School of Politics and International Relations


Staff in the school have an outstanding record of publication in books and journals.

Below you will find details of recent books published by members of academic staff. For a full list of publications by individual members of staff, please see the people pages.



How To Stage A Coup

Professor Rory Cormac

Professor Rory Cormac's latest publication How To Stage A Coup (Atlantic books) is an investigation into the world of secret statecraft and how covert action - perhaps the most sensitive -and controversial - of all state activity- is shaping the world.

In an enthralling and urgent narrative packed with real-world examples, Rory argues that understanding why and how states wield these dark arts has never been more important.




The Secret Royals: Spying and the Crown, from Victoria to Diana

Professor Rory Cormac and Richard J. Aldrich

Based on original research and new evidence, The Secret Royals presents the British monarchy in an entirely new light and reveals how far their majesties still call the shots in a hidden world.

For the first time, the authors uncovers the remarkable relationship between the Royal Family and the intelligence community, from the reign of Queen Victoria to the death of Princess Diana.

In the book, Richard J. Aldrich and Rory Cormac show how the British secret services grew out of persistent attempts to assassinate Victoria and then operated on a private and informal basis, drawing on close personal relationships between senior spies, the aristocracy, and the monarch.

What Next for Britain in the Middle East

Security (Chapter in the book 'What Next for Britain in the Middle East? Security, Trade and Foreign Policy after Brexit')

Dr Louise Kettle

As the UK enters a period of intense public introspection in the wake of Brexit, this book takes on one of the key questions emerging from the divisive process: what is Britain's place in the world? The Middle East is one of the regions the UK has been most engaged in historically. The authors assess the drivers of foreign policy successes and failures and asks if there is a way to revitalise British influence in the region, and if this is even desirable.

The book analyses the values, trade and security concerns that drive the UK's foreign policy. Louise's chapter features in part 2 of the book - Principles and Pragmatism – the debates over the UK's Middle East priorities.


Consequences of Context: How the Social, Political, and Economic Environment Affects Voting

Professor Cees van der Eijk, Hermann Schmitt and Paolo Segatti 

This book presents a study of the ‘consequences of context’ for the process through which citizens decide on their electoral behaviour. It derives contextual variation from cross-national and within-country comparisons.

The contextual dimensions investigated pertain to the political, economic and social domains, and their impact is investigated on the factors that drive citizens’ decision to participate in an election and on their subsequent decision of which party to vote for.

The book thus focuses not on whether people vote and for which party, but instead on more fundamental questions about contextual effects on the determinants of electoral participation and the vote.


Fighting for Water: Resisting Privatization in Europe

Professor Andreas Bieler

In Fighting for Water, Andreas Bieler draws on years of extensive fieldwork to dissect the underlying dynamics of the struggle for public water in Europe. By analysing the successful referendum against water privatization in Italy, the European Citizens' Initiative on 'Water and Sanitation are a Human Right', the struggles against water privatization in Greece and water charges in Ireland, Professor Bieler shows why water has been a fruitful arena for resistance against neoliberal restructuring.

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The West's War Against Islamic State: Operation Inherent Resolve in Syria and Iraq

Professor Andrew Mumford

The West's War Against Islamic State offers the first history of Operation Inherent Resolve and the West's war against ISIS, from its inception in 2014 to the fall of Raqqa in 2017. Andrew Mumford offers a comprehensive analysis and assessment of the military campaign deployed against ISIS in Syria and Iraq by examining the West's strategic objectives as well as the conflicting interests of rival powers, namely Russia, Iran and Turkey.


John Stuart Mill, Socialist

Dr Helen McCabe

Best known as the author of On Liberty, John Stuart Mill remains a canonical figure in liberalism today. Yet according to his autobiography, by the mid-1840s he placed himself "under the general designation of Socialist." Taking this self-description seriously, John Stuart Mill, Socialist reinterprets Mill's work in its light. Helen McCabe explores the nineteenth-century political economist's core commitments to egalitarianism, social justice, social harmony, and a socialist utopia of cooperation, fairness, and human flourishing.

