Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Contact Details

Dr Adrian Gallagher

Associate Professor in International Security and PGR Tutor

I joined POLIS in 2012 as a Lecturer in Security Studies and Research Methods.

Previously, I completed a BA in International Studies at Kingston University (2002-2005), a MA in Research Methods in Politics and IR at the University of Sheffield (2005-2006), and an ESRC-funded PhD entitled ‘Genocide and Its Threat to International Society’ also at the University of Sheffield (2007-2010).

Research Interests

I specialise in the study of mass violence and as of December 2016, I am Research Director of the European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect which is based at the University of Leeds and partnered with The Hague and the Budapest Centre. At the theoretical level, my work focuses on discussions of international legitimacy, moral foundations, and norm studies. At the empirical level, I have researched the crises in Syria, Libya, Mali, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. Breaking this down, there are four overarching strands. 

  1. The need to manage expectations around the Responsibility to Protect. I advance an understanding of the RtoP that is inherently more sensitive to its limitations and possibilities. At the theoretical level, this calls for a more interdisciplinary research on ‘expectations’ which I am developed through research on norms. This requires greater engagement with Political Economy, Political Psychology, and Political Science. This theoretical framework can then be utilised to analyse key RtoP debates.
  1. The need to better understand pillar II of the Responsibility to Protect which refers to ‘International Assistance’. There are two strands to this research. First, within the RtoP itself, the daunting parameters of pillar II and its relationship with pillar III is of critical importance. This is evident in South Sudan. Second, the external relationship between the RtoP and other norms such as counter-terrorism, protection of civilians, peacekeeping, and rights up front is an emerging research agenda.
  1. The impact of mass violence on both international order and humanity. The former is the focus of my first monograph. This neither accepts or rejects the existence of humanity and instead focuses on the impact of genocide on the ordering structure of international society using an English School approach. The latter is the follow up research on the relationship between mass violence and humanity. I guest edited a special issue journal on this topic and now supervise Ph.D research in this area.
  1. What constitutes a ‘manifest failing?’ Paragraph 139 of the World Summit Outcome Document (WSOD) states that the international community is prepared to respond on a ‘case-by-case basis’ in a ‘timely and decisive manner’ when ‘national authorities are manifestly failing to protect their populations’ from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. But what constitutes a ‘manifest failing’? To date, I have addressed this at the conceptual and empirical level but look to advance this through further case study analysis.



I became a University Lecturer to teach and inspire students of all ages and from all backgrounds. I encourage students to become active independent learners that engage with timely and important debates in International Relations. My teaching is heavily informed by my research on International Relations Theory and the Responsibility to Protect and I am always happy to discuss Modules, Careers, and University Life in general.

I act as Module Leader on PIED2501: Theories of International Relations which introduces students to eleven different world views and requires them to apply these to real world events such as climate change, gender based violence, military intervention, and the economic crisis. The objective is to get students to think critically about the world that they have been born into through an exploration of international politics, history, economics and philosophy whilst investigating the relationship between theory and practice at the international level. I embed twitter into the Module through @studyIRatLeeds

I act as Module Leader on PIED3502: The Responsibility to Protect and to Prosecute (team taught with Dr. Cristina Stefan). This module aims to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the issues that surround prevention and prosecution of mass violence through a focus on both the Responsibility to Protect and the International Criminal Court. The Module is structured through Case Study Analysis which included crises such as Libya, Syria, Mali, Kenya, and the Central African Republic. The Module stems from cutting-edge research on the relationship between the RtoP and the ICC which forms part of Intervention and International Society cluster at Leeds: http://iisr2p.leeds.ac.uk/ Twitter is embedded into the Module through @IR2PWG

University of Leeds Teaching Award, Professional Standard 2, ULTA 2, Pass with Merit.

PhD Supervision

I am extremely enthusiastic to supervise PhD students in the following areas.

  • The English School
  • Genocide and Mass Violence
  • The Responsibility to Protect
  • Theories of International and World Security
  • Approaches to IR

Key Publications

Professional Service to Government

Oral Evidence to The House of Commons Defence Committee on 'The situation in Iraq and Syria and the threat posed by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL). 29th October 2014.
Gallagher and Epure, Written Evidence 'The Extent and Effectiveness of Post-Conflict Planning in Libya', September 2015

  • Genocide and Its Threat to Contemporary International Order (Palgrave, 2013).

Gallagher "advances a theoretically informed defence of a new disposition that is based on reason and logic rather than emotion. Genocide and Its Threat to Contemporary International Order is an important, fresh perspective on this (sadly) perennial issue", Aidan Hehir, Political Studies Review, 12, 2014, 248–343, p. 274.

