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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Colin Fleming

Colin Fleming
Dr Colin Fleming
Research Fellow
3.06 St John's Land Holyrood Road Edinburgh UK EH8 8AQ
Research Interests
Security Cooperation, War and peace, International Relations, EU CFSP, International Peace and Security, Transatlantic Relations, Scotland's external policy

•    Ma (Hons.) University of Aberdeen
•    M.Litt. University of Aberdeen
•    PhD Royal Holloway - University of London


Colin Fleming is a Research Fellow at the ESRC funded Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change at the University of Edinburgh, where he is Project Leader on Defence and Security policy relating to Scottish Independence or enhanced devolution. Colin is also part of separate research team, also funded by the ESRC, which examines the Politics of Monitoring on three case studies: immigration, climate change, and defence procurement.  

Colin completed his PhD in International Relations from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2010, and held a Max Weber Fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence 2009-2010. Colin was also previously a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Edinburgh 2010-2012, and he holds an Honorary Fellowship in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen. Colin’s research interests are in strategic and security studies, with a particular interest in the changing character of war debate, classical strategic thought, perceptions of victory and defeat, asymmetric war, transatlantic security and defence cooperation between states.

Research Interests

The Changing Character of War Debate, Strategic Thought, Perceptions of Victory and Defeat, Asymmetric War, Small States, Defence Cooperation, Transatlantic Security



Fleming C, Clausewitz’s Timeless Trinity: A Framework for Modern War (Ashgate, 2013)


Fleming, C, 'After Independence? The challenges and benefits of Scottish-UK defence cooperation', International Affairs, Vol, 90, No. 4 (July 2014)

Fleming C, & Gebhard C, ‘Scotland, NATO, and transatlantic security', European Security, Vol 23, No. 3 (June 2014)

Fleming C, ‘New or Old Wars’: Debating a Clausewitzian Future’, The Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2, (April 2009)


Fleming, C, and Gebhard, C, 'Defence Cooperation in an Age of Austerity: a Small State Perspective', in Harald Baldersheim and Michael Keating (ed) Small States in the Modern World: Vulnerabilities and Opportunities (forthcoming, Edward Elgar Press, 2015)

Boswell C, Yearley S, Fleming C, Rodrigues, E and Spinardi, G ‘The Effects of Targets and Indicators on Policy Formulation: Narrowing Down, Crowding Out, Locking In’. The Tools of Policy Formulation: Actors, Capacities, Venues and Uses (Edward Elgar Press, 2014)


Fleming C, ‘Understanding ‘Chance and Uncertainty in Clausewitz’s On War: Reflections on the Balkan Wars (1991 – 1995)’. EUI Working Paper, MWP 2010/18


‘The Transatlantic Implications of Scottish Independence’ International Studies Today, British International Studies Association. Dec/Jan Issue 2013/14

‘Why Scotland is capable of Defending Itself’, Sunday Herald, 12 October, 2013.

‘Scots Strengths to Lead Defence Plan’, Scotland on Sunday, 30 June, 2013

‘Why NATO would want Scotland in the tent after a Yes vote’, Sunday Herald, 13 April, 2013

‘In Our Defence’ Holyrood Magazine, 28 January, 2013


Fleming C, ‘Scotland - rUK Defence-sharing: Lessons from NORDEFCO?, Conference on Global Security, National Defence, and the Future of Scotland. University of Glasgow, 8-9th November 2013.

Fleming C, ‘Securing the state: a defence model for Scotland?’, Institut d’Estudis Autonòmics. Barcelona, 28 October 2013.

Fleming C, ‘Scottish Defence Policy: Adapting a Nordic Model in an Independent Scotland?’ Iceland-Scotland Conference. Nordic House. Reykjavik. 22nd of October 2013.

Fleming C, ‘Rethinking the Clausewitzian Trinity – non-linearity and rationality revisited’, 6th Annual Max Weber Conference, European University Institute, June 2013

Fleming C, ‘Reassessing the Clausewitzian Trinity’, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Dundee November 2010

Fleming C, ‘Win, Lose, or Draw: Modern War and the Illusion of Victory? A Clausewitzian Perspective’. Max Weber Summer Conference. European University Institute, June 2010

Fleming C, Discussant –‘The European Report on Development’ (Launch). Max Weber Programme, European University Institute,  Villa La Fonte December, 2009

Fleming C, ‘The Clausewitzian Trinity: A Theory of War for the Modern World’. Guest Lecture, Department of Social and Political Science. European University Institute November 2009                                     

Fleming C, ‘Linking Force Structures and Strategic Imperative’. Security Studies Working Group, Robert Schumann Centre for Advanced Studies. European University Institute, October, 2009

Fleming C, ‘Testing the New War Thesis: Militias, Mobs or Armies? Force Structures In the Balkan Wars’ (1991-1995)’. University of Aberdeen University Seminar Series, November 2008                                    

Fleming C, ‘Revaluating the ‘New War’ Thesis: A Balkan Case Study, Department of Politics and International Relations. Royal Holloway University of London. April, 2005


‘Defence Policy and the Scottish Constitutional Debate:  Scottish Defence and Security after Independence’, Academy of Government, University of Edinburgh,  28 September 2012

‘Max Weber Workshop ‘Change and Continuity in the Practice of War. An Institutional Perspective’.  European University Institute, Florence, April, 2010