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Professor Peter Lawler - research

Research interests

Western internationalism; foreign policies of the UK, Canada, Australia and the Scandinavian states; war, normative theory of international relations; national stories and narratives.

Current Research Projects:

From 1982 to 1995, my research focused on the theoretical dimensions of peace research with particular reference to the work of Johan Galtung. The core theme was the paucity of robust normative theorising in a field where one might reasonably expect to find it. This research culminated in the publication of a monograph A Question of Values: Johan Galtung's Peace Research, Lynne Rienner, 1995 as well as various journal articles and chapters in edited collections.

My current research revolves around the discourses and practices of Western internationalism. Under this rubric I am drawing upon the English School, critical theory, international ethical theory, and the concepts of narrative and national stories to examine the sociology of normative foreign policy discourse, with a particular focus on the internationalist dimensions of national narratives of identity, and the normative defence of the semi-sovereign or post-sovereign internationalist state. The empirical dimensions of my research centre on the foreign policies of the Scandinavian states, Canada, Australia, the UK and the EU. To this end I am currently working to complete a monograph provisionally entitled The Good State in World Politics.