The United Nations

Security Council homepage – contains the official basic information about the operation of the Council such as its membership, rules, voting and – crucially – meeting records with transcripts of what was said.

UN Protocol & Liaison Service (Blue Book) – directory of all diplomatic staff based at Permanent Missions in New York, an invaluable resource for conducting research interviews.

The Dag Hammarskjold Library – You can “Ask Dag” questions about using the UN archive or indeed what you find there. They are also worth a visit if you’re in New York and have a lovely reading room complete with helpful staff and PC access.

UN Security Council Resolution Search Engine – another way to search for resolutions beyond the official website or indeed wikipedia. This system also refers you to related resolutions to the one you are searching.

Security Council Report and What’s in Blue provide an excellent running commentary of the processes and practices of the UN Security Council and all things Turtle Bay. SCR in particular also produce in depth research reports about the operation of the Council and the issues it has addressed and how. PassBlue are another organisation offering independent Coverage of the United Nations system including beyond the Security Council alone, and they pay particular attention to gender issues.

ACUNS (Academic Council of the United Nations System), UNA-UK (United Nations Association – UK)  and the (UN-RICS) UN Regional Information Centre for Western Europe are useful NGO/European sources to consider or even visit if you cannot get to New York. As are the UN Regional Information Centre in Brussels and the global network of UN Depository Libraries. It’s worth noting that ACUNS are currently head quartered at the University of Coventry Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations.

The Responsibility to Protect

A Web of Science search for Responsibility to Protect reveals 621 results for 1990-2016, 480 of these are were published 2010-2016. The salience of R2P in the academic literature is further evident in a series of recent research volumes including: ‘Major powers and the  contested evolution of a responsibility to protect’, special issue of Conflict, Security and Development Vol. 14 No.4 June 2014; ‘The Responsibility to Protect and Prosecute’, special issue of Criminal Law Forum Vol.26 No.1 March 2015; ‘The Responsibility to Protect at 10’ double special issue of Global Responsibility to Protect Volume 7, Issue 3-4 2015; ‘The Responsibility to Protect after the Arab Spring’ Cooperation and Conflict Vol.51 No.2 June 2016; ‘Contesting and Shaping the Norms of Protection: The Evolution of a Responsibility to Protect’ special issue of Global Society Vol.30 No.1 2016; ‘The Oxford Handbook on the Responsibility to Protect’ (Oxford University Press, 2016); ‘Critical Perspectives on the Responsibility to Protect: BRICS and Beyond’, special issue of International Relations (Vol.30 No.3, 2016).

In addition there is an active British International Studies Association Working Group –Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect– established January 2013 and there have been an increasing number of panels and round-table discussions at British International Studies Association, International Studies Association and European International Studies Association annual conferences.

The Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and Responsibility to Protect, sometimes referred to as the Joint Officeprovides information and briefings about R2P, the four atrocity crimes and various crises around the world. Particularly useful are their statements and annual reports.

There are two regionally focused research institutes working on R2P and related humanitarian issues, the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and the European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.

New York plays host to both the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect who combine research with lobbying and advocacy.

Within the UK academic context, in addition to the ECR2P based at the University of Leeds, more broadly across the UK there are the Intervention & Responsibility to Protect British International Studies Association Working Group, the POLIS R2P Student Journal and The Centre for International Intervention based at the University of Surrey. It is also worth reviewing the resources – including audiovisual from the major 2016 international conference, hosted at the University of Leeds, Putting the Responsibility to Protect at the centre of Europe.

In addition to ECR2P partners, Protection Approaches and the Budapest Centre for Mass Atrocities Prevention, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the Hague Institute for Global Justice and Uppsala Conflict Data Programme conduct extensive research in this area ad indeed more broadly to encompass conflict and not just atrocities.

The English School

As per Tim Dunne’s ‘Inventing International Society: A History of the English School’ (1998), the establishment of the ‘British Committee on the Theory of International Politics’ in 1959 and its founding work – ‘Diplomatic investigations: Essays in the theory of international politics’ (Butterfield and Wight, 1966) – marked the convening of the English School which continued unabated up to 1992 and the publication of that year’s Millennium Journal of International Studies Special Volume (21) (Waever, 2002, 85).

In 1999 the School was officially reconvened at the British International Studies Association Manchester Conference, which was followed by the publication of special editions of Review of International Studies 2001 (27), International Relations 2003 (17.3) and Millennium 2005 (34).

