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Dr Kevin Blachford

Lecturer in Defence Studies Education


Dr Kevin Blachford is a lecturer of Defence Studies education. He completed his PhD in 2017 and has published articles on a range of topics covering historical international relations and contemporary security issues. His interdisciplinary research aims to consider challenges to international order and historical examples of great power competition. His teaching experience also covers a range of issues, such as questions of grand strategy, critical security studies, foreign policy analysis and international relations theory. He has previously taught at the Estonian School of Diplomacy, the Baltic Defence College and the University of Bristol. 


  • Challenges to International Order
  • International Relations Theory
  • Militarism and Critical War Studies

Dr Kevin Blachford has published papers on a range of topics including, militarism, international order and early modern maritime empires. He has also published pieces for outlets such as War on the Rocks, the National Interest and Defence in Depth.

He is currently working on a monograph which looks at the rise and fall of international order in late antiquity. This research presents a new case study on challenges to international order outside of the usual narrow focus on modern European history. The rivalry between Rome and Persia in late antiquity offers an example of great power competition in which the two rivals fought over a buffer zone in Mesopotamia using proxies and clients in an imperial struggle for hegemony.


‘Ocean Flows And Chains: Sea Power And Maritime Empires Within IR Theory’, Accepted, forthcoming, Cambridge Review of International Affairs.

‘Liberal Militarism and Republican Restraints on Power: the Problems of Unaccountable Interventions for American Democracy’, Critical Military Studies, 8:3, (2022), 299-314.

‘An Alternative To The Thucydides Trap: The Buffer Zone Of Byzantium And Sasanian Persia’, International History Review, (Online first, November 2021).

‘From Thucydides to 1648: the “Missing” Years in IR and the Missing Voices in World History’, International Studies Perspectives, 22:4, (2021), 495-508.

‘Revisiting the Expansion Thesis: International Society and the Role of the Dutch East India Company as a Merchant Empire’, European Journal of International Relations, 26:4, (2020), 1230–1248.

Further information

See Kevin's research profile