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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


John Peterson

John Peterson
Professor John Peterson AcSS
Professor of International Politics
4.03 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0)131 651 3023
Research Interests
US-European relations, EU politics and policy, US foreign policy, EU trade policy

Guidance and Feedback Hours

My feedback and guidance hours during spring semester 2016 will be Wednesdays from 11-1pm or at other times by appointment.  


  • BSc (Ithaca College)
  • MA (California, Santa Barbara)
  • PhD (London School of Economics)

Recent Posts

John Peterson joined Politics/IR in 2005. He previously held posts teaching international, European and American politics at the Universities of Glasgow, York, Essex, Oxford, and the University of California (Santa Barbara). He has also held visiting posts at the Universities of Vienna, California (Berkeley), Johns Hopkins University, Sciences Po Paris, University College Dublin, the Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels), the University of Agder (Norway) and the College of Europe (Bruges).  He was Head of Politics/IR from 2007-10.  John is Managing Editor of the British Journal of Politics and International Relations (follow us on Twitter @BritJPIR).   

John was a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley and Center for Transatlantic Relations (CTR; Johns Hopkins University) in Washington DC during 2015. To view his CTR presentation (10th April 2015) entitled 'Desperately Seeking Europe', click here. John has been priveleged to guest both at Berkeley (you can reflections on his time at Cal on our Blog) and CTR in the recent past (see his thoughts on previous visits to DC here).  John was also a Fellow at the Social Science Research Centure (WZB) in Berlin during 2010-11.   

Current Research and Teaching 

John is host and chair of our weekly Transatlantic Seminar series.  

John teaches on our compulsory 2nd year course International Cooperation in Europe and Beyond (ICEB).  He offered an honours course in US Foreign Policy in spring 2016. 

John has recently been conducting research on US-European relations. He began work in 2012 on TRANSWORLD, an EU-funded programme of research on transatlantic relations. Click here to see a 'Research in a Nutshell' 1 minute video.  His co-edited book with TRANSWORLD colleagues - The West and the Global Power Shift - is presently in press and due out in 2016.

He recently co-led an international research team on an ESRC- and EU-funded project on the European Commission. ‘The Commission of the 21st Century’ project spawned the largest-ever independent attitudinal survey of European Commission officials. He was also Director of Research for MERCURY, a 3-year EU-funded project designed to examine critically the European Union's contribution to multilateralism. More information about MERCURY can be found here.

Research Interests

John has membership in the following Politics Research Groups: International Relations; European Integration; Public Policy.

Recent Publications

John has numerous books that will shortly or have been recently published:

Europe and America: Partners and Rivals in International Relations, Rowman and Littlefield, 2017.

The West and the Global Power Shift:  Transatlantic Relations and Global Governance (co-edited with Riccardo Alcaro and Ettore Greco), Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

The Institutions of the European Union (co-edited with Dermot Hodson, 4th edition), Oxford University Press, 2016

The European Union:  How Does it Work? (co-edited with Daniel Kenealy and Richard Corbett, 4th edition), Oxford University Press, 2015 (to order an inspection copy click here).

Parochial Global Europe: 21st Century Trade Politics (co-authored with Alasdair Young), Oxford University Press, 2014.  To read an excerpt from this book, click here.

Some of John's other works include 

You can see John's Transatlantic Seminar (arising from the MERCURY project) on Obama and Multilateralism:  Hell No More? by clicking on the image below.  His inaugural lecture - US Democrats - the True Europeans?  Foreign Policy and Public and Public Opinion - can be heard by clicking the 2nd image below.

Links to Publications

To read an excerpt from Parochial Global Europe: 21st Century Trade Politics in the journal E!Sharp, click here.

John is co-editor (with Helen Wallace) of the ‘New European Union’ series for Oxford University Press.

To read John’s MERCURY Working Paper (co-authored with Caroline Bouchard) on ‘Conceptualising Multilateralism’, click here.  To view another (co-authored with Meltem Müftüler-Baç) on 'Global Governance:  Promise, Patterns, Prospects', click here

Follow John on Twitter:  @redsocksjp.

Topics interested in supervising

I welcome queries about supervision of theses on EU politics and policy-making (particularly external policy), US-European relations, and US foreign policy. I recently supervised 4 PhD students (to successful completion) funded through the EU Marie Curie International Training network EXACT (, which focused on EU external action. I have a long track record (longer than I'd like to admit!) of supervising PhD students to successful completion.

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

PhD in Politics