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.

Research interests

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

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. Noam 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>