Dr Blake Lawrinson

Dr Blake Lawrinson


I am a Teaching Fellow with a teaching and research background in International Relations (IR). I have been a member of the POLIS community for close to a decade having completed a BA, MA and PhD in the School prior to my current position as Teaching Fellow where I teach across the IR curriculum at undergraduate and postgraduate level. 

My primary research interests connect British foreign policy and international relations, with a particular specialism on researching norms, humanitarian protection and Britain’s post-Brexit role in the world. I have an emerging publication record with peer-reviewed articles in the areas of British foreign policy and international relations. This is in addition to written evidence to the UK’s International Development Committee. 

I am actively part of several of the School’s research centres, which includes Executive Membership of the Centre for Teaching Innovation and Scholarship (CTIS). 

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.

I have further research interests in the following areas:

  • 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
  • Centre for Global Security Challenges
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Student education

I thoroughly enjoy teaching, student education and pedagogy and have a number of University Partnership nominations for my teaching, assessment and feedback practices (2022-2023).

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. 

My Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) shows my commitment to pedagogy in the planning, design and delivery of classes, but also my broader commitment to the student education experience in POLIS. 

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, with research interests in student-centred learning, student agency in the selection of case study and classroom materials and digital transformation and blended learning.