Professor John Williams
BA, MA (Hull), PhD (Warwick)
|Professor in the School of Government and International Affairs||EH210, Elvet Hill House||+44 (0) 191 33 45217|
|Member of the Centre for the History of Political Thought|
John studied for his PhD at the University of Warwick (1992-96), working on legitimacy in international relations and the collapse of Yugoslavia, following which he became a Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen for five years before joining Durham in 2001. John was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2006 and to Professor in 2010.
John's research in recent years has revolved around three, interconnected issues. First is the English school of international relations theory, where he has worked on both analysis of classic texts and also on the development of ethical dimensions of the School's approach. In particular, he has worked on the 'pluralist' dimension of English School theory, and how it places ethical diversity at the core of normative theorising. Secondly, work on 'Global IR' and 'decolonial IR' is looking at how de-centreing Western perspectives, theories, values and identities can change understanding of the nature, purpose and morality of international society. Thirdly, is the ethics of war and challenges presented by changing patterns and technologies of violence and the issue of democratic authority over warfare. This work looks at key technologies including drones and emergent autonomous weapons systems.
As well as a range of departmental level administrative roles (Head of School, Deputy Head of School, Director of Research, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Postgraduate Studies), John has been a member of the University's Ethics Advisory Committee, Vice-Chair of Senate Academic Appeals Committee and Vice-Chair of the University Senate Discipline Committee, Deputy Head of Faculty (Research), and a member of the Faculty REF Readiness panel.
Beyond Durham, John is presently a member of the Economic and Social Research Council's peer review college. He has served on the editorial board for the journal International Political Theory and been a member of the review panel for the QAA National Subject Benchmark Statement for Politics and International Studies. He was External Examiner for undergraduate degrees in politics and international studies at Warwick University 2011-2015, having previously served in that role at the LSE. He is currently External Examiner for the MA in International Affairs at Kings College London. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the British International Studies Association and was Convenor of the BISA English School Working Group.
He has successfully supervised or co-supervised more than 20 research degrees. John welcomes enquiries about PhD research supervison in areas including:
English School international relations theory,
Just War theory,
The politics and/or ethics of drones, automatic and autonomous weapon systems,
International Political Theory.
- International Relations theory
- Drones, automatic and autonomous weapons
- Ethics in International Relations
- Ethics of territorial borders
- Ethics of violence
- 2010: Just War(£27379.08 from United States Institute of Peace)
- 2014: Member of the review panel for the QAA National SUbject Benchmark Statement for Politics and International Studies:
- 2013: External Examiner: undergraduate degrees in politics and international studies at Warwick University. John ;previously served in that role at the LSE.
- 2013: Member: Economic and Social Research Council's peer review college.
- 2012: Convenor of the BISA English School Working Group:
- 2010: Visiting Scholar at the University of Queensland:
- 2007: Member of the Executive Committee : British International Studies Association
Available for media contact about:
- International politics: The ethics of political violence, including war, terrorism, counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency
- International politics: Ethics, cultural diversity and world politics
- Political thought & theory: Ethics, cultural diversity and world politics
- International politics: Ethics and politics of drones, automatic and autonomous weapons
- International politics: Sovereignty, territoriality, intervention and human rights
- Williams, John (2015). Ethics, Diversity and World Politics: Saving Pluralism From Itself?. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Williams, John. (2006). The Ethics of Territorial Borders: Drawing Lines in the Shifting Sand. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Williams, John (1998). Legitimacy in International Relations and the Rise and Fall of Yugoslavia. Macmillan.
Chapter in book
- Williams, John (2022). Hierarchy, Drones and Global Order. In Drones and Global Order: Implications of Remote Warfare for International Society. Lushenko, Paul, Bose, Srinjoy & Maley, William Routledge.
- Williams, John C. (2013). 'Not in My name: Legitimate authority and Liberal Just War Theory'. In Just War: authority, tradition and practice. Lang, Anthony F., O'Driscoll, Cian & Williams, John C. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press. 63-80.
