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Richard Ned Lebow
Richard Ned Lebow

Professor Richard Ned Lebow

Professor of International Political Theory

Research interests

  • Conflict
  • Politics
  • Security


Dr Richard Ned Lebow is a Professor Emeritus of International Political Theory in the Department of War Studies, King's College London (part-time) and James O. Freedman Presidential Professor Emeritus at Dartmouth College. He is also a Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. He has taught strategy and the National and Naval War Colleges and served as a scholar-in-residence in the Central Intelligence Agency during the Carter administration.

Dr Lebow has held visiting appointments at the University of Lund, Sciences Po, University of Cambridge, Austrian Diplomatic Academy, Vienna, London School of Economics and Political Science, Australian National University, University of California at Irvine, University of Milano, University of Munich and the Frankfurt Peace Research Institute. He has authored and edited 40 books and nearly 300 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Research Interests

His interests falls within two themes:

  • Theory: International relations, conflict management, war and strategy, psychology of decision-making and learning, ancient and modern political theory, identity and its political and ethical consequences.

  • Policy: Conflict prevention and management, regional conflict, bargaining and negotiation, strategy and intelligence. 


He teaches/convenes the following modules:


  • 5SSW2061 Contemporary International Relations Theory


  • 7SSWM060 Causation in International Relations

  • 7SSWM064 Politics and Ethics

  • 7SSWM160 Theories in IR

  • 7SSWM158 Concepts and Methods 

  • 7SSWM099 Theories of War

Expertise and Public Engagement

  • Co-recipient conference grant on the fragility and robustness of political orders, Swedish Foundation of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2020

  • Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award, for Avoiding War, Making Peace, 2019

  • Honourable Mention, Susan Strange Book Award for the best book of the year   in international relations from the British International Studies Association for The Rise and Fall of Political Orders. 2019

  • Co-recipient Leverhulme Research Grant (Shakespeare and War, 2018

  • Elected Fellow, British Academy, 2017

  • Honourable Mention, Charles A. Taylor Book Award for the best book in interpretative methodologies and methods, for Causation in International Relations, 2016

  • King’s College London, University-wide finalist for supervisory excellence award, 2016

  • Honorary Doctorate, Panteion University, Athens, 2015

  • Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award, for Toni Erskine and Richard Ned Lebow, Tragedy and International Relations, 2014

  • Elected Distinguished Scholar, 2014, by the International Security Section of the International Studies Association

  • Teaching Excellence Award, King’s College London, 2013

  • Alexander L. George Award for best book of the year from the International Society of Political Psychology for The Politics and Ethics of Identity, 2013

  • Honorary Doctorate, American University of Paris, 2012

  • Jervis-Schroeder Award from the American Political Science Association and the Susan Strange Award from the British International Studies Association for A Cultural Theory of International Relations, 2009 

  • Alexander L. George book award for Tragic Vision of Politics from the International Society of Political Psychology, 2004. 

Recent Books

  • Justice and International Order: East and West, coauthored with Feng Zhang (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022).
  • The Quest for Knowledge in International Relations: How Do We Know? (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022).
  • Between Peace and War: 40th Anniversary Revised Edition (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2020).
  • Ethics and International Relations: A Tragic Perspective (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020).
  • Taming Sino-American Rivalry, coauthored with Feng Zhang (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020.)
  • Reason and Cause: Social Science and The Social World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020)

A list of recent articles can be found here.