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A new beginning or more of the same? The European Union and East Asia after Brexit

Dr Chun-yi Lee and Michael Reilly (Eds)

The EU’s interest in and engagement with North East Asia has grown massively over the last three decades, the shaping and implementation of its policy influenced heavily by the UK and its historical links with East Asia. Brexit therefore raises questions about the future of this engagement so this book goes beyond the traditional trade links to consider diplomatic and security perspectives, as well as wider issues such as the possible impact on educational and research links. It will be of interest to diplomats, scholars, and economists.


Party System Closure: Party Alliances, Government Alternatives and Democracy in Europe

Dr Fernando Casal Bertoa

This book provides a new conceptual framework structured around the notions of party system closure, party blocs, and poles of parties. It is a comprehensive analysis of the determinants and consequences of party system institutionalisation, using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods.




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The Securitisation of News in Turkey

Dr Natalie Martin

This book examines why Turkey has become infamous as a repressor of news media freedom. For the past decade or so it has stood alongside China as a notorious jailer of journalists – at the same time as being a candidate state of the EU. 

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Ideologies in Action: Morphological Adaptation and Political Ideas

Professors Mathew Humphrey, David Laycock and Maiken Umbach

Ideologies in Action explores how political ideas move across geographical, social and chronological boundaries.The book offers new insights into how ideologies in varied social and political settings can be decoded, and challenges hierarchical distinctions between ideological ‘producers’ and ‘consumers’. 

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Statistics for Politics and International Relations using SPSS

Dr Helen Williams

This book is specifically aimed at students of politics and international relations and offers a non-technical approach to those needing to undertake statistical analyses of political science data, using examples from international datasets.

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Choosing Party Leaders: Britain's conservatives and labour compared

Drs Andrew Denham, Andrew Roe-Crines, Peter Dorey

This book by Dr Andrew Denham and colleagues offers a timely insight into the leadership processes of Britain's major political players. How political parties choose their leaders, and why they choose the leaders they do, are questions of fundamental importance in contemporary parliamentary democracies.




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Self and City in the Thought of Saint Augustine

Dr Ben Holland

In this new book, Ben Holland explores the analogy between the self and political society in the thought of St. Augustine of Hippo. It provides an overview of Augustine’s intellectual ‘system’ as it touches upon theology, psychology and anthropology, as well as politics.


Performing Representation: Women members in the Indian Parliament

Drs Shirin M Rai and Carole Spary

This book will be of interest to women studying political participation in India. Dr Spary and her colleague Shirin Rai raise important political questions about women's representation in the Indian Parliament, in a book that has been described as a 'must-read for anyone interested in gender and politics'.

Eadie book

Urban Poverty in the Wake of Environmental Disaster: Rehabilitation, Resilience and Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

Drs Maria Ela Atieza, Pauline Eadie and May Tan-Mullins

In this book, the authors investigate the best strategies for poverty alleviation in post-disaster urban environments. Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) was the strongest such storm to ever hit landfall, causing catastrophic damage in 2013, and is used by the authors as a case study to formulate policy recommendations that can be applied to other low and middle income countries. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, the book has significant implications for disaster risk reduction in poor urban areas.




Why Europe Intervenes in Africa: Security, Prestige and the Legacy of Intervention

Dr Catherine Gegout

This new book by Dr Gegout analyses the underlying causes of all European decisions for and against military interventions in conflicts in African states since the late 1980s. It focuses on the main European actors who have deployed troops in Africa: France, the United Kingdom and the European Union. When conflict occurs in Africa, the response of European actors is generally inaction.

Learning from the History of British Interventions in the Middle East

Learning from the History of British Interventions in the Middle East

Dr Louise Kettle

Dr Kettle interrogates whether the British government has learned anything from its interventions in the Middle East, from the 1950s to 2016. Louise draws on a wealth of previously unseen documents, sourced by Freedom of Information requests, together with interviews with government and intelligence agency officials. She provides an extended commentary on military interventions in the Middle East since the 1950s, including a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Whitehall decision-making and a critical examination of the 2016 Iraq Inquiry report.

