Adam Joseph Cooper

Adam Joseph Cooper


I started my PhD at the University of Leeds in October 2022, having previously obtained a BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature (2020) and an MA in International Relations (2022) at the institution.

My MA dissertation examined the way a state’s historical reputation and past conduct can affect its future diplomacy, with a focus on post-war Japan.

My research is funded by the AHRC through the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities. As such, I am especially interested in ensuring interdisciplinarity in my work.

Research interests

My PhD research is currently in its early stages. My research concerns how to address the enduring legacy of colonialism in shaping states’ views towards atrocity prevention (particularly the Responsibility to Protect, or, R2P), and the “special” responsibilities a history of colonial exploitation places on former colonial powers like the UK. I am currently interested as to how adopting a reparations-based approach to atrocity prevention might help mitigate some of the qualms expressed by some post-colonial states in regard to the norm, and how this type of approach might best be put into practice.

Related to this, I am also interested in post-colonial power dynamics between a former imperial power and its former colonies, the ethical implications of further interference post-independence, and the potential of the Commonwealth in British diplomacy.

Broadly speaking, my main research interests are normative international relations theory, global justice, R2P, and – to put it rather loosely – the role the past plays in shaping contemporary state interaction.


  • MA International Relations
  • BA (Hons) English Language and Literature

Research groups and institutes

  • European Centre for Responsibility to Protect
  • Centre for Contemporary Political Theory