  • Hugh Baley MP, 'Review of Genocide and Its Threat to International Order', with a reply from author, Adrian Gallagher, 'Reply to Hugh Baley MP', (Parliamentary Affairs, December 2013).
Special Issue Journal
  • w/Dr. Garrett Brown (University of Sheffield), 'The Responsibility to Protect and Humanity', International Politics, forthcoming 2015. FOREWORD, Ken Booth (Aberystwyth University), contributors Michael Doyle (Columbia), Edward Newman (University of Leeds), Lars Waldorf (University of York), Matt Sleat (University of Sheffield), Henry Radice (London School of Economics), Graeme Davies (University of Leeds) and Robert Johns (University of Essex), David Patrick (University of the Free State), and Andreas Papamichail and Hannah Partis-Jennings (University of St. Andrews).

  • w/ Jason Ralph (University of Leeds), The Responsibility to Protect Ten Years On From the Work Summit, Global Responsibility to Protect  Vol. 7 Nos. 3-4 2015. Contributions from Gregor Peter Hofmann, Andrew Garwood-Gowers, Kai Michael Kenkel and Felippe de Rosa Miranda, Malte Brosig and Natalie Zähringer, Volkan Seysane and Çigdem Çelik, Justin Morris

  • 'Conceptualising Humanity in the English School', International Theory 8: 2 (2016) 341-364
  • The Promise of Pillar II: Analysing International Assistance Under The Responsibility to Protect', International Affairs 91:6 (2015)1259–1275
  • The Responsibility to Protect Ten Years on from the World Summit: A Call to Manage Expectations Global Responsibility to Protect 7(3-4):254-274 Dec 2015
  • Co-author with Jason Ralph, 'Legitimacy faultlines in international society: The responsibility to protect and prosecute after Libya'. Review of International Studies, 41 /03/ 2015, pp. 553-573.
  • 'What Constitutes a "Manifest Failing"? Ambiguous and Inconsistent terminology and the Responsibility to Protect', International Relations, vol. 28 no. 4 2014 428-444.
  • "Syria and the indicators of a ‘manifest failing’", International Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 18, No. 1. 2014, pp. 1-19.
  • ‘A Clash of Responsibilities: Engaging with Realist Critiques of the R2P’, Global Responsibility to Protect, vol. 4, no. 3, 2012, 334-357.
  • ‘A System, Society, Community Perspective on Genocide’, Journal of Genocide Studies and Prevention vol. 7, no. 2.3, 2012., 166-183
Book Chapters
  • ‘Framing the Sovereignty-Intervention Dilemma’ in Mark Bevir, Oliver Daddow and Ian Hall, (eds.), ‘Interpreting  Global Security’ (Routledge, Autumn 2013).

Review: ‘Adrian Gallagher’s chapter on the ‘strange omission’ of the Genocide Convention from R2P equally produces a sense of superior understanding of the global issue under scrutiny.’ Kamila Stullerova, International Affairs 90 (3): 2014, 3.

Professional Service to Government

Oral Evidence to The House of Commons Defence Committee on 'The situation in Iraq and Syria and the threat posed by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL). 29th October 2014.

Grants, Awards, and Scholarships
  • May 2017: POLIS, Teaching Award, ‘Best Feedback’.

  • February 2017: PI. White Rose DTP ESRC Collaborative Award 2017. (£80,000). White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership ‘Investigating Sexual Abuse and Exploitation by United Nations Peacekeepers’.

  • September 2016:  PI ISA Catalyst workshop ($9, 957) ‘Tacking Stock of the Past to Shape the Future of Norm Studies’. Held in Baltimore, February 2017.

  • May 2016: POLIS, Inspirational Teaching Award
  • September 2014: CO-I White Rose-ESRC Network (£166,000). This funds 3 PhDs, 'The Responsibility to Protect: Problems and Alternatives'. With Jason Ralph PI (University of Leeds); Garrett Brown CO-I (University of Sheffield) and Lars Waldorf CO-I (University of York). These are co-supervised accross the three Universities of Leeds, York, and Sheffield and will run from October 2014-2017.

  • September 2013: ESRC Seminar Series (£30.000) The Responsibility to Protect and to Prosecute. Co-i with Jason Ralph (University of Leeds) as Lead Academic.

  • August 2013: White Rose Collaboration Fund (£9,757): ‘The Responsibility to Protect and Humanity: A Study on the Idea of Human Interconnectedness’. Lead Academic.

  • July 2013: HEIF (£1300): a collaborative project with Prof Jason Ralph and Dr Alex Beresford. The project examines Kenya’s relationship with the ICC following its recent elections and the HEIF money will be used to develop the research design with project partners including the FCO.

  • 2010: The Eccles Centre's Best Presentation Award,‘The Elephant in the Room: Genocide and America’s Crisis of Legitimacy’, presented at BISA, US Foreign Policy Post-Graduate Conference, at the University of Leicester. Joint winner.

  • 2007: ESRC funded PhD (ES/FO20929/1) ’Genocide and Its Threat to International Society’, £50.000, including fee waiver.

  • 2005: MA University Scholarship, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield, £15.840, including fee waiver.

  • 1997: Received a Foundation Scholarship Award from Thomas Rotherham College.

Media Contact Areas

  • The Responsibility to Protect
  • The United Nations
  • Military Intervention

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