Politics and International Relations


Seán Molloy joined the School of Politics and International Relations from the University of Edinburgh in May 2013. His research focuses on International Relations Theory and International Political Theory, with secondary interests in international security and politics and literature. He is currently working on two projects:

The first project is an investigation of Immanuel Kant’s texts that examines the political theology contained within his works and the implications of his theological orientation for his theory of IR and those of his successors in Democratic Peace Theory and Cosmopolitanism.

The second project is a study of the role of ethics in Realist IR theory, especially in the works of E.H. Carr and Hans J. Morgenthau. The latter project has been funded by the AHRC and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Seán is also one of the principal investigators on the Leverhulme Trust international research network ‘Classical Realism Meets Critical Theory: Crises, Modernity and the Return of Humanity’

Seán received his PhD from the University of Limerick in 2003. Since graduating he has been a Visiting Fellow and Fulbright Scholar at the Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University and been employed as a lecturer at the universities of Sussex, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Seán is interested in supervising PhDs that critically interrogate IR theory, especially Realism, Kant and “Kantianism” in IR, and the international theory of Martin Wight and Hedley Bull. He is also interested in projects exploring political theology and IR, post-positivist IR theory and the work of certain philosophers whose work applies to IR, e.g. Nietzsche, Spinoza, Hume, Machiavelli.

Contact Information


Rutherford W3.W8

Academic office hours are available on the Moodle Student Guide

Expertise: International Ethics International Relations Available for: TV Press Radio Consultancy

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Molloy, S. (2014). Pragmatism, Realism and the ethics of crisis and transformation in international relations. International Theory [Online] 6:454-489. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1752971914000189.
Molloy, S. (2013). An 'All-Unifying Church Triumphant' A Neglected Dimension of Kant's Theory of International Relations. International History Review [Online] 35:317-336. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07075332.2012.761148.
Molloy, S. (2013). Spinoza, Carr, and the ethics of The Twenty Years' Crisis. Review of International Studies [Online] 39:251-271. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0260210512000356.
Molloy, S. (2010). Escaping the Politics of the Irredeemable Earth? Anarchy and Transcendence in the Novels of Thomas Pynchon. Theory and Event [Online] 13:1. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/tae.2010.0004.
Molloy, S. (2009). Aristotle, Epicurus, Morgenthau and the Political Ethics of the Lesser Evil. Journal of International Political Theory [Online] 5:94-112. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/E1755088209000342.
Molloy, S. (2017). Kant's International Relations: The Political Theology of Perpetual Peace. [Online]. Michigan: University of Michigan Press. Available at: https://www.press.umich.edu/5036715/kants_international_relations.
Total publications in KAR: 6 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

Research Interests

  • ‘Classical’ Realist International Relations theory
  • Kant and International Relations theory
  • International Society/English School IR Theory
  • History of International Political Thought
  • Genealogies and other Critical-Historical / philosophical approaches to IR theory

Current Projects:

  • Kant and International Relations
  • Realist Ethics in International Relations

Research Supervision

Seán is interested in supervising PhD students in aspects of classical and post-classical International Relations theory and International Political Theory. See publications for an indication of research expertise.

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Last Updated: 09/11/2017

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