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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Oliver Turner

Oliver Turner
Dr Oliver Turner
Senior Lecturer (Associate Prof.) in International Relations
2.14 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
0131 651 5678
Research Interests
US foreign policy, US-China/Asia relations, British foreign policy in Asia, Critical geopolitics, International relations of East/South East Asia, Decolonisation

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Fridays 2.30pm - 4.30pm. Please email in advance where possible. For alternative times please contact to arrange.

Summary bio

Oliver Turner is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. His current research interests are mainly in the international affairs of Asia; US-China dynamics; UK presence in and relations with Asia, and the critical study of 'rising powers'. His work is primarily informed by postcolonial, social constructivist, and critical geopolitical theory, and the importance of such forces as discourse/narratives, identity, and empire in global affairs.  

At Edinburgh, Oliver convenes the courses International Relations of the Asia Pacific (PLIT10109) and Asia Pacific in the World (PGSP11521). 

Oliver is Associate Editor of the British Journal of Politics and International Relations. He has acted as convenor and co-convenor of BISA's US Foreign Policy working group, and is a former visiting research fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.

You can follow Oliver on and Twitter



- Turner, O. and Parmar, I. (eds.) (2020) The United States in the Indo-Pacific: Obama's Legacy and the Trump Transition (Manchester University Press).

- Turner, O. (2014) American Images of China: Identity, Power, Policy (Routledge).

Peer-reviewed journal articles

- Turner, O. (2019) 'Global Britain and the Narrative of Empire', The Political Quarterly, 90:4, pp.727-734. 

- Turner, O. and Nymalm, N. (2019) 'Morality and Progress: IR Narratives on International Revisionism and the Status Quo', Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 32:4, pp.407-428

- Turner, O. (2018) ‘Subcontracting, Facilitating, and Qualities of Regional Power: The UK’s Partial Pivot to Asia’, Asia Europe Journal, 17:2, pp.211-226. 

- Pan, C. and Turner, O. (2017) ‘Neoconservatism as Discourse: Virtue, Power and US Foreign Policy’, European Journal of International Relations, 23:1, pp.74-96.

- Turner, O. (2016) ‘China, India and the US Rebalance to the Asia Pacific: The Geopolitics of Rising Identities’, Geopolitics, 21:4, pp.922-944.

- Turner, O. (2013) ‘Threatening China and US Security: The International Politics of Identity’, Review of International Studies, 39:4, pp.903-924.

- Turner, O. (2013) ‘Finishing the Job: The UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization and the Politics of Self-Governance’, Third World Quarterly, 34:7, pp.1193-1208.

- Turner, O. (2011) ‘Sino-US Relations Then and Now: Discourse, Images, Policy’, Political Perspectives, 5:3, pp. 27-45.

- Turner, O. (2009) ‘China’s Recovery: Why the Writing Was Always on the Wall’, The Political Quarterly, 80:1, pp. 111-118.

Book chapters 

- Harrison, J. and Turner, O. (Forthcoming) ‘The United States and the International Law of the Sea’, in Iommi, L.G and Maass, R.W. (eds.) The United States and International Law: Paradoxes of Support Across Contemporary Issues (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press).

- Turner, O. (2020) 'US imperial hegemony in the American Pacific', in Turner, O. and Parmar, I. (eds.) The United States in the Indo-Pacific: Obama's Legacy and the Trump Transition (Manchester University Press).

- Turner, O. and Parmar, I. (2020) 'Conclusion: Legacies and Transitions in the twenty first century Indo-Pacific', in Turner, O. and Parmar, I. (eds.) The United States in the Indo-Pacific: Obama's Legacy and the Trump Transition (Manchester University Press).

- Hulme, D. and Turner, O. (2018) ‘Poverty reduction’, in Weiss, T.G. and Wilkinson, R. (eds.) International Organization and Global Governance, second edition (London: Routledge), pp.694-706.

- Turner O. (2016) ‘The US and China: Obama’s cautious engagement’, in Holland, J. and Bentley, M. (eds.) The Obama Doctrine: Legacy and Continuity in US Foreign Policy (London: Routledge), pp.180-193.

- Turner, O. (2014) ‘The US Pivot to the Asia Pacific’, in Parmar, I., Miller, L. and Ledwidge, M. (eds.) Obama and the World: New Directions in US Foreign Policy, 2nd edition (London: Routledge), pp.219-230.

- Hulme, D. and Turner, O. (2014) ‘Poverty reduction’, in Weiss, T.G. and Wilkinson, R. (eds.) International Organization and Global Governance (London: Routledge), pp. 632-643.

Media and opinion pieces/briefs/reports

- Turner, O. (2020) 'COVID-19 challenges Downing Street’s post-Brexit Asia ambitions', East Asia Forum, 22 April 2020,

- Turner, O. (2019) 'Why the 2020 Democratic Candidates’ Biggest China Challenge May be President Trump', LSE US Centre, 6 December,

- Turner, O. (2018) 'The Golden Era of UK-China Relations Meets Brexit', The Diplomat, 18 December,

- Turner, O. (2017) ‘The United States and China: Ruptures and Realignments in Trump's First Six Months’. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Brief no. 9. (Republished on the University of Edinburgh's PIR blog:

- Turner, O. and Pan, C. (2016) ‘How Neocons are Still Winning in 2016', The National Interest, 15 August,

- Turner, O. (2016) ‘China and ASEAN: A Complex and Evolving Landscape, University of Nottingham China Policy Institute, 13 June, 

- Turner, O. (2016) ‘The Motives Behind China’s South China Sea Expansion’, South East Asia Globe, 12 April,

- Turner, O. (2015) ‘China and the 2016 US Presidential Debates: Curiosities and Contradictions’. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Brief no. 3.

- Turner, O. (2014) ‘Hagel Speech on China’s ‘Rise’ exposes Hypocrisy in Washington, The Conversation, 11 July,

- Turner, O. (2013) ‘West Fears the Rise of Some Countries More Than Others’, The Conversation, 9 December,

Topics interested in supervising

Oliver is interested in supervising PhD dissertations on US, British or European foreign policies in East/South East Asia; and the international politics of East and South East Asia, all in historical and/or contemporary contexts.

If you are interested in being supervised by Oliver Turner, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Politics