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Professor Doug Stokes

Professor of International Relations, Director of the Centre for Advanced International Studies and College Director of Commercial Engagement

Amory B308e

Room = On 3rd floor. Amory B308E 

Office hours Term TBC 

I specialize in US foreign policy, international security and debates on grand strategy. I have published a number of books, journal articles and book chapters in these areas including my most recent books; Global Energy Security and American Hegemony(Johns Hopkins, 2011) US Foreign Policy (Oxford University Press, 2018). 

My major developed research focus is on the durability of the US led liberal international order and the ways in which great powers can use military power to shape international relations in ways they deem desirable. This question becomes especially interesting in the context of economic power shifting to East Asia, the crisis of Western strategic agency and complex forms of global interdependence in a world of many states. Please take a look at my publications to get a better idea of my research. 

More broadly, I am also developing a research interest in debates on social justice, freedom, foreign policy and identity. I am currently working on another book project with Dr Wanjiru Njoya on these themes, provisionally called 'Freedom in the Age of Equality'. 

Alongside the above, I am a Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and Director of Exeter’s Centre for Advanced International Studies (CAIS) and on the Advisory Council for the Free Speech Union.   

My current funding projects: 

Principal Investigator. Western Perceptions of China. £100,000. Sponsor: LimeTree Capital 2020-2022. 



Research supervision

I have supervised many successful PhDs to completion, the majority of whom have completed within time, published articles during their PhD and gone on to work in academia, finance and government.  


Ahmed Ashfaque Shahbaz, 2020+. Petro-dollar hegemony in International Trade and foreign policy.

Guerilli Meriem, 2020+. US-Russia relations and proxy wars in Syria and Crimea. 

Surkharu Khan, 2019+.  Pakistan's strategic calculus and US security policy.

Thomas Miller, 2019+. Chinese FDI in Latin America and US national security interests. 

Bassam Al Bin Mohamed, 2017+.  Bahrain's security dilemma in the context of US retrenchment. 

Ponsah Saleh, 2017+. Nigerian oil governance in its downstream sector.

Siri Sothisiri, 2019+. Thai foreign policy in the context of a rising China. 


External impact and engagement

I have advised and presented my research to a range of UK government organisations and agencies and am Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Servives Institute, a leading defence think tank based in Whitehall. 

I also regularly write for various international media outlets around issues of foreign policy and academic freedom and authoritarianism and am a member of the Advisory Council for the Free Speech Union

For a selection of my journalism and popular pieces please go to :


I was born in Hackney, East London in 1972. My dad was a signwriter, my mum a cleaner, secretary and librarian. I went to Daubeney and Raines Foundations Schools from the ages of 4 - 16: all 'inner city' state schools and am the first person in my family to have gone to University. I left home at 17 and did lots of odd jobs with the high point working in Hackney dole office signing people on during the 90s recession.


I finished my degree at London University in the late 1990s and left London when I was 24. I lived and worked in Bosnia, where I helped establish an NGO focussed on ethnic reconciliation in the still conflict prone town of Brcko. Whilst nearly killed on a number of occasions, it was a walk in the park compared to my formative years growing up in Hackney.


Upon returning to the UK I started my post-grad education, in the great city of Bristol, where I spent a very happy five years. Since then I've lived and moved across the UK, and have now ended back in the beautiful West Country--my favourite bit of the UK by a long way. I now live out in the sticks, having swapped my inner city concrete jungle youth for open fields and mud.


An abiding interest of mine has been researching the role that both actual and latent organised violence can play as a 'social relation' helping structure relationships, often between states but also social groups. My first book examined US counterinsurgency warfare in post-Cold War Latin America, my second the role that US coercive statecraft plays in global energy markets. 


Aside from international relations, I enjoy cooking, keeping fit and combat sports, especially Muay Thai.


Favourite motto: "It is what it is".  

Past Appointments

September 2006-March 2013, SL/Reader in International Relations, University of Kent at Canterbury.

2008-2009, Guest lecturer, Science Po, France.

2005-2006, Lecturer in International Politics, Department of International Politics, City University, Northampton Square, London, EC1V OHB.

2003-2005, Lecturer in International Politics, Department of International Politics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

2000-2002, Associate Lecturer for British Army ‘Short Courses’, Bristol University.


ESRC post-Doctoral fellowship, 2004-2005.

Ph.D (ESRC funded) in International Relations,University of Bristol, 2000-2003.

MSc in International Development, University of Bristol, 1998-1999.

BSc University of London, 1994-97.



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