International Relations: A Handbook of Current Theory, ed. Margot Light and A.J.R. Groom – was republished by Bloomsbury in 2016) and has written widely on ethical, normative and gender issues in IR. 

Margot has also played a leading role in nurturing younger scholars and in supporting women in the profession. She co-convened the first course in the UK dedicated to the study of women in international relations and set up the LSE Women group – a forerunner of #LSEWomen. Margot was Director of the Human Rights Programme in the Commonwealth of Independent States based in the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE from 2006–2016.  

Find out more

Read an interview with her about life and teaching



COVID-19 writing and research

Our staff and students are helping people and governments better COVID-19's implications for international affairs, from the importance of physical touch to its impact on energy policy.

Read their contributions to this global discussion



International Relations at LSE: your questions answered

Thinking of applying for a BSc in IR? You can watch our online Q&A session with our Head of Department, Professor Karen E. Smith and Departmental Tutor, Dr Luca Tardelli

Watch the video here



Congratulations to our IR LSE Class Teacher Award recipients!

LSE Class Teacher Awards are given to Graduate Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows and Guest Teachers in recognition of their very special contribution to teaching at LSE. Six of our Fellows and Graduate Teaching Assistants are recipients in 2020.

Winners: Pilar ElizaldeAlice Engelhard

Highly Commended: Yuna Han, Tristen Naylor, McKenzie Ratner, Johanna Rodehau-Noack

More information here



LSE Student Union Teaching Awards

Congratulations, and well done, to the 34 members of IR faculty, GTAs and guest teachers who were nominated by students for an LSESU teaching award this year! 



Congratulations to the winner and runners-up of the Marco Lam Blog Prize 2020 for undergraduate students!

This year, in honour of the late Marco Lam, the Department has again awarded one student with a prize for outstanding blogging. This year's subject is "IR: What is it good for?".

First place was awarded to Beatriz Silva (1st year BSc International Relations) and the runners-up are Milton Wong (2nd year BSc Politics and International Relations) and Florence Goodrham (2nd year BSc International Relations and History).

Read their blog entries.



Comments from our External Examiners 2018-19

"I can confirm that this is an excellent programme that is respected nationally and internationally. The practices and procedures for examining are clear and robust, and the students are supported in multiple ways as they move through the degree."

Read the comments on our programmes of study from the external examiners for 2018-19



LSE Politics and International Relations ranked fifth in 2020 world university rankings by subject

LSE Politics and International Relations has been ranked fifth in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2020 tables for Politics and International Studies, ahead of Cambridge University and Stanford.

We are second in the UK and top in London!

Scores take into account academic and employer reputation surveys, along with citations per faculty.

See rankings
See methodology and more information



LSE Festival: Research Competition
Congratulations to our winners!

The LSE Festival 2020 hosted a research competition for students and staff. We're very pleased to announce the winners from the Department of International Relations:

More information


Security Statecraft.Jacklyn.4-3

Congratulations to PhD student Jacklyn Majnemer

Jacklyn has won a Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security Initiative Doctoral Award and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Award to support her studies.



Congratulations to Andrew Sherwood

Our Department Manager, Andrew Sherwood, was runner up in the 2020 LSE Values in Practice Awards in the 'Valuing People' category.

View the full results



MSc Dissertation Prizes 2018/19

We're thrilled to announce the IR MSc dissertation prizewinners for 2018/19! You can also find out more about their dissertations and read their abstracts via the blog post link below.

Congratulations to:

  • Anna Rio - Philip Windsor Dissertation Prize
  • Lily Nellans - Martin Wight Dissertation Prize
  • Uygar Baspehlivan - Fred Halliday Dissertation Prize
  • Casimir Hesse - Susan Strange Dissertation Prize

We also send our congratulations to Alexander Andreou and Aza Elgenied, joint winners of the Michael Donelan Prize for the highest mark (75) in the IR410 International Politics core course.

Find out more in the blog post


IRD LSE100 Prizewinners 2019

Congratulations to our LSE100 Prizewinners!

The annual LSE100 Prize Giving Dinner was held recently where students were awarded prizes for exceptional academic achievements on LSE100 in 2018. Of the over 1700 students who took LSE100 last year, 84 students received the LSE100 Award for achieving straight Distinctions across all assessments on the course, while one student was awarded the Sir Robert Worcester Prize for achieving the highest overall mark on LSE100.

