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Professor of Politics and International Relations, University of Sheffield

Ruth Blakeley is Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield, and Director of the White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership. Her research focuses on the use of state violence and state terrorism, particularly by liberal democratic states. She is behind The Rendition Project, which brings together and analyses the huge amount of data that exists about rendition, secret detention and torture in the ‘War on Terror’. Described by the Guardian as ‘a groundbreaking research project which sheds unprecedented light on one of the most controversial secret operations of recent years’, the Rendition Project has produced the Rendition Flights Database and Interactive Map which enables users to navigate their own way through the global rendition system. Her research has informed the work of a range of human rights litigators, advocates and investigative journalists. Ruth has published widely on torture, terrorism and human rights in leading journals. She is lead editor of the Review of International Studies, a journal of the British International Studies Association (BISA), published by Cambridge University Press.

Ruth has taken on various leadership positions over her career. She served on the Board of Trustees of the British International Studies Association, first as a trustee and then as Honorary Secretary for four years. From 2012-2015 she took on the role of Association Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences with responsibility for Graduate Studies at the University of Kent. From 2013-2016 she served as the University of Kent’s Aurora programme, which is run by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and is aimed at developing women leaders in Higher Education. She was interim Head of School for the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent throughout 2016.


  • 2017–present
    Professor, University of Sheffield
  • 2015–2017
    Professor, University of Kent