Politics and International Relations



Philip Cunliffe joined the School in 2009 after completing his doctorate in War Studies at King's College London. His doctoral research, which was funded by the ESRC, examined developing countries' personnel contribution to United Nations peacekeeping operations across 1997-2007. His third book Legions of Peace: UN Peacekeepers from the Global South, which is based on his doctoral research, was published in 2013.

Previously Philip taught in the Defence Studies and War Studies departments of King's College London. Prior to his doctoral study, he completed his Master's in International Politics at Aberystwyth and read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Somerville College, Oxford. In 2008 Philip was appointed to provide reports on Western Balkan politics for the Economist Intelligence Unit. He contributes regularly to the international media and has broadcast on local radio stations as well as BBC Radio 4, Al Jazeera, Russia Today and Press TV. He blogs at www.thefirstphilippic.wordpress.com and tweets @thephilippics

Within the School, Philip is responsible for convening the School's weekly 'Open Forum' for students and for overseeing the School's research ethics procedures. He also chairs the School's ESRC DTC committee. Philip convenes the Violence Research Network as of 2014/15, which will bring together a range of researchers investigating violence across the university. 

Contact Information


Rutherford N4.N2

Academic office hours are available on the Moodle Student Guide

Philip has appeared on BBC Radio 4, Russia Today, Press TV and has contributed to the web and print media in both the US and UK. He writes regularly for the Economist Intelligence Unit. Available for :  TV  Radio  Press   Expertise International Conflict UN Peacekeeping Humanitarianism and Humanitarian Intervention  Regional Expertise Western Balkans  Country Expertise Serbia

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Cunliffe, P. (2017). From peacekeepers to praetorians – how participating in peacekeeping operations may subvert democracy. International Relations [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0047117817740728.
Cunliffe, P. and Michael Kenkel, K. (2016). Rising powers and intervention: contested norms and shifts in global order. Cambridge Review of International Affairs [Online] 29:807-811. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09557571.2016.1237048.
Cunliffe, P. (2016). The doctrine of the 'responsibility to protect' as a practice of political exceptionalism. European Journal of International Relations [Online]. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1354066116654956.
Cunliffe, P. (2016). From ISIS to ICISS: A Critical Return to the Responsibility to Protect Report. Cooperation and Conflict [Online] 51:233-247. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0010836715612854.
Cunliffe, P. (2012). Still the Spectre at the Feast: Comparisons between Peacekeeping and Imperialism in Peacekeeping Studies Today. International Peacekeeping [Online] 19:426-442. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13533312.2012.709751.
Cunliffe, P. (2010). Dangerous Duties: Power, Paternalism and the Responsibility to Protect. Review of International Studies [Online] 36:79-96. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0260210511000076.
Cunliffe, P. (2009). The Politics of Global Governance in UN Peacekeeping. International Peacekeeping [Online] 16:323-336. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13533310903036384.
Book section
Cunliffe, P. (2011). Introduction to Critical Perspectives on the Responsibility to Protect: Interrogating Theory and Practice. In: Critical Perspectives on the Responsibility to Protect: Interrogating Theory and Practice. Routledge, pp. 1-8.
Cunliffe, P. (2011). Sovereignty. In: Dowding, K. ed. Encyclopedia of Power. SAGE Publications Inc. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412994088.n342.
Cunliffe, P. (2007). Politics without sovereignty?. In: Bickerton, C., Cunliffe, P. and Gourevitch, A. eds. Politics Without Sovereignty: A Critique of Contemporary International Relations. London: UCL Press, pp. 20-38.
Cunliffe, P. (2007). Introduction: the unholy alliance against sovereignty. In: Bickerton, C., Cunliffe, P. and Gourevitch, A. eds. Politics Without Sovereignty: A Critique of Contemporary International Relations. London: UCL Press, pp. 1-19.
Cunliffe, P. (2007). Sovereignty and the politics of responsibility. In: Bickerton, C., Cunliffe, P. and Gourevitch, A. eds. Politics Without Sovereignty: A Critique of Contemporary International Relations. London: UCL Press, pp. 39-57.
Cunliffe, P. (2006). Poor Man's Ethics? Peacekeeping and the Contradictions of Ethical Ideology. In: Chandler, D. and Heins, V. eds. Rethinking Ethical Foreign Policy. London: Routledge, pp. 70-90.
Cunliffe, P. (2006). State Building: Power without Responsibility. In: Robinson, N. and Hehir, A. eds. State Building: Theory and Practice. London: Routledge, pp. 50-69.
Cunliffe, P. (2017). Lenin Lives! Reimagining the Russian Revolution 1917-2017. [Online]. Zero Books. Available at: http://www.zero-books.net/books/lenin-lives.
Cunliffe, P. (2013). Legions of Peace: UN Peacekeepers from the Global South. [Online]. London: C.H. Hurst & Co. Available at: http://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/legions-of-peace/.
Miettunen, J. (2015). Prefigurative Politics: Perils and Promise.
Edited book
Cunliffe, P. and Michael Kenkel, K. eds. (2016). Brazil As a Rising Power: Intervention Norms and the Contestation of Global Order. [Online]. Routledge. Available at: https://www.routledge.com/Brazil-as-a-Rising-Power-Intervention-Norms-and-the-Contestation-of-Global/Kenkel-Cunliffe/p/book/9781138946781.
Cunliffe, P. ed. (2012). Critical Perspectives on the Responsibility to Protect: Interrogating Theory and Practice. London: Routledge.
Cunliffe, P. ed. (2007). Politics Without Sovereignty: A Critique of Contemporary International Relations. London: UCL Press.
Research report (external)
Cunliffe, P. and Wanasinghe–PasqualM. (2017). Peacekeeping Contributor Profile: Sri Lanka. [Online]. Providing for Peacekeeping. Available at: http://www.providingforpeacekeeping.org/2017/09/18/peacekeeping-contributor-profile-sri-lanka-2/.
Cunliffe, P. (2015). Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention. By Autesserre Séverine. Perspectives on Politics [Online] 13:241-242. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1537592714003855.
Cunliffe, P. (2014). The New Liberal Praetorianism. H-Diplo [Online]:280. Available at: https://networks.h-net.org/node/28443/reviews/39046/cunliffe-sotomayor-myth-democratic-peacekeeper-civil-military-relations.
Cunliffe, P. (2012). Third World Revolutions Left to Smoulder Ali, T., Zizek, S. and Bello, W. eds. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding [Online] 6:107-120. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17502977.2012.655571.
Cunliffe, P. (2011). Red Planets Bould, M. and MiévilleC. eds. Marx and Philosophy Review of Books [Online]:0-0. Available at: http://marxandphilosophy.org.uk/reviewofbooks/reviews/2012/443.
Cunliffe, P. (2010). Book reivew: The Causes of War. Acta Politica [Online] 45:493-496. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/ap.2010.20.
Cunliffe, P. (2008). Review essay of N. MacQueen's Peacekeeping and the International System, A.J. Bellamy et al.'s Understanding Peacekeeping, E. Aksu's The United Nations, intra-state peacekeeping and normative change, and M.W. Doyle and N. Sambanis' Making War and Building Peace. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding [Online] 2:102-106. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17502970701810914.
Cunliffe, P. (2006). 'Unilateralism "Lite"'. Review essay of A. Lang's (ed.) Just Intervention, F. Weissman's (ed.) In the Shadow of Just Wars and J. Welsh's (ed.) Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations. International Peacekeeping [Online] 13:278-286. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com.chain.kent.ac.uk/toc/finp20/13/2#.
Cunliffe, P. (2005). Review essay of T.G. Weiss et al.'s 'The United Nations and Changing World Politics' and S. Chesterman's 'You, the People'. Millennium: Journal of International Studies [Online] 34:276-279. Available at: http://mil.sagepub.com/content/34/1.toc.
Total publications in KAR: 29 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

