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Matthew Rendall

Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Biography

Matthew Rendall is Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham, and holds a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University. His earlier research focused on large-scale war and peace, including such topics as nuclear deterrence, whether there is a 'separate peace' among democracies, and collective security. This work often tested theories of war and peace through historical case studies, often drawing on original historical research. More recently he has also been writing about intergenerational justice, climate change and various topics in moral philosophy.

Expertise Summary

Teaching Summary

This autumn, I'm on study leave and writing a book. In the spring, I'll teach an MA seminar called 'When Does Russia Expand, and Why?' and team-teach on Social and Global Justice and Modern Political… read more

Research Summary

At present, I'm writing a book on neorealist theory, and have three papers out under review. The first paper, 'Realism and Rational Choice', argues that in representative democracies, egoists have no… read more

Recent Publications

PhD Supervision:

All areas of current research interest. More generally, I would be glad to supervise dissertations on the causes of war and peace, climate ethics and intergenerational justice.

PhD Students Supervised

Li Hak Yin, 'The Discrepancy of Chinese Foreign Policy, and its Implications Towards the World Order'

Poberezhskaya , Marianna, 'Contemporary media and the construction of anthropogenic climate change in the Russian Federation'

Gulnara Shalpykova, 'The Syr Darya River Basin: Cooperation under the Intractable Riparian Dilemma'

PhD Students Recently Completed

Kunal Mukherjee, 'From Pakistan to Londonistan: The Rise of a Home Grown Islamic Militancy in the UK'

This autumn, I'm on study leave and writing a book. In the spring, I'll teach an MA seminar called 'When Does Russia Expand, and Why?' and team-teach on Social and Global Justice and Modern Political Theory..

Current Research

At present, I'm writing a book on neorealist theory, and have three papers out under review. The first paper, 'Realism and Rational Choice', argues that in representative democracies, egoists have no rational incentive to vote, but that there are good moral reasons for voting. This creates a puzzle for classical realism. Realists since Thucydides have held that states won't let morality get in the way of self-interest. But why would citizens driven by self-interest bother to vote at all? If representative democracies pursue consciously egoistic foreign policies, either voters must be irrational or democratic institutions must be defective. The other two papers, 'Discounting, Climate Change and the Ecological Fallacy', and 'Discounting and the Paradox of the Indefinitely Postponed Splurge', discuss and criticise two common justifications for discounting future costs and benefits.

Past Research

My dissertation evaluated competing explanations for the long European peace after 1815 through an analysis of Russia's Near Eastern policy, drawing on extensive research in Moscow's archives. I remain interested in the Concert of Europe and Russian foreign policy. ''Defensive realism and the Concert of Europe', appearing in The Review of International Studies in 2006, attacks John Mearsheimer's The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, arguing that defensive realism gives a better account of the long peace after 1815. I have also written about the Belgian crisis of 1830-32 and the Anglo-French crisis of 1840, and their implications for collective security and democratic peace theory.

Future Research

I have two other books in mind: one on intergenerational justice, catastrophic risks, and consequentialist moral philosophy, and the other on the Concert of Europe and the outbreak of the Crimean War.

School of Politics and International Relations

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University of Nottingham
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