Dr Blake Lawrinson

Dr Blake Lawrinson


I am a Teaching Fellow with an academic background in International Relations, broadly defined. I have been a member of the POLIS community for close to a decade having completed a BA, MA, and a PhD in the School prior to then beginning my current position as a Teaching Fellow in International Relations.

My primary research interests are norms, human rights, atrocity prevention, humanitarian intervention, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), protection of civilians, international order, and British Foreign Policy. These interests are reflected in my emerging publication record with articles in the British Journal of Politics and International Relations on norms and British foreign policy and the Global Responsibility to Protect on the R2P, protection of civilians and counterterrorism.

I have also contributed evidence to the UK International Development Committee on the UK’s approach to atrocity prevention.

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

Research interests

Whilst my PhD research examined the UK’s commitment to human protection from mass violence and atrocity crimes in a transitional foreign policy, my broad research interests are in the areas of British foreign policy, human rights, atrocity prevention, and conflict prevention with a particular focus on the role of human rights norms and initiatives on protecting populations from human rights violations and atrocity crimes (genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing).

As part of this research focus, I am especially interested in the UK’s foreign policy and how it contributes to the protection of human rights and prevention of atrocity crimes in the post-Brexit era of its foreign policy as part of its commitment to acting as a ‘force for good’ in a ‘Global Britain’ following the 2021 Integrated Review of Foreign, Defence, Development, and Security. My written evidence on this subject was published by the UK International Development Committee in 2022.

I have also co-authored an article with Professor Adrian Gallagher (University of Leeds) and Dr Charles T. Hunt (RMIT University) for the International Peace Institute’s Global Observatory on Strengthening Human Protection in Mali and the Sahel.

I have further interest in the following areas:

  • Human Protection (responsibility to protect, protection of civilians, peacekeeping, preventing sexual violence in conflict);
  • Norms (clusters, entrepreneurship);
  • British Foreign Policy (Human protection, humanitarian intervention, trade, human rights, Global Britain, world role, UN Security Council, national interest);
  • World order and a transitional world order (including debates on ‘liberal’ world order);
  • Foreign policy analysis (particularly the sub-field of foreign policy change).
<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

  • European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Centre for Global Security Challenges
  • Centre for Teaching Innovation and Scholarship
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Student education

I thoroughly enjoy teaching which is reflected in my emphasis on continually evolving my teaching practices. I aim to practice an education that is informed by an inclusive, interesting, engaging, and interactive experience where students are at the core of an active and reflective learning environment. 

I encourage students to be active critical thinkers able to reflect, analyse, and challenge core ideas, theories, and concepts in international relations through drawing on a range of techniques and case study materials.

I was awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in 2023.

I have vast experience of leading and teaching a range of modules in POLIS. At undergraduate level I have taught International Politics, Approaches to Analysis, US 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 commitment to high-level student education is reflected in my nomination for inspirational teaching in the 2022 Partnership Awards at the University of Leeds.