School of Politics and International Relations

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Matthew Rendall

Assistant Professor in Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences



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 convening our introductory IR module, Understanding Global Politics, and team-teaching 'Russia and Great Power Politics'. This spring I'll be on study leave.

Research Summary

My recent work has dealt either with intergenerational ethics or with international relations theory. 'Discounting, Climate Change and the Ecological Fallacy'--recently published in… 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.


Tursun, Özgün, 'Rethinking the Decline of Hegemony: Historical Comparison between British Belle Époque and American Longue Durée' (2019)

Tseng Lan-Shu, 'The Identity of Rising China and India: Peace or Threat' (2016)

Clulow, Zeynep, 'Why Comply With the Global Climate Regime? A Multi-Level Analysis of the Role of Instrumentalist Factors and Worldviews in Climate Policy' (2016)

Shalpykova, Gulnara, 'The Syr Darya River Basin: Riparian Cooperation Unmasked' (2014)

Poberezhskaya, Marianna, 'Contemporary Media and the Construction of Anthropogenic Climate Change Discourse in the Russian Federation' (2013)

Li Hak Yin, 'The Discrepancy of Chinese Non-Intervention Policy and Its Implications Towards the World Order' (2012) Mukherjee, Kunal, 'Islamist Movements, Racism, Cultural Identities and Power Politics in Britain and Pakistan' (2010)

Current Research Students

Genovesi, Marco, 'The Madrid Protocol and the Forthcoming Climate Regime: Intrinsic Value, Persuasion, Monitoring and Enforcement'

Lopez-Benitez, Carlos, 'Aggregate Good and Democratic Theory: The Limits of Deliberative Democracy'

Maitra, Sumantra, 'Neo-Realism and the Return of Russia as a Great Power Under Putin'

Current Research

My recent work has dealt either with intergenerational ethics or with international relations theory. 'Discounting, Climate Change and the Ecological Fallacy'--recently published in *Ethics*--proposes an approach to intergenerational justice that takes due heed of the risk of catastrophe while avoiding unreasonably demanding obligations to the future. At the moment I have a paper out under review about neorealism and theories of natural selection, and am writing a paper entitled 'Nuclear War as a Predictable Surprise'.

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

My main aim in the medium term is to complete a book on the ethics of catastrophic risk, with a focus on worst-case climate change scenarios. The goal is to show how indirect consequentialism can justify a prohibition on running existential risks--essentially, Hans Jonas's imperative of responsibility--without implying excessive obligations on behalf of future people. or paranoid risk-aversion.

School of Politics and International Relations

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