Dr Blake Lawrinson


I am a Lecturer (Teaching and Scholarship) in British Foreign Policy and International Relations. I have been a member of the POLIS community for ten years having completed a BA, MA and PhD in the School. Prior to beginning my role as Lecturer in 2023, I was a Teaching Fellow in International Relations. 

In POLIS, I teach across the International Relations (IR) curriculum at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. My teaching reflects in my research interests, which connect British foreign policy and international relations. This includes researching and publishing on norms, humanitarian protection and Britain’s post-Brexit role in the world. 

I am active in several of the School’s research centres, which includes Executive Membership of the Centre for Teaching Innovation and Scholarship (CTIS) and membership of the European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (ECR2P) and Centre for Global Security Challenges (CGSC). 

Research interests

My PhD on British foreign policy on humanitarian protection (1997-2020) is part of a broader interest in debates on foreign policy and IR. This includes post-Brexit British foreign policy, Britain’s international responsibilities, Britain’s world role, soft and smart power, humanitarian protection and international order, especially in the context of the 2021 and 2023 Integrated Reviews.

Some of my further research interests are:

  • Norms (international norms, the life cycle of norms, clusters, entrepreneurship)
  • British foreign policy (humanitarian protection, human rights, soft power, world role, national interest, values)
  • Humanitarian protection (R2P, civilian protection, peacekeeping)
  • International order and a changing international order 
  • Foreign polciy analysis (foreign policy change)
  • IR theory and epistemology (both positivist and post-positivist theorising)
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD - Politics and International Studies
  • MA - International Relations
  • BA - International Relations

Professional memberships

  • Centre for Teaching Innovation and Scholarship (Executive Member)
  • British International Studies Association (BISA)
  • Political Studies Association (PSA)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE))
  • European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Centre for Global Security Challenges

Student education

I thoroughly enjoy teaching, student education and pedagogy and have received a number of University Partnership nominations for my teaching, assessment and feedback practices (2022-2023). This includes winning the 2023 Faculty Partnership Award for Assessment and Feedback.

I have vast experience of leading and teaching modules across the POLIS IR curriculum. This includes International Politics (co-leader), approaches to analysis (leader, 2022), United States politics, security studies, the responsibility to protect, British foreign policy and nuclear weapons. At postgraduate level, I have been module leader for theoretical approaches to IR and diplomacy. 

I practice a student-centred education to create an inclusive, engaging, interesting and interactive learning environment for students. This approach to pedagogy encourages students as critical and reflective thinkers to understand and shape the analysis of the politics of global challenges, while learning and building core skills. 

I also innovative across my pedagogy as a core part of my scholarship profile. This includes research interests in student-centred learning and student agency in the selection of case study and classroom materials.

I am also passionate about educational engagement, outreach and widening participation activities.