Further edited volumes include ‘International society and the Development of International Relations Theory’ (Roberson, 2002), ‘International society and its Critics’ (Bellamy, 2005a), ‘The Anarchical Society in a Globalized World’ (Little and Williams, 2006), ‘Theorising International Society: English School Methods’ (Navari, 2009a), ‘Guide to the English School in International Studies’ (Navari and Green, 2014), ‘System, Society and the World; exploring the English School of International Relations’ (Murray, 2013) and ‘The Globalization of International Society’ (Dunne and Reus-Smit, 2017).

Linklater and Suganami (2006) published their ‘Contemporary Reassessment’ and Buzan (2014) authored ‘An Introduction to the International society Approach’. Meanwhile, Hedley Bull’s seminal ‘The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics’ is now on its fourth edition, with new editions’ of both Bull’s text and ‘Diplomatic Investigations’ planned for 2017. Other recent examples of works directly applying the ES include ‘Diplomatic Theory of International Relations’ (Sharp, 2009), ‘Spheres of Influence in  International Relations: History, Theory and Politics’ (Hast, 2014).

The rejuvenation of the School has been attributed to the sociological, historical and normative turns in international relations theory as the certainties of realism were challenged in the post-Cold War era (Bellamy, 2005a, 2; Dunne, 2007: 130). Surveying the School’s research output for a bibliography, Buzan classified the main strands of work as: self-referential reflections; theory; war and the balance of power in international society; the history of international society; ethics, international law and intervention in international society; the state (Buzan et al., 2010, 3-4).

Of the volumes cited above, System, Society and the World provides a simple, free introduction to the School by its current generation of scholars. You can access the English School Section of the International Studies Association here or here.

International Relations

E-IR have produced a series of excellent, free to access e-books on IR and topics such as Libya, Syria, Ukraine, R2P, Boko Haram, the English School and the Arab Spring. In particular try out their December 2016 Beginners Textbook aimed at Day Zero of your studies.

Otherwise  consider checking accessing the Oxford University Press Introduction to Politics & International Relations online resource centre e.g. Baylis, Smith & Owens materials as well as the blogs of Opinio JurisMonkey Cage and Duck of Minerva

Academic Journals

In terms of academic journals, the following are worth consulting as those that shape contemporary debates: International Security; International Affairs; European Journal of International Relations; Review of International Studies; British Journal of Politics and International Relations; International Relations; International Studies; Millennium: Journal of International Studies; International Feminist Journal of Politics; American Political Science Review; International Theory; International Organization; International Security; International Studies Quarterly; Foreign Policy Analysis…


European Council on Foreign Relations and Foreign Policy Magazine  produce podcasts on international relations/world current affairs.

The BBC has an impressive array of podcasts which you may find helpful and relevant to your study of international relations, such as: From Our Own Correspondent; The Long View; In Our Time; A History of Ideas; Analysis; Letter from America and Great Lives.

In particular I’d single out the back catalogue of The Reith Lectures (dating back to 1948) and Mike Duncan’s brilliant podcast series – The History of Rome.


Check out the youtube channels for: Academy of Ideas; British Academy; British Pathé; Charles Koch Institute;Chatham House; Royal United Services Institute; Gresham College; Open Learn from The Open University; Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts; UChicago Institute of Politics (IOP); Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics; Middle East Policy Council.

I strongly recommend students use their academic university email addresses to create an account for Box of Broadcasts, the educational streaming platform which gives access to an extensive back catalogue of BBC documentaries (among other content).

The following provide up-to-the-minute information and analysis that have been relevant for my students and based on my own interests.

The London School of Economics, US Centre’s daily blog on American politics and policy.

PassBlue is an independent, women-led digital publication offering in-depth journalism on the US-UN relationship and its effects on women’s issues, human rights, peacekeeping and other urgent global matters, as reported from their base in the UN press corps.

World Politics Review provides readers with a deep interest in international affairs the context they need to have the confidence they want.

The Duck of Minerva focuses on world politics from an academic perspective.

Just Security is based at New York University School of Law, this blog focuses on law
and the war on terror

MUNPlanet although primarily a blog and forum for participants in Model United Nations, MUNPlanet also provide a series of blogs on general IR issues as well as publishing interviews with leading academics from around the world. Check out their Fridays With MUNPlanet series.

Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History & Religion by Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan.

Post Western World assesses how emerging powers are changing the world. So for analysis of the BRICS and global governance check out this project by Oliver Della Costa Stuenkel, Associate Professor of International Relations at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in São Paulo

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) provides science-based analysis of and solutions to protect against catastrophic threats to national and international security. Not to be confused with the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists who maintain the Doomsday Clock over at 

If you are interested in American public opinion polling, then check out: Pew Research Centre; Gallup; Council on Foreign Relations; Chicago Council on Foreign Relations or For the UK consider IPSOS MORI, YouGov, Populus.