This year, 12 students from the Department of International Relations received LSE100 awards for their excellent work and commitment to interdisciplinary learning in LSE100. 

Congratulations to

Daisy Field
Fanny Garrigou-Grandchamp
Laura Goddard
Jocelyn Harrison
Maitrai Lapalikar
Kishan Maher
Rebecca McCann
Niklas McKerrell
Ludovico Picciotto
Naomi Weiler
Felix Willuweit
Yuxin Zhou

Well done for your impressive achievement!



New grant for Middle East religious diversity study

The $350,000 award, the Henry Luce Foundation's first gift to LSE, is in support of the 3 year project ‘Managing Religious Diversity in the Middle East: The Muhasasa Ta’ifia in Iraq, 2003-2018’, which will be headed by Professor Toby Dodge of LSE International Relations and LSE Middle East Centre.

Find out more



LSE Excellence in Education Awards 2019

Congratulations to the following staff members of the International Relations Department who have been awarded an Excellence in Education Award this year:

Spyros Economides
Yuna Han
Gustav Meibauer
Tristen Naylor
Emma Saint
Luca Tardelli

The Excellence in Education Awards are made, on the recommendations of Heads of Department, to staff who have demonstrated outstanding teaching contribution and educational leadership in their departments.



Congratulations to our 2019 Undergraduate Prizewinners!

We are proud to announce the BSc prizewinners for the 2018-19 session.

Read full details about the winners and prizes



Double congratulations to Dr Ranjit Lall!

Ranjit's dissertation "Making International Organizations Work: The Politics of Institutional Performance" has been awarded TWO prizes by the American Political Science Association:

  • International Collaboration Section's Best Dissertation Award 2018.
  • Merze Tate Award 2019, awarded annually for the best dissertation successfully defended during the previous two years in the field of international relations, law and politics.

The awards will be presented at the APSA Conference later this year.

You can read an International Organization article containing a key part of the argument here.



Congratulations to Professor William A Callahan!

His article "The Politics of Walls: Barriers, Flows and the Sublime"(2018) has won the Best Article of the Year Prize from BISA and the Review of International Studies.

Read the article

Read a summary on the LSE US Centre blog



Alumni News

LSE IR and History graduate (2016) Suyin Haynes spent a two day journey by train, spanning six countries and 1,200 miles with teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg - and heard how she made the whole world listen.

Her report is the feature article in Time 27 May 2019 issue.

Read it here



Student-led Teaching Excellence Awards 2019 from LSE Students' Union

We are very pleased that the following members of our Department have been recognised in the Teaching Excellence Awards this year:

Full list of winners



New blog post

On the publication of his latest book Understanding International Relations (5th Edition), Emeritus Professor Chris Brown writes on the breakdown of the international order and why it might not be all bad news.

Read it here


gender hub

LSE to lead £15m research hub to promote gender equality

The LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security (WPS) will lead a new coalition of research institutions addressing gendered injustice and insecurity around the world.

Members of the IR Department faculty, Kirsten Ainley is Co-Director and Deputy Principal Investigator, while Milli Lake is a Co-Investigator. 

Receiving £15.2m over five years through the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the UKRI GCRF Gender, Justice and Security Hub will work extensively with civil society groups, practitioners, governments and international organisations to advance gender justice and inclusive peace in developing nations.

More information

Gender, Justice and Security Hub


KS-EU simulation game video

New video:
The Simulation Game: EU Human Rights Diplomacy in the UN

In November 2018, LSE students took part in the simulation of a meeting of an EU committee on the UN, to prepare the EU’s position on human rights issues within the UN. The simulation was an activity of the EUNNET programme, an EU-funded network on teaching and research on the EU and the UN.

Watch it here.



Professor Tarak Barkawi's book Soldiers of Empire wins major AHA 2018 prize

Congratulations to Professor Tarak Barkawi who has been awarded the 2018 Paul Birdsall Prize for a major book on European military and strategic history since 1870 from the American Historical Association for his book Soldiers of Empire: Indian and British Armies in World War II (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2017). 

The prize will be awarded at the 133 annual meeting of the AHA in January 2019 in Chicago.

More information here.


European Journal of IR

Gender and bias in the International Relations curriculum: Insights from reading lists

by Kiran Phull, Gokhan Ciflikli and Gustav Meibauer

Following growing academic interest and activism targeting gender bias in university curricula, the authors present the first analysis of female exclusion in a complete International Relations curriculum, across degree levels and disciplinary subfields. The IR curriculum as LSE was used as a dataset. The paper is based on the work of the IR PhD-led Gender & Diversity Project.

Read or download the paper here.



IR PhD student wins RUSI essay prize

Congratulations to IR PhD student Siddarth Kaushal who has won the 2018 RUSI Trent Gascoigne Essay Prize for original writing on contemporary issues of defence and security with his essay entitled 'Positional Warfare: a Paradigm for understanding 21st Century Conflict'.

Read the full essay here



Dr Martin J Bayly's first book wins ISA prize 2018

Congratulations to Dr Martin J Bayly, whose first book Taming the Imperial ImaginationColonial Knowledge, International Relations, and the Anglo-Afghan Encounter, 1808–1878 was awarded the Francesco Guicciardini Prize for best book in historical international relations 2018, awarded by the historical IR section of the International Studies Association.



Foreign Policy Magazine/TRIP list of best International Relations Schools in the world

Thank you to the 1500 scholars who contributed to the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) project, and who voted the LSE as top UK institution for Masters Programmes for Policy Career in International Relations.

They also voted for LSE in the top 15 PhD Programmes for Academic Career in International Relations.

Foreign Policy's best International Relations Schools in the world



Jens Meierhenrich, Associate Professor of IR, has been appointed co-editor of Cambridge Studies in Law and Society

The venerable book series at Cambridge University Press was founded in 1997.  Cambridge Studies in Law and Society is a hub for leading scholarship in socio-legal studies. Located at the intersection of law, the humanities, and the social sciences, it publishes empirically innovative and theoretically sophisticated work on law's manifestations in everyday life: from discourses to practices, and from institutions to cultures.

Information about the book series here



International Affairs podcast: Banking crises and Politics

In the latest 30-minute podcast from Chatham House, Ben Horton talks to Jeffrey M Chwieroth, Professor of International Relations at LSE, and Andrew Walter, Professor of International Relations, University of Melbourne (and previously part of the LSE IR faculty).

From Brexit in the UK, to the election of Donald Trump in the US and upheaval across the Eurozone, the effects of the 2008-09 financial crisis are still being felt around the world.

Listen to the International Affairs podcast here.



Kim Wall - IR Department alumnus

The Department of International Relations is extremely saddened to learn of the death of Swedish journalist Kim Wall.  Kim studied for the BSc in International Relations in the IR Department and graduated in 2011, before going on to complete a masters degree at Columbia University and becoming a freelance journalist.

Her former Academic Mentor at the LSE, Dr Alex Prichard, remembers her well.  He writes that she was "a really lovely person, as well as an excellent student with ambition and ability, who was determined to pursue a career in journalism". All who knew her praised her dedication to her work, her inquisitiveness and engagement. 

The department sends its deepest sympathies to Kim's family and friends.


2017-08-11 14_31_39-An interview with author Tarak Barkawi - YouTube

Soldiers of Empire: Indian and British Armies in World War Two

Watch Dr. Tarak Barkawi talk about his latest book Soldiers of Empire: Indian and British Armies in World War Two in a fascinating interview here:

Interview with Dr Tarak Barkawi Interview with Dr Tarak Barkawi
Cambridge Academic Books


Staff news

Dr. Stephen Woolcock  gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations' Committee on international trade after Brexit. Click here to watch the debate.

Dr. Tomila Lankina discussed Russia's state of the art media strategy in a new study, arguing that media monitoring can shed light on the Kremlin's opaque decision-making processes. Read full article.

Professor Barry Buzan and Dr George Lawson's book The Global Transformation: History, Modernity and the Making of International Relations has been awarded the ISA's Francesco Guicciardini Prize for Best Book in Historical International Relations 2017.

Dr. Martin Hearson, LSE IR expert on tax treaties, was quoted in the Financial Times on Mauritius investment.

Dr. Kirsten Ainley reviews Joe Hoover's book 'Reconstructing Human Rights'.

Professor Peter Trubowitz talks about the US Presidential Election in Newsweek and Chatham House.  He also writes regularly for the LSE US Centre blog.

Dr. Martin Bayly gave an interview to Research Professional magazine in September on his British Academy Award.


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