Politics and International Relations


Ruth joined the School in 2007. Her research focuses on the use of state violence and state terrorism, particularly by liberal democratic states. She is behind The Rendition Project, which aims to bring together and analyse 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.   

Ruth is the author of State Terrorism and Neoliberalism: The North in the South (London: Routledge, 2009), and has published articles on state terrorism and torture in various academic journals. She acted as academic consultant to investigative journalist John Pilger for his documentary War on Democracy, screened in UK cinemas and on ITV1 during 2007.

Ruth is interested in supervising PhD students in the fields of Human Rights, US foreign policy, Critical Security Studies and Critical Terrorism Studies.

She is the Lead Editor of the Review of International Studies, a journal of the British International Studies Association (BISA), published by Cambridge University Press.

Contact Information


Rutherford N4.5

Monday 4pm - 5pm and Friday 9.30am - 10.30am

Available for: TV Press Radio Consultancy Expertise: US foreign and security policy State violence and terrorism Human rights Rendition, secret detention and torture Languages: Spanish (degree level) French (degree level)

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Internet publication
Blakeley, R. and Raphael, S. (2012). The Rendition Project [Website]. Available at: http://www.therenditionproject.org.uk.
Blakeley, R. (2009). State Terrorism and Neoliberalism: The North in the South. [Online]. Abingdon: Routledge. Available at: http://www.routledgestrategicstudies.com/books/State-Terrorism-and-Neoliberalism-isbn9780415462402.
Blakeley, R. (2013). Review: The Politics of Prisoner Abuse: The United States and Enemy Prisoners after 9/11. Journal of Human Rights 12:277-281.
Blakeley, R. (2011). Review: Why Not Torture Terrorists. International Journal of Human Rights [Online] 15:644-646. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13642987.2011.569254.
Blakeley, R. (2009). Review: Guantánamo North: Terrorism and the Administration of Justice in Canada. Labour/Le Travail [Online] 64:239-241. Available at: http://www.lltjournal.ca/index.php/llt/article/view/5591/6454.
Blakeley, R. (2009). Review: Torture and Democracy . International Affairs [Online] 85:399-400. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2346.2009.00801.x.
Datasets / databases
Raphael, S. and Blakeley, R. (2013). The Rendition Flights Database. [Website]. Available at: http://www.therenditionproject.org.uk/global-rendition/the-flights/index.html.
Blakeley, R. and Raphael, S. (2016). British Torture in the 'War on Terror'. European Journal of International Relations [Online]:1-24. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1354066116653455.
Raphael, S. et al. (2015). Tracking rendition aircraft as a way to understand CIA secret detention and torture in Europe. International Journal of Human Rights [Online] 20:78-103. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13642987.2015.1044772.
Blakeley, R. (2013). Human rights, state wrongs, and social change: the theory and practice of emancipation. Review of International Studies [Online] 39:599-619. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0260210512000186.
Blakeley, R. (2011). Torture? Us? Socialist Lawyer [Online] 57:23-23. Available at: http://www.haldane.org/socialist-lawyer/socialist-lawyer/SocialistLawyer57.pdf.
Blakeley, R. (2011). Dirty Hands, Clean Conscience? The CIA Inspector General's Investigation of "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" in the War on Terror and the Torture Debate. Journal of Human Rights [Online] 10:544-561. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14754835.2011.619406.
Blakeley, R. (2010). Liberal Democracies and the Globalisation of State Terrorism in the 21st Century. Critical Studies on Terrorism [Online] 3:169-172. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17539153.2010.491314.
Blakeley, R. (2010). British Troops Use Torture - Even if it is by another name. The Guardian [Online] 2010:1-1. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/nov/03/british-troops-use-torture.
Conference or workshop item
Blakeley, R. and Raphael, S. (2014). Insulating Universal Human Rights from the 'Ethical Foreign Policy' Threat. in: European Consortium for Political Research Annual Conference.. Available at: http://www.ecpr.eu/Events/SectionList.aspx?EventID=14.
Blakeley, R. and Rapahel, S. (2014). Perpetual Impunity: Lessons learned from the global system of rendition and secret detention. in: British International Studies Association Annual Conference.
Blakeley, R. and Raphael, S. (2013). Dirty Little Secrets: State and Corporate Complicity in Rendition, Secret Detention and Torture. in: British International Studies Association Annual Conference.. Available at: http://www.bisa.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_bisa&task=view_public_papers&Itemid=126&search_criteria=¤t_year=2013.
Blakeley, R. and Raphael, S. (2012). Inter-state terrorism in the 21st Century: Mapping the Evolution of the Global Rendition System. in: British International Studies Association Annual Conference.. Available at: http://www.bisa.ac.uk/files/Permanent%20Files/conference%20programme%202012.pdf.
Blakeley, R. and Raphael, S. (2012). Preventing Rendition and Torture by Mapping the Global System of Rendition and Proxy Detention. in: International Studies Association Annual Convention.. Available at: http://www.isanet.org/Conferences/San-Diego-2012.
Book section
Raphael, S. and Blakeley, R. (2016). Rendition in the "War on Terror". in: Jackson, R. ed. The Routledge Handbook of Critical Terrorism Studies. Routledge, pp. 181-189. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415743761.
Blakeley, R. and Raphael, S. (2016). Western State Terrorism. in: Jackson, R. ed. The Routledge Handbook of Critical Terrorism Studies. Routledge, pp. 159-169.
Blakeley, R. and Raphael, S. (2013). Governing Human Rights: Rendition, Secret Detention and Torture in the "War on Terror". in: Williams, D. and Harman, S. eds. Governing the World? The Practice of Global Governance. London: Routledge. Available at: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415690416/.
Blakeley, R. (2012). State Violence as State Terrorism. in: Breen-Smyth, M. ed. The Ashgate Research Companion to Political Violence. London: Ashgate, pp. 63-78.
Blakeley, R. (2012). Elite Interviews. in: Shepherd, L. J. ed. Critical Approaches to Security: An introduction to theories and methods. London: Routledge, pp. 158-168. Available at: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415680165/.
Blakeley, R. (2009). State Terrorism in the Social Sciences: Theories, Methods and Concepts. in: Jackson, R., Murphy, E. and Poynting, S. eds. Contemporary State Terrorism: Theory and Practice. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 12-27. Available at: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415498012/.
Showing 25 of 34 total publications in KAR. [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

