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Dr Bryan Mabee, BA, MA (Manitoba), PhD (Aberystwyth)


Senior Lecturer

Telephone: 020 7882 2850
Room Number: Arts One, 2.21A


Office Hours: by appointment only

Bryan Mabee completed his Undergraduate and Master's degrees in Political Studies at the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, Canada. Following that, he began a PhD in the Department of International Politics at University of Wales, Aberystwyth, completed in 2001. He lectured at Oxford Brookes University from 2002 before moving to Queen Mary in 2007. His main research interests are in histories and theories of war, historical sociology and US foreign policy.


Research Interests:

International Historical and Political Sociology (social theory and war; dynamics of militarism; and geopolitics)

History and Theory of War (changing character of war; war and state theory; war and society)

Security Privatization and Globalization (history and dynamics of ‘private’ violence; piracy and privateering; political economy of security and war)

US Foreign Policy (domestic institutions and contexts; political development; US power and geopolitics)



Understanding American Power: The Changing World of US Foreign Policy, Palgrave, 2013.

Co-editor with Alejandro Colás, Mercenaries, Pirates, Bandits and Empires: Private Violence in Historical Context, London/New York: Hurst/Oxford University Press, 2010.

The Globalization of Security: State Power, Security Provision and Legitimacy, Palgrave, 2009.

Journal articles:

Historical Institutionalism and Foreign Policy Analysis: The Origins of the National Security Council Revisited.” Foreign Policy Analysis Vol. 7, No. 1 (2011): 27-44.

Pirates, Privateers and the Political Economy of Private Violence,” Global Change, Peace and Security Vol. 21, No. 2 (2009): 139-152.

Re-imagining the Borders of US Security after 9/11: Securitization, Risk and the Creation of the Department of Homeland Security,” Globalizations Vol. 4, No. 3 (2007): 385-397.

"Levels and Agents, States and People: Micro-Historical Sociological Analysis and International Relations." International Politics Vol. 44, No. 4 (2007): 431-449.

Discourses of Empire: The U.S. ‘Empire', Globalisation and International Relations.” Third World Quarterly Vol. 25, No. 8 (2004): 1359-1378.

Security Studies and the ‘Security State': Security Provision in Historical Context.” International Relations Vol. 17, No. 2 (2003): 135-151.

Chapters in Books:

“Department of Homeland Security” and “War”, in George Ritzer (ed), Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization, Oxford: Blackwell, 2012.

With Alejandro Colás, “The Flow and Ebb of Privatised Seaborne Violence in Global Politics: Lessons from the Atlantic World, 1689-1815,” in Colas and Mabee (eds), Mercenaries, Pirates, Bandits and Empires: Private Violence in Historical Context, London/New York: Hurst/Columbia University Press (forthcoming: 2010).

"Defence Restructuring and the Globalization Of Security" in Mark Elam (ed), Reconstructing the Means of Violence: Defence Restructuring and Conversion, Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2001.

Recent Book Reviews:

“Curt Cardwell, NSC 68 and the Political Economy of the Early Cold War”, International Affairs Vol. 88, No. 6 (2012). 1358-1359.

“Shannon D. Beebe and Mary Kaldor, The Ultimate Weapon is No Weapon”, International Affairs Vol. 87, No. 1 (2011): 208-209.

“Gopal Balakrishnan, Antagonistics: Capitalism and Power in an Age of War”, International Affairs Vol. 85, No. 6 (2009): 1250-1251.

Recent Conference Papers:

“Varieties of Militarism: Liberalism, Militarization and Modernity”, First European Workshops, European International Studies Association (EISA), Tartu, Estonia, June 5-8, 2013.

“Liberal Militarism and US Statebuilding in an Era of Total War”, for panel on “Militarism and IR”, BISA/ISA Conference, Edinburgh, UK, June 20-22, 2012 and panel on “Markets and Militaries”, International Studies Association Annual Convention, San Diego, California, USA, April 1-4, 2012.

“An ‘Enemy of All Mankind’? Somali Piracy and the Global Political Economy”, workshop on The Global Political Economy in Uncertain Times: Change and Continuity in Neoliberalism, University of Manchester, June 9-10, 2011.

“Liberal Militarism in International Relations: Revisiting The US ‘National Security State’ ”, for panel “War and Historical Sociology”, British International Studies Association Annual Conference, Manchester, UK, April 27-29, 2011 and for panel Historicising Security, SGIR conference, Stockholm, Sweden, September 9-11, 2010..

PhD Supervision

I welcome applications from prospective PhD students in any of the following areas of research:

  • US Foreign Policy
  • Security and Globalization
  • Security Privatization
  • Historical Sociology of International Relations

Current PhD Students:

Mohammed Eltom, The Influence of American Civil Society Organizations on US Policy Towards Sudan (1998-2008)

Public Engagement

Associate Fellow, Institute for the Study of the Americas

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