The result is anoriginal account of key political events that challenges the claims of lessons being learned from recent wars. 


Russia's Military Revival

Dr Bettina Renz

In this book, Dr Renz provides an in–depth and comprehensive analysis of how Russia has developed military strength under Putin's leadership. She argues that this renaissance of Russian military might and its implications for the balance of global power can only be fully understood within a wider historical context.


Counterinsurgency Wars and the Anglo-American Alliance

Dr Andrew Mumford

This new book by Dr Mumford assesses the ‘special relationship’ between the UK and US and argues that it is an exaggerated notion of diplomatic associations in the post-1945 era. This book combines an analysis of US-UK interaction during major counterinsurgency campaigns since 1945, from Palestine to Iraq and Afghanistan, with a critical examination of the widely perceived diplomatic and military “special relationship.” This work is especially timely given that the US-UK special relationship is once again under scrutiny because of the Trump administration's ‘America first’ rhetoric and the changing relationships as a result of Brexit.


An Army of Tribes: British Army Cohesion, Deviancy and Murder in Northern Ireland

Dr Edward Burke

An Army of Tribes is the first such study of Operation Banner, the British Army's campaign in Northern Ireland. Drawing upon extensive interviews with former soldiers, primary archival sources including unpublished diaries and unit log-books, Dr Burke closely examines soldiers' behaviour at the small infantry-unit level (battalion downwards) during the most violent period of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. It also offers fresh insights and analysis of incidents involving the British Army during the early years of Operation Banner, including the 1972 `Pitchfork murders' of Michael Naan and Andrew Murray in County Fermanagh, and the killing of Warrenpoint hotel owner Edmund Woolsey in South Armagh.


Authenticity: the Cultural History of a Political Concept

Professors Mathew Humphrey and Maiken Umbach

This new work by Professors Umbach and Humphrey has an interdisciplinary approach, combining historical insight with political theory to offer a more rounded understanding of this concept. The book highlights the importance and uses of authenticity in a variety of contexts, and shows how ideas of authenticity have changed since the 18th century.


The Evolution of Military Power in the West and Asia

Edited by Dr Pauline Eadie and Professor Wyn Rees

This book investigates how states in both the West and Asia have responded to multi-dimensional security challenges since the end of the Cold War, in particular relation to military transformation. It will be of much interest to students of strategic studies, military innovation, Asian politics, security studies and International Relations.

Looking at a cross-section of different countries, this volume assesses how the armed forces have responded to a changing international security context, by investigating two main themes: 1) the process of military ‘transformation’- in terms of technological advances and new ways of conducting warfare and 2) the social dimensions of military transformation.


Becoming Arab: Creole Histories and Modern Identity in the Malay World

Dr Sumit Mandal

The book explores how a long history of inter-Asian interaction was altered by nineteenth-century racial categorisation and control. Dr Mandal is based at the University's Malaysia campus, in the School of Politics, History and International Relations.




The moral person of the state

The moral person of the state: Pufendorf, sovereignty and composite polities

Ben Holland

This is the first detailed study in any language of the single most influential theory of the modern state: Samuel von Pufendorf's account of the state as a 'moral person'. Ben Holland reconstructs the theological and political contexts in and for which Pufendorf conceived of the state as being a person. Pufendorf took up an early Christian conception of personality and a medieval conception of freedom in order to fashion a theory of the state appropriate to continental Europe, and which could head off some of the absolutist implications of a rival theory of state personality, that of Hobbes.

The book traces the fate of the concept in the hands of others - international lawyers, moral philosophers and revolutionaries - until the early 20th century. It will be essential reading for historians of political thought and for those interested in the development of key ideas in theology, international law and international relations.




Just Property

Just Property

Chris Pierson

Property remains the bedrock of the societies we all inhabit. It underpins our core institutions - including families, states and economies - and it is the medium through which the intensifying politics of inequality is played out. There is plenty of evidence that its importance is increasing in a world of growing wealth inequality and depletion of natural resources.


