Prof Andrew Linklater

MA Aberdeen University BPhil Oxford University PhD London University (London School of Economics)

Prof Andrew Linklater


Department of International Politics

Contact Details


Andrew Linklater joined the Department as Woodrow Wilson Professor in 2000, having previously been Professor and Dean of Postgraduate Studies at Keele University. He had earlier taught at Monash University and the University of Tasmania. He was Director of Research in the Department in the lead-up to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and responsible for the preparation of the Department's submission which saw it ranked as the top International Politics Department in the country. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of the Social Sciences and the Learned Society of Wales. Research and publications have included normative and critical theories of international relations and, in the most recent period, the development of linkages between process sociological studies of civilization and the English School tradition of analysis of international society.



PhD Supervision
Harm in World Politics
The Idea of Civilization in World Politics Critical Theory/International Political Theory
Process Sociology and International Relations
World History and International Relations


Andrew Linklater was involved in developing new linkages between political theory and international relations in the 1970s and 1980s, and then in forging connections between critical social theory and world politics. His most recent research investigates the problem of harm in world politics - specifically the problems that arise as societies acquire the capacity to harm and face the challenge of controlling that destructive capability. Analysis of the problem of harm has involved engaging with the literature on moral and legal philosophy which explores the concept of harm, the varieties of harm, and the 'harm principle'. It has also led to a major engagement with process sociology, as developed by Norbert Elias, and to a sequence of articles and book chapters that explore the importance of Elias's analysis of the 'civilizing process' for the study of international relations. Current research is geared towards producing a major three volume study of the problem of harm in world politics which develops new connections between international relations, process sociology and world history. The second volume, Violence and Civilization in the Western States-System will be published by Cambridge University Press in November 2016. It builds on the argument of the book entitled, The Problem of Harm in World Politics. Andrew Linklater is currently writing two books - one on the idea of civilization in world politics, the other on global symbols and civilizing processes.

Office Hours (Student Contact Times)

  • 12.30-1.30
  • Friday 1.30-2.30


Linklater, A 2019, 'Symbols and world politics: Towards a long-term perspective on historical trends and contemporary challenges' European Journal of International Relations.
Linklater, A 2017, 'Process Sociology, the English School and Postcolonialism - Understanding "Civilization" and World Politics: a reply to the Critics' Review of International Studies, vol. 43, no. 4, 9, pp. 700-719.
Linklater, A 2016, 'The 'Standard of Civilization' in World Politics' Human Figurations, vol. 5, no. 2.
Linklater, A 2016, Violence and Civilization in the Western States-Systems. Cambridge University Press.
Linklater, A 2014, Norbert Elias and International Relations. in A Ohira (ed.), Norbert Elias as Social Theorist: Figurational Sociology and its Applications. Tokyo, pp. 1-18.
More publications on the Research Portal