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Professor of International Security, Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Lancaster University

I am a professor in the department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University. Chair in International Security, I am specialised in naval affairs, seapower, maritime security and ocean governance. I favour multi-disciplinary approaches across social sciences. My research on naval power and maritime security engages with public policy stakeholders and the wider public.

Prior to my coming to Lancaster in 2011, I was Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford (Changing Character of War programme) and Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews. I got my PhD from the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva.

Research Overview:

My research is cross-disciplinary and aims at understanding human, social and political interactions at, from, within, and with the sea. I privilege mixed methods and approaches, ranging from corpus linguistics to content analysis to the application of IR theories. My specific research interests cover the concept of seapower, maritime security, maritime strategy and geopolitics, the maritime/naval dimension of Global Britain, ocean governance, climate change dimensions in maritime security, and frontiers in IR. I have developed cross-disciplinary research within social sciences (e.g. linguistics, human geography) and beyond, notably with marine sciences.

The journals in which my research has recently been published reflect my cross-disciplinary approach to ocean studies, e.g. Territory, Politics, Governance, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Marine Policy, Science of the Total Environment, European Foreign Affairs Review, Global Policy.

My research engages with public policy stakeholders (see for example the evidence I submitted in 2021 to the Defence Committee of the House of Commons on the Navy's future, and those I co-submitted to the House of Lords regarding UNCLOS). My research recently informed the Defence Committee's report on "The Navy: purpose and procurement". In 2021, I also informed the Department for Transport and the EU Council on the climate change-maritime security nexus.

My research also engages with the wider public (see for example my June 2021 commentary in The Conversation about the HMS Defender incident, my September 2021 commentary about AUKUS and Global Britain for the Council on Geostrategy, and my November 2021 article for The National Interest on Global Britain and Seapower).

I am a member of the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) with projects that tackle maritime security narrative as well as the representation of the sea in collective imaginaries, of Security Lancaster (contribution to projects on maritime security), and of the Centre for War and Diplomacy (CWD).

Current Research:

1) Within the Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS), ESRC-funded, I have worked on the EU's 'comprehensive approach' narrative, and I currently work on climate change and maritime security narratives as well as on the representation of the sea in British media. I am also co-authoring a book on Britain, Europe and Brexit: A Corpus Linguistics Approach (Bloomsbury, 2022) with Helen Baker, Vaclav Brezina and Tony McEnery.

2) My next monograph (60,000 words completed) discusses the concept and practice of post-modern and neo-modern seapower.

3) I am currently working on the conceptualisation of ocean governance and the placefulness of the sea, and the implications for the discipline of IR and Human Geography.

4) I work on an inter-disciplinary project on the dependencies and synergistic links between climate change and maritime security (IR and natural/marine sciences).

5) In the context of the 2021 Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, my research informs stakeholders as to the role of the sea and seapower for Global Britain.


  • –present
    Professor, Lancaster University