Dr. Ian Shaw


I joined the School of Politics and International Studies in September 2020 as an Associate Professor of Global Security Challenges. Prior to this, I spent nine years at the University of Glasgow as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Human Geography. My PhD and MA are both in Geography from the University of Arizona, and the title of my thesis was The Spatial Politics of Drone Warfare (2011).

Research interests

I study political violence in its many forms: (1) Drone Warfare (2) Economic Injustice (3) Ecological Violence.

First, I have long researched U.S. drone warfare, military strategy, and domestic policing. This culminated in a 2016 book with the University of Minnesota Press, Predator Empire: Drone Warfare and Full Spectrum Dominance. I am interested in the collision between machines, state violence, and the human condition.

My second major research focus is on global capitalism and its discontents. My 2019 book, Wageless Life: A Manifesto for a Future Beyond Capitalism, is a call to build new futures and collective worlds beyond the toxic failures of capitalism. Noel Chomsky describes it as a “lucid and penetrating study” that “provides valuable guidelines for the task of ‘seizing our autonomy back’ in a world of justice, freedom, communal life, and human dignity. Perceptive and enlightening, and a ray of light in dark times.”

Third, I research ecological justice and climate geopolitics. I am interested in how we can build new urban commons and systems to challenge the social and economic costs of climate breakdown. I lead an interdisciplinary team called the International Green Academy whose mission is to partner universities and schools to build school gardens that empower pupils and their communities.

<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> <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="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>