Universiteit Leiden

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Karen Smith

University Lecturer

Dr. K. Smith
+31 71 527 1737

Karen Smith is a University Lecturer at the Institute for History.

More information about Karen Smith

Besides teaching at Leiden University, I also serve as special adviser on the responsibility to protect to the United Nations secretary-general. I remain affiliated as an honorary research associate with the University of Cape Town, where I was based as an associate professor until 2017. I am also a a visiting professor at Sciences Po Paris, and serve on the editorial boards of the journals Review of International Studies, Foreign Policy Analysis and Rising Powers Quarterly. My current research focuses on non-western contributions to International Relations (theory).


My research interests cut across the following broad topics: 1) non-western understandings of international relations; 2) foreign policy analysis (particularly of emerging powers and regional powers in the Global South; 3) changes in global order and implications for global governance; 4) the responsibility to protect. I am particularly interested in innovative research that explores how non-western and non-traditional sources can provide us with new insights into existing challenges, as well as raise new questions.

Together with Vineet Thakur, I am currently working on a project exploring the multiple origins of International Relations in the global South.

Editorial activities:
I serve on the editorial boards of the following journals:
•Review of International Studies
•Foreign Policy Analysis
•Rising Powers Quarterly

I am also an editorial board member of:
•Rowan & Littlefield’s book series on Global Dialogues: Developing non-Eurocentric IR and IPE.
•Palgrave’s book series on Critical Security Studies
•Palgrave’s book series on Africa’s Global Engagements: Perspectives from Emerging Countries

Teaching activities and supervision

Besides supervising MA and BA students, I have supervised or am supervising PhDs in the following areas:
•Queer IR and South Africa’s role in promoting/undermining the SOGI norm
•The role of the Global South in outer space
•The application of psychoanalytic theory in foreign policy analysis
•South Africa's developmental foreign policy
•The US policy of ‘constructive engagement’ towards South Africa
•The relationship between US energy and climate change policy
•India’s role in the global climate change negotiations: a Coxian analysis

My teaching specialisation is in International Relations, non-western approaches to IR, foreign policy, IR theory, and international organization/global governance.
Besides teaching in the MAIR, BAIS and LUC programmes at Leiden, I am also a visiting professor at Sciences Po Paris and teaches the following short courses on a regular basis:
•‘Africa and Global Transformation: The Rise of Emerging Powers and New International Order’ as part of the LSE-UCT July School (see http://www.lse.ac.uk/study-at-lse/Summer-Schools/lse-uct-july-school/courses/lcs-ir201)
•Introduction to South Africa’s Political History as part of the University of Stellenbosch’s Winter School (see http://www0.sun.ac.za/summerschools/ipsu/)

University Lecturer

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • History and International Studies

Work address

Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 0.11f



No relevant ancillary activities

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