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Dr David Blagden

Lecturer in International Security and Strategy


01392 722410

Knightley SSI

David Blagden joined Exeter as Lecturer in International Security and Strategy in March 2015. He was previously the Adrian Research Fellow in International Politics at Darwin College – where he remains an Associate Member – and a Research Associate at the Centre for Rising Powers, both at the University of Cambridge. Dr Blagden’s scholarly publications have appeared in International Affairs, International Security, and International Studies Review, amongst other outlets; he has also provided commentary for the BBC, been quoted in the UK and US national press, and written for The Guardian, The Spectator, the New Statesman, and War On The Rocks. He obtained his doctorate at the University of Oxford, where he was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), having previously completed his MA (with distinction) at the University of Chicago and having read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford as an undergraduate.

His research focuses on the following areas:

  • The causes and consequences of the rise of new great powers
  • UK foreign and defence policy (particularly in the context of European geopolitics)
  • The security implications of economic globalization
  • Nuclear strategy (particularly deterrence, coercion, and disarmament/rearmament dynamics)
  • Navies and sea power
  • Domestic political and economic pressures on strategic behaviour
  • Realist international relations theory (particularly war causation, balancing theory, and offence-defence theory)
  • Philosophy of science and its implications for international-political thought.

A member of the Chief of the UK Defence Staff’s Strategic Forum, Dr Blagden has worked in – and subsequently consulted for – the UK Cabinet Office, provided evidence for a number of Parliamentary Select Committees and policy reviews, and participated in the Foreign Office-backed China-UK Nuclear Dialogue. He has also given briefings to such organisations as the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, US Strategic Command, the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment, the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, the Royal Navy, the British Army, the foreign/defence policy reviews of several UK political parties, and a number of think-tanks on both sides of the Atlantic. Prior to his doctoral study, he was an analyst with the London-based country risk advisory firm BMI Research. He is also a warfare officer in the Royal Naval Reserve, a past president of Oxford University Strategic Studies Group, and a former editor of St Antony’s International Review, Oxford’s peer-reviewed international affairs journal.

Dr Blagden has won the Royal United Services Institute’s Trench Gascoigne Essay Prize for original writing on defence and security, and the University of Chicago’s Morton Kaplan Prize for best thesis in the Committee on International Relations. He is also an Associate of the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies at King’s College London. At Exeter, he teaches and supervises on topics in international security, strategic studies, international political economy, and international relations theory. He is also happy to consider requests for advanced supervision across his specific research areas.

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