Dr Joseph Leigh

Dr Joseph Leigh

PhD graduate

Department of International Relations

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Key Expertise
Power Politics; Global History; International Security; IR Theory

About me

I hold an MSc (with distinction) in International Relations from the LSE, and a BA (first class honours) in History from the University of Oxford. My research is located at the intersection between IR and historical sociology, focusing on the global history of empire, international order, and power politics during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I am also interested in the contemporary politics of globalisation and great-power competition, with a particular focus on how emerging geopolitical challenges can be analysed through a historical lens.

I was co-editor of the IR journal Millennium vol. 47, organising a conference and editing a special issue on ‘Revolution and Resistance in World Politics’. I was associate editor for vol. 48 and was a deputy editor for vol. 46.

I have a broad range of teaching experience at the LSE and Goldsmiths, University of London, where I have taught courses in IR theory, comparative politics, and war and security studies. In 2019-2020, I was nominated for teaching awards for Excellent Feedback and Communication, and Inspirational Teaching, in both the IR and Government departments at LSE.  

Research topic

The Emergence of Global Power Politics: Imperialism, Modernity, and American Expansion 1870-1914

My PhD thesis examined the emergence of newly globalised conceptions of power politics and international order during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. In particular, the thesis sought to reshape our understanding of American global expansion by reconstructing the complex international entanglements which linked US foreign policy-makers to events and processes in Japan, China, Russia, Western Europe, and the Caribbean. By highlighting the impact of the global on American military and foreign policy, this research project offers a novel interpretation of the political ideas and strategies which shaped the first age of globalisation, and thus a new account of the transformation of international order which preceded World War One. 

Teaching experience

  • 2019-2020: Seminar Teacher, IR100: International Relations: Theories, Concepts and Debates (LSE)
  • 2019-2020: Seminar Teacher, GV248: Power and Politics in the Modern World: Comparative Perspectives (LSE)
  • 2018-2020: Associate Lecturer, Contemporary IR Theory (Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • 2017-2018: Seminar Teacher, Strategic Aspects of International Relations (LSE)

Academic supervisor

Dr George Lawson


Expertise Details

Power Politics; Global History; International Security; IR Theory; Historical Sociology; US Foreign Policy; Empire