Dr Laurence Cooley

International Development Department
Teaching Fellow

Contact details

International Development Department
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT

Laurence Cooley is a political scientist with interests including ethnic conflict resolution, the external relations of the European Union and the governance of sport in divided societies. His previous research has focused on the political economy of migration. He is currently a Teaching Fellow in the International Development Department (IDD), having previously taught in both the Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) and the Centre for Russian and East European Studies (CREES).

Feedback and office hours

  • Office hours by appointment


  • PhD Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham, 2013
  • MA Political Science (Research Methods), University of Birmingham, 2008
  • MA Politics, Queen's University Belfast, 2006
  • BSc Economics and Politics, Bath, 2004
  • Associate, Higher Education Academy


Laurence came to the University of Birmingham in 2007 to start an ESRC-funded MA and PhD. Previously, he studied at the University of Bath and Queen's University Belfast, and worked at the Institute for Public Policy Research in London. His PhD on the EU's approach to conflict resolution in the Western Balkans was supervised by Thomas Diez, Michelle Pace and Tim Haughton.

He is now a Teaching Fellow in IDD, following a period as a visiting lecturer in POLSIS and CREES and as part-time Impact and Outreach Assistant for the GSDRC. During his PhD, Laurence spent time as a visiting student at both the Centre for EU Studies at Ghent University and the Penn Program in Ethnic Conflict at the University of Pennsylvania.


Laurence teaches on the following postgraduate taught modules:

  • Governance and State Building in Developing Countries
  • Development Politics
  • Critical Approaches to Development (distance learning)


Laurence's PhD research (thesis available here) explored the EU's approach to conflict resolution in the Western Balkans, and seeks to explain the apparent preference of EU actors for consociational power-sharing mechanisms of managing conflict in divided societies. More broadly, he is interested in the role of ideas in shaping policy preferences.

He is currently working on a number of publications based on his PhD, and is also in the process of developing a new strand of research, into the governance of sport in divided societies. The first output of this new area of research is an article co-authored with Jasmin Mujanović (York University, Toronto) on the reform of football governance in Bosnia, which explores why this process has been more successful than international attempts to promote constitutional reform in the country. He has also recently co-authored a book chapter on corruption and conflict with Heather Marquette.

Other activities

Member of:

  • University Association for Contemporary European Studies
  • International Studies Association
  • Political Studies Association (Ethnopolitics Specialist Group)
  • European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on South East Europe

Professional appointments:

  • Co-editor, International Studies Today (2012-2014)


Marquette, H. and Cooley, L. (2015) 'Corruption and post-conflict reconstruction', in Jackson, P. (ed.) Handbook of International Security and Development, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 349-69, doi: 10.4337/9781781955536.00031

Cooley, L. and Mujanović, J. (2015) 'Changing the rules of the game: Comparing FIFA/UEFA and EU attempts to promote reform of power-sharing institutions in Bosnia-Herzegovina', Global Society 29(1), pp. 42-63, doi: 10.1080/13600826.2014.974512

Cooley, L. (2013) 'The European Union's approach to conflict resolution: Insights from the constitutional reform process in Bosnia and Herzegovina', Comparative European Politics 11(2), pp. 172-200, doi: 10.1057/cep.2012.21

Cooley, L. and Pace, M. (2012) 'Consociation in a constant state of contingency? The case of the Palestinian Territory', Third World Quarterly 33(3), pp. 541-58, doi: 10.1080/01436597.2012.657492

Diez. T. and Cooley, L. (2011) 'The European Union and conflict transformation', in Wunderlich, J-U. and Bailey, D.J. (eds.) The European Union and Global Governance: A Handbook, London: Routledge, pp. 187-95

Sriskandarajah, D. and Cooley, L. (2009) 'Stemming the flow? The causes and consequences of the UK's 'closed door' policy towards Romanians and Bulgarians', in Eade, J. and Valkanova, Y. (eds.) Accession and Migration: Changing Policy, Society, and Culture in an Enlarged Europe, Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 31-55

Cooley, L. and Rutter, J. (2007) 'Turned away? Towards better protection for refugees fleeing violent conflict', Public Policy Research 14(3), pp. 176-80, doi: 10.1111/j.1744-540X.2007.00485.x