Professor Patrick Porter

Professor Patrick Porter

Department of Political Science and International Studies
Professor of International Security and Strategy

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Patrick Porter is Professor of International Security and Strategy at the University of Birmingham. He is also Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, London and a Fellow of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

His research interests are great power politics, foreign and defence policy in the US and UK, and realism in International Relations, with a particular focus on the interaction of power and ideas, and the problems of hubris, overstretch and self-defeating behaviour.

He has written four books. His book Blunder: Britain's War in Iraq (Oxford University Press, 2018) was shortlisted for the British Army Military Book of the Year Prize, 2019. His most recent book is The False Promise of Liberal Order: Nostalgia, Delusion and the Rise of Trump (Polity, 2020). He also wrote The Global Village Myth: Distance, War and the Limits of Power (Georgetown University Press, 2015) and Military Orientalism: Eastern War through Western Eyes (Columbia University Press, 2009.

He has published in International Security, the Journal of Strategic Studies, International Affairs, the Washington Quarterly, Security Dialogue, Diplomacy and Statecraft, and War in History. He also writes opinion pieces in The National Interest, The Critic Magazine and The American Conservative.

He has appeared as an expert witness before the parliamentary Defence Select Committee, the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, and the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy.


  • DPhil, Modern History, Magdalen College Oxford
  • BA(Hons)/LLB, University of Melbourne


His publications include: 

  • “Advice for a Dark Age: Managing Great Power Competition,” The Washington Quarterly 42:1 (April 2019), pp.7-25
  • (Forthcoming) Blunder: Britain’s War in Iraq (Oxford University Press, 2018)
  • The Global Village Myth: Distance, War and the Limits of Power (Georgetown University Press 2015)
  • Military Orientalism: Eastern War through Western Eyes (Hurst & Columbia University Press, 2009)


  • A World Imagined: Nostalgia and Liberal Order (Cato Institute, Washington D.C., Policy Paper No. 843; June 2018)
  • Sharing Power? Prospects for a U.S. Concert-Balance Strategy (Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College, 2013)

Journal Articles

  • ‘Why America’s’ Grand Strategy Has Not Changed: Power, Habit and the U.S. Foreign Policy Establishment,’ International Security 42:4 (2018), pp.9-46
  • ‘Iraq: A Liberal War After All, a Critique of Deudney and Ikenberry,’ International Politics 55:2 (2018), pp 334–348
  • Lest We Forget: Britain’s Iraq Inquiry, and Why it Matters’ International Politics 53:6 (2016), pp.683-688
  • ‘Taking Uncertainty Seriously: Classical Realism and National Security’ European Journal of International Security 1:2 (2016), pp.239-260
  • ‘Fighting Alone: The Wars of the Market-Security State’ Parameters 45:3 (2015), pp.5-11
  • 'Goodbye to all that: On Small Wars and Big Choices' Small Wars and Insurgencies 25:3 (2014), pp.685-695
  • 'A Matter of Choice: Strategy and Discretion in the Shadow of World War Two' Journal of Strategic Studies 35:3 (2012), pp.317-343
  • ‘Beyond the American Century: Walter Lippmann and American Grand Strategy, 1943-1950’ Diplomacy and Statecraft 22 (2011), pp.557-577
  • ‘Last Charge of the Knights: Iraq, Afghanistan and the Special Relationship’ International Affairs 86:2 (2010), pp.355-375
  • ‘Paper Bullets: American Psywar in the Pacific, 1944-1945’ War in History 17:4 (2010), pp.1-33
  • (With Alex Watson) ‘Bereaved and Aggrieved: Combat Motivation and the Ideology of Sacrifice in the First World War,’ Historical Research 83:219 (2010), pp. 146-64
  • ‘Long Wars and Long Telegrams: Containing Al Qaeda’ International Affairs 85:2 (2009), pp.285-305
  • 'Military Orientalism? British observers of the Japanese way of war, 1904-1910,' War & Society, 26:1 (2007), pp.1-27 

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