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Professor Doug Stokes

Professor of International Relations, Director of the Centre for Advanced International Studies and College Director of Commercial Engagement

Amory B308e

My Office is in Knightley and my office hours for term 2, 2022 will be online between 2:30-4:30pm on Tuesdays. Please email me to arrange a slot. I am also more than happy to meet in person too. 

My major developed research focus is on the durability of the US led liberal international order and the ways in which great powers can use military power to shape international relations in ways they deem desirable. This question becomes especially interesting in the context of economic power shifting to East Asia, the crisis of Western strategic agency and complex forms of global interdependence in a world of many states. Please take a look at my publications to get a better idea of my research. 

More broadly, I am also developing a research interest in debates on academic freedom, the so-called 'culture wars' and their geopolitical implications. My new book on these issues is due out with Polity Press in late 2023.



Research supervision

Note for PhD supervision enquiries. 

I get 100s of speculative, round-robin email requests for supervision every year. I automatically delete these. 

There is very little to no funding for PhDs. Absent funding Exeter cannot take you on for supervision. Do you have funding and is it secure?

Any email seeking my supervision will need to be in my broad areas of research, and from 2022 onwards, I will only take on exceptionally able PhD students with a demonstrable academic track record of excellence. Only email me if you fit the above. I say this given the sheer volume of requests I receive and a good test for me is whether you have at least looked at this page. 

If I do take you on, I will give you my 100% input and all of my PhDs have gone on to very good careers. 

I have supervised many successful PhDs to completion, the majority of whom have completed within time, published articles during their PhD and gone on to work in academia, finance and government. 

Other information


Journalism, media and popular pieces


Interview with John Anderson, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. The decline of the Liberal Global Order 


Interview on the New Culture Forum on Academic freedom and the Geopolitics of Brexit. 


Conservative Home, June 2021, Woke and Its Consequences: As Power Shifts from the West, Who Will Carry the Torch for Freedom? 


Daily Telegraph, June 2021, The Woke Onslaught is a War on the West Itself. 


The Council on Geo-Strategy, June 2021, How 'Progressive' Anti-Imperialism Threatens the United Kingdom.

The Critic, June 2021, The Problem With Reporting Ethnic Pay Gaps. 


The Critic, May 2021, Poor white men and Labour’s identity trap. 

Higher Education Policy Institute, March 2021, Decolonisation is a Welcome Contribution, but Must Not Be Enforced.

Don't Divide Us, December 2020, Tackling Racial Harassment in Higher Education — A Response from Don’t Divide Us

ConservativeHome, October 2020, We need urgent action to help pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds get into university.

ConservativeHome, September 2020, The Conservatives must rally to the flag of the Enlightenment tradition as the culture wars rage.

The Critic, September / October 2020, The Campus Grievance Industry

The Critic, June 2020. Britain’s Dangerous Moment. 


The Times, May 2020. Trump’s anti-China policy leaves the UK vulnerable

Reaction, April 2020. Will Coronavirus split the world into two regional blocs with Britain as a province of US?


H-Diplo, March 2020. Hegemony Studies 3.0: The Dynamics of Hegemonic Order

Quillette, February 2020. The Misguided Moral Panic About Racism in British Universities

Daily Telegraph, December 2019. Merging DfID into the Foreign Office would be a bold leap for Global Britain


Le Point, March 2019. Universités britanniques : l'obsession de la décolonisation

Quillette, March 2019. Forget About Decolonizing the Curriculum. We Need to Restore the West’s Telos Before it’s Too Late


The Spectator, February 2019. Universities should resist calls to ‘decolonise the curriculum'


The Diplomat, August 2017. Trump’s Bilateralism and US Power in East Asia

External impact and engagement

I have advised and presented my research to a range of UK government organisations and agencies, and continue to work with ministerial teams on key issues around defence, education and equality. 

I also regularly write for various international media outlets around issues of foreign policy and academic freedom and authoritarianism and am a member of the Advisory Council for the Free Speech Union. My personal website:


I was born in Hackney, East London in 1972. My dad was a signwriter, my mum a cleaner, secretary and librarian. I went to Daubeney and Raines Foundations Schools from the ages of 4 - 16: all 'inner city' state schools and am the first person in my family to have gone to University. I left home at 17 and did lots of odd jobs with the high point working in Hackney dole office signing people on during the 90s recession.


I finished my degree at London University in the late 1990s and left London when I was 24. I lived and worked in Bosnia, where I helped establish an NGO focussed on ethnic reconciliation in the still conflict prone town of Brcko. Whilst nearly killed on a number of occasions, it was a walk in the park compared to my formative years growing up in Hackney.


Upon returning to the UK I started my post-grad education, in the great city of Bristol, where I spent a very happy five years. Since then I've lived and moved across the UK, and have now ended back in the beautiful West Country--my favourite bit of the UK by a long way.

Past Appointments

September 2006-March 2013, SL/Reader in International Relations, University of Kent at Canterbury.

2008-2009, Guest lecturer, Science Po, France.

2005-2006, Lecturer in International Politics, Department of International Politics, City University, Northampton Square, London, EC1V OHB.

2003-2005, Lecturer in International Politics, Department of International Politics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

2000-2002, Associate Lecturer for British Army ‘Short Courses’, Bristol University.


ESRC post-Doctoral fellowship, 2004-2005.

Ph.D (ESRC funded) in International Relations,University of Bristol, 2000-2003.

MSc in International Development, University of Bristol, 1998-1999.

BSc University of London,1994-97.



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