Blake Lawrinson

Blake Lawrinson


My academic background is in International Relations, broadly defined. I hold a BA (First-Class) and MA (Distinction) in International Relations from the University of Leeds. My primary research interests are British foreign policy, human rights, humanitarian intervention, the Responsibility to Protect, and international order. Based on a combination of these research interests and the excellent expertise and scholarship on human protection, I decided to remain at the University of Leeds to carry out PhD research on the UK’s foreign policy commitment to human protection from mass violence and atrocity crimes. Further information is available via my LinkedIn profile.

Alongside my research, I am an ambassador for the European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (ECR2P) at the University of Leeds. The ECR2P is dedicated to advancing the R2P through research, education, and policy dialogue.

Outside of academia, I have a keen interest in football and support my local club, Bradford City.

Student Education

I have vast experience as an academic Teaching Assistant in the School of Politics and International Studies where I have delivered a range of classes since 2018. The modules I have taught include: International Politics (level 1), Approaches to Analysis (level 2), the Responsibility to Protect (level 3), and British Foreign Policy (Level 3). I was also module leader for a taught postgraduate module on Diplomatic Practice (level 5). This is in addition to occasionally lecturing on human rights, R2P, and diplomacy. 

My approach to teaching places strong emphasis on critical thinking, analysis and reflection of key ideas, theories, and concepts, particularly through drawing on a range of interactive activities and case study materials. 

Research interests

My PhD research examines the UK’s commitment to human protection in a transitional foreign policy. A transitional foreign policy is defined according to changes in the UK’s world role, such as the implications of Brexit, its position within key multilateral international organisations (especially the UN), and strategic narratives of Global Britain. Within the context of these dynamics, what is the nature of the UK’s commitment to human protection in both rhetoric and action? What is the relationship between the UK’s changing world role and its commitment to human protection? What have been the key changes and continuities in the UK’s commitment to human protection over time? 

My research was awarded a Leeds Doctoral Scholarship (2017-2020).

Other research interests  

Beyond my PhD research, I have further interest in the following areas:

(1) Human Protection (responsibility to protect, protection of civilians, peacekeeping, preventing sexual violence in conflict)

(2) British Foreign Policy (especially on human protection, humanitarian intervention, trade, human rights, Global Britain, world role, UN Security Council, national interest)

(3) World order and a transitional world order (especially debates on ‘liberal’ world order)

(4) The UN Security Council (especially on thematic agendas and cases related to human protection: Mali, DRC, Libya, Syria, Myanmar, Yemen)

(5) Foreign policy analysis (especially the sub-field of foreign policy change)

I am happy to be contacted to discuss any of the above topics, including potential work collaborations and/or projects.

Current working papers 

I am presently working on four papers. These include: 

(1) Human protection & counterterrorism in Mali 

(2) The Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI)

(3) Human protection and the national interest in UK foreign policy

(4) UK smart power and human protection 

Professional Memberships

European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Research outputs: Conference Papers

Lawrinson, B (2021) A UK smart power approach to human protection. Symposium on Intervention and Responsibility to Protect: Past, Present, & Futures. Online.

Lawrinson, B (2021) ‘A promise unfulfilled’: How can the R2P learn from the implementation of the protection of civilians? Responsibility to Protect in Theory and Practice Conference. Online

Stefan, C.G and Lawrinson, B (2019) ‘Global-National approaches to human protection: an underrecognized link?’ British International Studies Association Annual Conference 2019. London.

Lawrinson, B (2019) ‘One crisis, multiple norms: Analysing norm interaction through the case of MINUSMA’. Responsibility to Protect in Theory and Practice Conference Series. University of Ljubljana.

Lawrinson, B (2018) ‘The relationship between foreign policy change and human protection’ Contesting boundaries. Understanding our increasingly complex world’. University of Nottingham.

Lawrinson, B (2018) ‘Protecting in times of change: the UK’s engagement with human protection in a transitional global order’. Protecting Human Rights in a Changing and Insecure World Conference, University of Leeds.

Research outputs: Book Reviews

Lawrinson, B (2020) Review: Responsibility to Protect and the Failures of the United Nations Security Council. R2P Student Journal. Available from: 

Lawrinson, B (2017) Review: Fundamentals of Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention. Civil Wars. 19(1), pp.108-111. Available from:


  • BA International Relations - University of Leeds
  • MA International Relations - University of Leeds

Research groups and institutes

  • European Centre for Responsibility to Protect