Philip's current research involves three streams: one stream examines the changing dynamics of humanitarian intervention since the end of the Cold War through to today's debates over intervening in the Syrian civil war. This research will be published as a monograph by Bloomsbury in 2016. The second stream, entitled 'The Globalisation of Military Wilsonianism' examines the links between developing countries' role in post-Cold War peacekeeping and traditions of liberal militarism, intervention, imperial internationalism and military rule. He is working on several papers and collaborative projects connected with this project. These papers variously analyse the behaviour of peacekeeping states and attempts to theorise contribution to peacekeeping missions. Philip's third stream of research involves him convening the annual thematic focus project for the Conflict Analysis Research Centre over the 2014/15 academic year. This collaborative project is entitled 'Theory and Method for a World with Less Violence'. Philip is also working on two side projects, one examining the relevance of the inter-war history of the Comintern for post-war international politics and theories of international organisation, and a collaborative project examining the relevance of Marxist theories of 'primitive accumulation' for understanding the dynamics of contemporary violence.

Beyond these specific projects, Philip is broadly interested in IR theory, critical theory, theories of sovereignty, debates concerning the decline in political violence and theories of social development.

Research Supervision

Philip currently supervises:

Stavroula Soukara
Hegel and the Politics of Love

Philip is interested in supervising students in the broad areas of peacekeeping, IR theory, humanitarian intervention and theories of imperialism and sovereignty. He is particularly interested in supervising projects concerning the following broad areas: critiques of claims regarding the decline in war / political violence, critiques of democratic peace theory, ethnographic research into peacekeeping operations in the field, research into developing countries' involvement in UN peacekeeping, the feedback effects of peacekeeping on peacekeeper-contributing states, and research into the Comintern from an IR perspective. 

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Last Updated: 09/11/2017