Research Interests

  • US foreign and security policy
  • State Violence and State Terrorism
  • Torture
  • US-Latin American Relations
  • The neoliberalisation of the Global South

Current Projects

Ruth is currently working on a book project, provisionally entitled States of Impunity, which will undertake a detailed study of impunity as enjoyed by powerful liberal democratic states, both historically and since the beginning of the 21st century.

She continues to work on The Rendition Project funded by the ESRC, which examines the Globalisation of Rendition and Secret Detention in the US-led War on Terror.

A third and related project is aimed at examining how incarceration and punishment have evolved as a result of the ways in which states have dealt with terror suspects since 2001.

Research Supervision

Ruth is interested in supervising PhD students in the fields of US foreign and security policy, state violence and terrorism, Critical Security Studies and Critical Terrorism Studies, Human Rights, and US-Latin American Relations.

Anisa Heritage (Second Supervisor)
PhD in International Relations
US Grand Strategy and Its Strategic Pivot towards Asia 

Juuso Miettunen
PhD in International Relations
Challenging Neoliberalism: Exploring the connection between the internal organisation of a social movement to its contribution on the social and economic framework

Ciaran Tyler
PhD in International Relations
The history and evolution of state guided false-flags and their effect on international and domestic politics

Tom Watts
PhD in International Relations
Drone$: The Obama Administration's unmanned turn in the exercise of American Power and the re-constitution of the Military Industrial Complex

Gwen Wordingham
PhD in International Relations
To what extent do emerging discourses of non-sovereignty affect the defence of universal human rights law, when considered in the context of recent interventionary and civil conflicts?

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Last Updated: 11/01/2017

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