Nietzsche's Great Politics

Nietzsche's Great Politics

Dr Hugo Drochon

Nietzsche’s impact on the world of culture, philosophy, and the arts is uncontested, but his political thought remains mired in controversy. By placing Nietzsche back in his late-nineteenth-century German context, Nietzsche’s Great Politics moves away from the disputes surrounding Nietzsche’s appropriation by the Nazis and challenges the use of the philosopher in postmodern democratic thought. Rather than starting with contemporary democratic theory or continental philosophy, Hugo Drochon argues that Nietzsche’s political ideas must first be understood in light of Bismarck’s policies, in particular his “Great Politics,” which transformed the international politics of the late nineteenth century.

Nietzsche’s Great Politics shows how Nietzsche made Bismarck’s notion his own, enabling him to offer a vision of a unified European political order that was to serve as a counterbalance to both Britain and Russia. This order was to be led by a “good European” cultural elite whose goal would be to encourage the rebirth of Greek high culture. In relocating Nietzsche’s politics to their own time, the book offers not only a novel reading of the philosopher but also a more accurate picture of why his political thought remains so relevant today.

China's Governance Model

China's Governance Model: Flexibility and Durability of Pragmatic Authoritarianism

Hongyi Lai

Many books on government in China either simply describe the political institutions or else focus, critically, on the weaknesses of the system, such as corruption or the absence of Western-style democracy. This book, on the other hand, takes a more balanced, more positive view. This view is based on a study of China's institutions for copying with critical crises in governance since 1978. It argues that, although the party-state is determined to preserve itself, China's governance model has changed for the better in many respects in recent years.

These changes, discussed fully in the book, include better management of leadership succession, better crisis management, improved social welfare, the management of society through treating different social groups differently depending on their potential to rival the party-state, and a variety of limited, intra-party and grassroots democracy.

The Black Door

The Black Door

Richard Aldrich and Rory Cormac

The Black Door explores the evolving relationship between successive British prime ministers and the intelligence agencies, from Asquith's Secret Service Bureau to Cameron's National Security Council.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the British intelligence system was underfunded and lacked influence in government. But as the new millennium dawned, intelligence had become so integral to policy that it was used to make the case for war. Now, covert action is incorporated seamlessly into government policy, and the Prime Minister is kept constantly updated by intelligence agencies.But how did intelligence come to influence our government so completely?

Prime witnesses?

Prime witnesses? Case studies of staff assessments for monitoring integrity in the European Union

T. Lamboo, W. Van Dooren and P. M. Heywood (eds.)

This report provides a first overview of how central institutions within public administrations of EU member states measure the effectiveness of integrity policies through the use of staff assessments. It discusses in detail six cases and provides a preliminary overview on all EU member states and the European bodies on their use of staff assessments or other monitoring efforts.

Challenging Corporate Capital

Challenging Corporate Capital: Creating an Alternative to Neo-liberalism

Andreas Bieler, Robert O’Brien and Karin Pampallis (eds.)

The Futures Commission was launched in June 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa, by the Southern Initiative on Globalisation and Trade Union Rights (SIGTUR), a network of trade unions in the Global South. The Futures Commission was entrusted with the task of developing economic, social and political alternatives to neo-liberal globalisation. This book by the Futures Commission formulates four proposals in the areas of (1) labour and tax justice; (2) a fair trade regime; (3) a democracy-driven, public sector transformation; and (4) a labour perspective on a just transition from fossil-fuel capitalism towards an eco-socialist future.

Managing China's Energy Sector

Managing China's Energy Sector: Between the Market and the State

Hongyi Lai and Malcolm Warner (eds.)

Since China has now become the world's largest energy consumer, its energy sector has understandably huge implications for the global economy. This book examines the transformation of China's conventional and renewable energy sectors, with special attention to state-business relations. The volume is contributed by leading experts on the political economy and business of China’s energy sector from the UK, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, and China.

The volume suggests that China has made rapid progress in moving from traditional energy sources to renewable ones and from a state-directed to a market-led energy business. However, the dual transition has not been completed. This volume provides insights on the state of the dual transition as well as its vast and profound implications.



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