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Professor Neil Cooper

PositionProfessor of International Relations and Security Studies and Head of Peace Studies & International Development
DepartmentPeace Studies and International Development
Telephone+44 (0) 1274 234776

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

Students Supervised:

  • Roberta Maschietto - Peacebuilding in Mozambique
  • Susan Kerr - A Comparative Study of Oil Company CSR initiatives in Venezuela and Colombia
  • Anicia Lala - Security Sector Reform in Mozambique

Administrative Responsibilities

Associate Dean for Research

Study History

1992 - PhD, University of Kent at Canterbury (thesis: MOD Weapons Procurement Policy 1979-1991)

1987 - MA, International Relations, University of Kent at Canterbury

1984 - BA (Hons) Politics/Sociology, 2:1, University of York

Professional Activities

Member of the editorial board for the book series: Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies, published by Palgrave Macmillan

Member of the ESRCs Global Uncertainties Programme Expert Group

2013- present: External examiner, Department of International Relations, University of Kent: BA Politics and International Relations, Conflict, Peace and Security, European Studies;

Co-editor, International Peacekeeping

Associate editor, The Economics of Peace and Security Journal

Member of editorial Committee: Critical Studies on Security

2009 - 2012: External Examiner, Department of War Studies, King's College London.

2006-09: External Examiner, Department of Politics, University of Bristol





Research Areas

My research has included work on the political economy of peacebuilding, the regional dimensions of war economies, post-conflict reconstruction in Sierra Leone and ethical trading initiatives, most notably the Kimberley Certifications System to prevent the trade in conflict diamonds.

Current Projects

My current research is on the history of conventional arms trade regulation, particularly focussing on regulatory initiatives from the late 19th century onwards:

'The History of Arms Trade Regulation' - This project aims to trace the history of conventional arms transfer regulation (CATR). Although the project aims to document the history of regulation as far back as medieveal era restrictions on arms, the main focus is on international initiatives to restrict the trade in conventional weapons from the late 19th century through to current proposals for an Arms Trade Treaty. The research draws on archival material in the UK and the US as well as interviews with current policy actors. Funding for the research has been provided by the British Academy and the Trust for Research and Education on the Arms Trade.


Books and Edited Books:

Arms Trade Regulation: A History, Palgrave, forthcoming.

Co-editor with Michael Pugh and Mandy Turner, Whose Peace? Critical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding, Palgrave, 2008, 408 pp (a paperback edition with a revised conclusion published 2011)..

Co-author with Michael Pugh and Jonathan Goodhand, War Economies in a Regional Context: The Challenges of Transformation, Boulder, Co: Lynne Rienner, 2004, 273 pp.

Co-author with Michael Pugh, Security-Sector Transformation in Post-Conflict Societies, London: Centre for Defence Studies, 2002, 68 pp.

The Business of Death: Britain’s Arms Trade at Home and Abroad, London: I.B. Tauris, 1997, 223 pp.

Edited Journals:

Co-editor with David Mutimer, Contemporary Security Policy, Special Issue: Rethinking Arms Control for the 21st Century (2011).

-         also published as: Reconceptualising Arms Control: Controlling the Means of Violence, Routledge, 2011, 275 pp.

Co-editor with Michael Pugh of Conflict, Security and Development, Special Issue on 'War Economies, Peace and Globalisation', Vol. 6, No. 3, Oct. 2006.

Refereed Journal Articles:

With Mandy Turner, ‘The Iron Fist of Liberal Intervention Inside the Velvet Glove of Kantian Idealism: A Response to Burke’ Critical Studies on Security, Vol 1, No. 1, 2013, pp. 35-41.

With Paul Holtom (SIPRI) and Mark Bromley (SIPRI) ‘The UN Arms Trade Treaty: arms export controls, the human security agenda and the lessons of history’, International Affairs, Vol. 88, No. 5, September 2012, pp. 1029-1048.   

'The Regulation of Pariah Weapons' in Contemporary Security Policy, Special Issue: Rethinking Arms Control for the 21st Century, (forthcoming 2011)

Co-author with David Mutimer, 'Introduction', in Contemporary Security Policy, Special Issue: Rethinking Arms Control for the 21stCentury, (forthcoming 2011)

'On Forgetful Goldfish and Failed Mnemonics: Transforming Political Economies of Conflict' The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Vol. 5, No. 1. 2010, pp. 35-44.

'On the Crisis of the Liberal Peace' Conflict, Security and Development, Vol. 7. No. 4, Dec. 2007, pp. 605-616.

'Chimeric Governance and the Extension of Resource Regulation', Conflict, Security and Development, Vol. 6, No. 3 Oct 2006, pp. 315-35.

'Putting Disarmament Back in the Frame', Review of International Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2006, pp. 353-376.

'What's the Point of Arms Transfer Controls?' Contemporary Security Policy, Special Issue: Future Directions in Small Arms Control, Vol. 27, No. 1, April 2006, pp. 118-137.

Peaceful Warriors and Warring Peacemakers The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Vol 1, No. 1, 2006, re-published article from ECAAR Review 2003 noted below.

