Professor Richard Beardsworth

Professor Richard Beardsworth


Richard joined the University of Leeds in 2019 as Professor of International Relations and Head of School. Graduating with a PhD in Political Philosophy from the University of Sussex, he moved to Paris in 1991, teaching at the American University of Paris and researching at the Institut des Etudes Sociales. He was appointed professor of International Theory at Florida International University in 2012 and Head of Department and EH Carr Chair of International Politics in the Department of International Politics, University of Aberystwyth from 2016-2019. He retains a research associateship in Paris at SciPo.


  • Head of School

Research interests

Richard’s main research interest lies in normative international vision and state responsibility towards global challenges, in particular the politics of climate change. He has published widely on cosmopolitan realism (that is, a cosmopolitan approach to international relations grounded in progressive state agency) and has increasingly addressed the vital importance of ‘joining the dots’ among national interest, national security and cosmopolitan responsibilities in an age divided between populist nationalism, on the one hand, and the international vision of ‘sustainable development’, on the other. In a recent series of online publications he has argued for a theory and practice of ‘progressive state leadership’, particularly in the fields of national and global climate mitigation and adaptation.  His present research distinguishes between the politics of climate change and general sustainability practices and lays out a political vision of sustainable development beyond techno-economic solutionism.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BA (Hons), MA (Cambridge)
  • MA (Sussex)
  • D.Phil (Sussex)

Professional memberships

  • International Studies Association
  • British International Studies Association
  • European International Studies Association

Student education

My teaching focuses on the politics of climate change and climate leadership.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Contemporary Political Theory

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>