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Global Reordering

The Global Reordering research theme focuses on the security challenges that emerge from the ongoing transformation and reproduction of international order, in a world characterised by rising powers, populism, and pandemics. Global reordering processes have the potential to disrupt existing hierarchies of power, restructure international institutions, and redefine the social categories of international affairs. Our expertise on changing global orders includes work on International Lawthe rise of China, the changing roles of Europe and the UK in international politics, and the increasing prominence of Aukus and the Anglosphere. Our partners in this work include the UK Ministry of Defence, UNA-UK, the Foreign Policy Centre, and the EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Network.

This theme intersects with the work of other POLIS research centres in areas such as atrocity prevention (European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect), the political implications of Brexit (Centre for Democratic Engagement) and the emergence of hybrid political regimes in the developing world (Centre for Global Development). This research theme is led by Dr Kingsley Edney.

AUKUS, Global Britain, and the Anglosphere

Professor Jack Holland's research on the Anglosphere considers the military coalition and political community of the English-speaking nations. His research has been funded by the EU and UK research councils, enabling him to work in Australia and as a British Research Council Fellow in the US Library of Congress. And he regularly collaborates with colleagues in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. His latest monograph with Cambridge University Press explores Anglosphere foreign policy in the Syrian Civil War. This research has underpinned a range of knowledge exchange activities, including with UK MoD and the UK parliament, as Britain adapts to post-Brexit security governance.

The rise of China

Dr Kingsley Edney researches China's soft power and public diplomacy as well
as the public opinion and media responses they generate in the United Kingdom.
Funded collaborative work with researchers in the UK and China has led to
several publications and an ongoing international research network. In addition
to current work on British narratives and attitudes, this network has produced an
original dataset of Chinese public opinion containing questions about politics and
international relations that have never been asked in any previous survey in
China. An innovative mediation analysis of this data shows how perceptions of
the United States, Russia, Japan, and North and South Korea affect respondent
perceptions of international friendship with these states.

A changing Europe

Dr Neil Winn, Professor Jason Ralph, Dr Vicky Honeyman examine how British and EU
security and diplomatic strategy is shifting in response to a post-Brexit world.
Winn's work investigates the EU's management of global security challenges, producing articles on EU defence and security cooperation in the context of Brexit, on EU grand strategy and strategy in Somalia. Ralph's recent research into Britain's post-Brexit role on the UN Security Council was funded by the British Academy and produced a report published by the United Nations Association of the UK that was presented to officials from the Foreign Office and House of Lords. Prof Ralph has also written about the war in Ukraine. Honeyman's extensive media and impact work has recently extended to co-authoring the Foreign Policy Centre's 'Finding Britain’s role in a changing world: Projecting the UK’s values abroad'. This publication sets out a wide range of ideas for how the UK can support and promote its values in its foreign policy.

Global Nuclear Order

Dr Laura Considine's research is on nuclear weapons and international politics, focusing on the role of language and narrative in sustaining the structures of global nuclear order. Her research has been published in the European Journal of International Relations and International Affairs. She has also collaborated with Dr James Souter on work on nuclear weapons and state responsibilities. She has presented her work at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, Chatham House and the Library of Congress and taken part in expert events at the ICRC and FCDO. She co-chairs the BISA Global Nuclear Order Working Group. Dr Considine also represents the CGSC at the EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Consortium, where she has presented on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament education based on her experience developing the POLIS module ‘Nuclear Weapons and Global Politics’.

Global Britain in the United Nations

In her September 2017 United Nations speech, Prime Minister Theresa May acknowledged the UK’s ‘special responsibility’ as a permanent member of the Security Council. This project builds on an interdisciplinary approach that examines state actions through Bourdieuian-inspired sociology, especially 'practice theory', and assesses those actions in a normative context informed by what moral philosophy tells us about special responsibilities. Working with partners in London and New York, the research team aims to investigate how, if at all, the UK government's perception of its role has changed, how its status and diplomacy as a permanent member is perceived by other members of the Security Council, and whether its practices in New York have adapted or need to adapt.


CGSC possesses considerable expertise on refugees, through the work of Drs Souter, Wiggen, Kobayashi, and Juverdeanu. Recent research includes: Dr Souter's new monograph on the 'special responsibility' states have to take in those displaced by instabilities they have helped to create; Dr Kobayashi's Murata Science Foundation-funded research on migration; and Dr Juverdeanu's research on refugees which has underpinned interviews with Channel 4 news in Leeds.

International Law and Practices of Interpretation

Dr Nora Stappert's work is situated at the intersection between International Relations and International Law. Her research focuses on legal interpretation, IR’s practice turn, and legitimacy and legitimation in global governance. She has previously received funding by the European Commission as part of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme to work on a research project called “Judges, Lawyers, and the Practices of Interpretation in International Criminal Law.” The project investigated the broader relevance of the decisions of international criminal courts and tribunals in global governance. Dr Stappert is currently undertaking a funded fellowship in Duisberg, Germany.

EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Network

In July 2010 Council Decision 2010/430/CFSP established “a European network of independent non-proliferation think tanks in support of the implementation of the European Union strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction”. The Council of the European Union decided to support the creation of a network bringing together foreign policy institutions and research centers from across the EU to encourage political and security-related dialogue and the long-term discussion of measures to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems. The Council of the European Union entrusted the technical implementation of this Decision to the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium, initially based on la Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS), the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (HSFK/ PRIF), the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Today, CGSC are proud to be a member of this network, through the work of Dr Laura Considine and Dr Neil Winn.


Dr Richard Hayton and Professor Jack Holland are actively researching the Anglopshere and AUKUS. Professor Holland, with Dr Eglantine Staunton (Australian National University), is conducting an Asia-Pacific Innovation Partnership funded research project, which looks at France-Anglosphere relations since the announcement of AUKUS in 2021. This work has led to engagement with Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia, as well as several invitations to act as an expert witness for the Foreign Affairs Select Committee at the UK House of Commons. These efforts, for example, help the UK to work out what role 'Global Britain' may play in the 21st century geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific.