Losing the International Order: Westphalia, Liberalism and Current World Crises

My latest feature for The National Interest looks at the future of the international order, with a specific focus on what the Syrian crisis might reveal.

According to conventional wisdom, states in the twenty-first century inhabit a fundamentally liberal world order. And while the current international order certainly has its discontents, most in the West like to believe that most of the world accepts liberal principles as desirable ways of organizing international affairs. Current events, however, highlight the extent to which this conventional wisdom is wishful thinking: international order is not an agreed-upon set of international compacts, but rather the site of vigorous political contestation, and the survival of its liberal character can hardly be taken for granted…

Click here for the full article.


Book review

My book review of Islands and Military Orders, c. 1291-c. 1798 by Emanuel Buttigieg and Simon Phillips (eds.) is now available in the latest issue of Island Studies Journal, an open access journal.

Click here to read the full review.

Click here to find out more about the book.

America’s Other Guantánamo: New article now available

My article, “America’s Other Guantánamo: British Foreign Policy and the US Base on Diego Garcia,” is now available in the latest issue of The Political Quarterly.  It has been available via EarlyView for a few months already.

Click here to access the article.


The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) is one of Britain’s most controversial Overseas Territories. Its indigenous people, the Chagossians, were exiled from their homes in the 1960s and 1970s so that BIOT could play host to a US military base on the island of Diego Garcia. Meanwhile, Diego Garcia has been tarnished by revelations regarding its role in the CIA’s ‘extraordinary rendition’ programme and by allegations of torture. And earlier this year, an international tribunal ruled that the UK government had violated international law by pushing through a Marine Protected Area to cover the territory over and above the protestations of neighbouring states. In this article, I argue that allowing the resettlement of BIOT by the Chagossians would go a long way towards improving the way that the territory has been governed for the past five decades.