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Professor Theo Farrell

Head of Department 

farrell2015Department of War Studies
Room K7.17.
King's College London
London WC2R 2LS

Office hours: By appointment only.








I am the Head of the Department of War Studies and Professor of War in the Modern World at King’s College London, and President of the British International Studies Association. I was previously Chair of the International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association (ISA), Security Studies Editor for the ISA Compendium Project, Associate Editor of Security Studies, and Associate Editor of Review of International Studies. Currently, I chair the International Editorial Board of the European Journal of International Security. I have authored or edited 10 books, and over 40 research papers on different areas of security studies.

My three main areas of research are:

(1) The Afghanistan War, 2001-2014 – with current projects including a military history of Britain’s war, and a history of the Taliban’s war based on extensive interviews with Taliban participants.

(2) Transformation of military affairs – in particular, the relationships between technological development, military culture, organizational forms, and operational experience in shaping military change.

(3) Norms on the use of force – both from the perspective of constructivism in International Relations and public international law (including the law on the use of force and the law of armed conflict).

I have held a number of research council awards. My current research is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council. I have worked extensively with policy stakeholders, in particular, in the UK Ministry of Defence. For more details please see my CV here

Research Interests

My research interests cover:

  • Military innovation and transformation
  • Military adaptation in war
  • The Afghanistan war
  • British and US military affairs
  • Civilians in armed conflict

For a full list of publications please refer to the Research Portal

PhD Supervsion

I am currently supervising the following PhD students:

  • Frank Hoffman, ‘Organisational Adaptation in War.’
  • Kathleen McInnis, ‘The Dynamics of Coalition Collapse: ISAF in Southern Afghanistan.’
  • Ben Connable, ‘Military Culture and Adaptation in War: US Marine Corps.’
  • Richard Bennet, ‘US Military Assistance and Local Security Forces.’
  • Mark Beautement: ‘Ripe for Peace? Local Agreements and Conflict Termination.’
  • Olivier Schmitt, ‘Standing, Power and War: French and British Participation in Military Coalitions.’
  • Sara Fazlali, ‘Organizational Collaboration and the Comprehensive Approach.’
  • Kent DeBenedicitis,‘How Militaries Deal with Defeat.’
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