'Picking Out the Pieces of the Liberal Peaces: Representations of Conflict Economies and the Implications for Policy', Security Dialogue, Vol. 36, No. 4, Dec. 2005, pp. 463-478.

'State Collapse as Business: The role of conflict trade and the emerging control agenda', Development and Change, Vol. 33, No. 5, Nov. 2002, pp. 935-955.

Also published in: Jennifer Milliken (ed), State Failure, Collapse and Reconstruction, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2003, pp. 179-198.

The Business of War: How Not to Downsize, Conflict, Security and Development, 2:3, 2002, pp. 117-126.

'Conflict Goods: The Challenges for Peacekeeping and Conflict Prevention', International Peacekeeping, Vol. 8, No. 3, Autumn 2001, pp. 21-38.

'Arms Exports, New Labour and the Pariah Agenda', Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 21, No. 3, December 2000, pp. 54-77.

'British Defence Exports: trends, policy and security implications', Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 16, No. 2. Aug. 1995, pp. 219-239.

'Britain and the SDI', Paradigms: The Kent Journal of International Relations, Vol. 1, No. 2, Dec. 1987, pp. 69-88.

Chapters in Books: 

‘On the Post-Cold War Arms Trade Paradox:  Humanitarian Arms Control, NGOs and the Strategic Complexes of the Liberal Peace’ in Jackie Smith and Ernesto Verdeja (eds),Globalization, Peacebuilding and Social Movements, Syracuse University Press, 2013, pp. 21-46.

Co-author with Michael Pugh and Mandy Turner, ‘Has Human Security Had Its Day?’ in David Chandler and Nikola Hynek (eds), Critical Perspectives on Human Security: Rethinking Emancipation and Power in International Relations, London: Routledge,  2010, pp. 83-96.

Co-author with Joanna Spear, 'The Defence Trade' in Alan Collins (ed), Contemporary Security Studies, (2nd edition) Oxford: OUP, 2010, pp. 394-412.

'Training Goldfish in a Desert: Ethical Trading Initiatives and Neoliberalism' in Oliver Richmond (ed), Advances in Peace and Conflict Studies, Palgrave, 2010.

'As Good As It Gets: Securing Diamonds in Sierra Leone', in Cooper, Pugh and Turners (eds), Critical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding, Palgrave 2008, pp. 103-117.

Co-author with Michael Pugh and Mandy Turner, 'Conclusion: The Political Economy of Peacebuilding: Whose Peace? Where Next?' inCritical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding, Palgrave, 2008, pp. 390-397.

Co-author with Arthur Romano, 'Education for Peacebuilding: From Problem Solving to Critical Interrogations of the Liberal Peace' in Kazuo Takahashi(ed), Capacity Development for Peacebuilding: An International Network Approach, ICU COE (Center of Excellence) and ICU Rotary Peace Center, March 2007.

Co-author with Joanna Spear, 'The Defence Trade' in Alan Collins (ed), Contemporary Security Studies, Oxford: OUP, 2006, pp. 311-330.

'Warlords and Logo Warriors: The Political Economy of Post-modern conflict', in Paul Dunne and Jurgen Brauer (eds), Arming the South: The Economics of Military Expenditure, Arms Production and Trade in Developing Countries, London: Macmillan, 2002, pp. 35-50.

'Security Sector (Lack of) Transformation in Kosovo', in Keith Krause and Fred Tanner (eds), Arms Control and Contemporary Conflicts: Challenges and Responses, PSIS Special Studies No. 5, Geneva: Programme for Strategic and International Security Studies and Geneva Centre for Security Policy, 2001, p. 65-127.

'New Labour and the Arms Trade', in Richard Little and Mark Wickham-Jones (eds), New Labour's Foreign Policy: A new moral crusade?, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000, pp. 147-167.

'Raising the cost of conflict, lowering the price of peace: demilitarisation after post-modern conflicts' in Michael Pugh (ed),Regeneration of War-Torn Societies, London: Macmillan, 2000, p. 54-73.

'The international arms trade and its impact on warlordism', in Paul B. Rich (ed) Warlords in International Relations, London: Macmillan, 1999, pp. 17-37.


Co-author with Cord Jakobeit, 'The EU and Conflict Prevention, Management and Reduction in Africa Finish Institute of International Affairs/Centre for International Cooperation and Security Project, Policy Paper 5: Addressing the Political Economies of Armed Conflict in Africa', 2006. (84pp).

Also published as: With Cord Jakobeit and Michaela Maier, 'Addressing the Political Economies of Armed Conflicts', in Owen Greene, Julia Buxton and Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Conflict Prevention, Management and Reduction in Africa, Helsinki: Development Policy Information Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2006. pp. 145-177.

Conflict Trade and Arms Acquisition. Report Commissioned by the Small Arms Survey, Geneva, Sept 2001 (6,000 words). The analysis and data generated was incorporated in the 2002 edition of the annual Small Arms Survey.

How the UK Government Subsidises the Business of Death, London: Campaign Against the Arms Trade, June 1997.

Co-author with Paul Dunne and Ron Smith, Killing Jobs: Arms Trade and Unemployment, London: Campaign Against the Arms Trade, April 1996.

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