- Williams, John (2010). The International Society - World Society Distinction. In The International Studies Encyclopedia. Denemark, Robert A. Oxford: Wiley. VII: 4562-4578.
- Williams, John (2006). 'Order and Society'. In The Anarchical Society in a Globalized World. Little, Richard & Williams, John Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 13-34.
- John Williams (2005). 'Hannah Arendt and an International Space In-Between'. In Hannah Arendt and International Relations. Anthony F.Lang Jr. & John Williams New York: Palgrave. 199-220.
- Williams, John & Lang Jr, Anthony F. (2005). 'Introduction: Hannah Arendt and International Affairs'. In Hannah Arendt and International Relations. Lang Jr, Anthony F. & Williams, John New York: Palgrave. 1-26.
- John Williams (2002). 'Good International Citizenship'. In Global Citizenship: a Critical Reader. Nigel Dower & John Williams Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. pp. 41-52.
- Lang, Anthony F. Jr, O'Driscoll, Cian & Williams, John (2013). Just War: authority, tradition, and practice. Georgetown University Press.
- Richard Little & John Williams (2006). The Anarchical Society in a Globalized World. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Anthony F. Lang, Jr. & John Williams (2005). Hannah Arendt and International Relations: Readings Across the Lines. New York: Palgrave.
- Nigel Dower & John Williams (2002). Global Citizenship: a Critical Reader. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Page, James & Williams, John (2022). Drones, Afghanistan and Beyond: Towards Analysis and Assessment in Context. European Journal of International Security 7(3): 283-303.
- Williams, John (2021). Locating LAWS: Lethal Autonomous Weapons, Epistemic Space and 'Meaningful Human' Control. Journal of Global Security Studies 6(4).
- Williams, John (2021). English School – 'Chinese IR' engagements order, harmony and the limits of elitism in Global IR. The Chinese Journal of International Politics 14(1): 127-157.
- Williams, John (2015). Democracy and Regulating Autonomous Weapons: Biting the Bullet while Missing the Point? Global Policy 6(3): 179-189.
- Williams, John (2015). Distant Intimacy: Space, drones, and just war. Ethics & International Affairs 29(1): 93-110.
- Williams, John (2011). Structure, norms and normative theory in a re-defined English school: accepting Buzan's challenge. Review of International Studies 37(3): 1235-1253
- Williams, John (2010). Hedley Bull and Just War: Missed opportunities and lessons to be learned. European Journal of International Relations 16(2): 179-196.
- McLean, Craig, Patterson, Alan & Williams, John (2009). Risk Assessment, Policy-Making and the Limits of Knowledge: the precautionary principle and international relations.'. International Relations 23(4): 548-566
- Williams, John (2008). Space, Scale and Just War: meeting the challenge of humanitarian intervention and transnational terrorism. Review of International Studies 34(4): 581-600.
- Williams,John & Roach, Tim (2006). 'Security, Territorial Borders and British Iraq Policy: Buying a Blair Way to Heaven?'. Geopolitics 11(1): 1-23.
- Hayman, P.A. & Williams, John (2006). Westphalian Sovereignty: Rights, Intervention, Meaning and Context. Global Society 20(4): 521-542.
- Williams, John (2005). 'Pluralism, Solidarism and the Emergence of World Society in English School Theory'. International Relations 19(1): 19-38.
- Williams, John (2003). 'Territorial Borders, International Ethics and Geography: Do Good Fences Still Make Good Neighbours?'. Geopolitics 8(2): 25-46.
- Williams, John (2002). Territorial borders, toleration and the English school. Review of International Studies 28(4): 737-758.
- John Williams (1999). The Ethics of Borders and the Borders of Ethics: International Society and Rights and Duties of Special Beneficence. Global Society 13(4): 467-487.
- John Williams (1999). The Ethical Basis of Humanitarian Intervention, The Security Council and Yugoslavia. International Peacekeeping 6(2): 1-23.