Dr Eric Herring
Dr Eric Herring
Reader in International Politics
2.4 10 Priory Road,
11 Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol
(See a map)
Telephone Number (0117) 928 8582
I am Reader in International Politics in SPAIS, having previously been a University of Bristol Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow. I have also been a Visiting Scholar at George Washington University, a Social Science Research Council MacArthur Fellow at Columbia University and a tutor at the University of Aberystwyth. I was Specialist Adviser to the Select Committee on Economic Affairs of the House of Lords for its inquiry into UK economic sanctions policy and advisory board member for the Oxford Research Group's Every Casualty programme. I have given oral evidence on Iraq to the Select Committee on Defence of the House of Commons and have written expert reports on Iraq in relation to cases before the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. I serve on the editorial boards of Critical Studies on Terrorism and Globalizations and advisory board of the Institute for Policy Research and Development. I am Impact Director of SPAIS which means assisting colleagues to translate their scholarly research into positive effects in the world beyond academia, Assistant Director of the Global Insecurities Centre and Book Reviews Editor of the International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies.
I have received invitations from the following to speak about my work: University of Amsterdam. University of Hamburg. Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Oslo. George Soros Open Society Institute, Tashkent. NATO School, Oberammergau. Foreign Policy Association, New York. SOAS, University of London. Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. Louise T. Blouin Institute, London. University of Plymouth. University of St. Andrews. University of Birmingham. King's College London. University of the West of England. Goldsmiths College. Imperial College, London. University of Leeds. University of Oxford. University of Kent at Canterbury. University of Aberystwyth. University of Exeter. Richmond: The American University in London. Keele University. Joint Services Command and Staff College, RAF Henlow.
Public engagement via the news media has been an important part of my work. For the print media this has included articles, interviews or quotes for Rzeczpospolita Poland, Pravdy Slovakia, L’Avvenire Italy, Fars News Agency Iran, Folha de Sao Paulo Brazil, New York Times, Helsingen Sanomat Finland, Today Singapore, El Nacional Venezuela, the Press Association, Daily Telegraph, The People, The Times, Sunday Herald, Daily Mirror, New Statesman, Scottish Daily Record, Western Mail, Bristol Evening Post, Western Daily Press and The Big Issue. I have written background and presenter material for BBC 2 Newsnight; had a regular current affairs slot on Channel 4's Big Breakfast; was academic consultant for John Pilger's documentary Paying the Price about the economic sanctions on Iraq; and have appeared on Sky news and various national current affairs and local news programmes. For radio, I have appeared on or had material broadcast by SBS Radio Australia, the South African Broadcasting Corporation and the Finnish Broadcasting Company. For BBC radio, I have contributed to the World Service and World Service Asian Network; Radio 4 6 O’Clock News, Today, Moral Maze, You and Yours, The Westminster Hour and The Turning World; Radio 5 Live Magazine, Drivetime and After Hours; Radio 2; Radio Wales and Radio Scotland. I have also appeared many times on LBC London, TalkSport Radio and BBC local radio across the UK.
My research falls broadly within Critical Security Studies (CSS) in that it relates security scholarship to progressive social change, including critical reflection on the nature of that project. To that end I have carried out research on the relationship between International Relations academia and elite power, including an assessment of why the world politics scholarship of Noam Chomsky receives so little attention in academia; on the UN economic sanctions on Iraq 1990-2003 and beyond that the occupation of Iraq; and on activist world politics scholarship.
My current research in CSS has two related themes. The first theme is bringing historical materialism into understanding security: at present, class - especially defined in relationship to ownership and control of capital - is mostly ignored within CSS as a referent of security. The second theme is the potential for resistance afforded by the fact that the process of neoliberalization is permeated by contradictions and must articulate in bybrid and diverse fashion with existing social forces. My empirical focus is primarily on the case of post-invasion and post-occupation Iraq set in global context.
- Herring, E. and G. Rangwala. Iraq in Fragments: The Occupation and its Legacy (Cornell University Press & C. Hurst 2006). ‘This is a first-rate study of the consequences for Iraq of the US-led invasion and occupation of the country and of the kind of politics that has developed there. The authors use state-building theory and the insights of international political economy to throw light on the processes which have been set in motion and which are going to shape Iraqi politics for years to come. At the same time, their narrative is a lively one, packed with detail and informed by a real understanding of the fears and ambitions of many of the Iraqi political actors. This complex story of idealism, greed and violence, woven through social formations and the pale institutions of the emerging Iraqi state, produces a compelling account — the clearest yet available of the “new Iraq”.’ (Prof. Charles Tripp, SOAS, University of London). ‘Iraq in Fragments stands out as an admirably sober and powerful analysis of one of the most complicated and emotionally charged issues in today’s world politics. With its lucid account, impressive research, and extensive documentation, the book is challenging and compelling. It should be a must-read for all Iraq specialists, foreign policy experts, and policy- and opinion- makers. Students of international relations, as well as general readers, will also benefit greatly from this up-to-date work.’ (Prof. Tareq Y. Ismael, University of Calgary). ‘serious … persuasive … splendidly researched … required reading’ (Prof. Jeffrey Record, Middle East Policy Council). ‘excellent … compelling … better than any other’ (Prof. Robert Springborg, SOAS, University of London).
- Buzan, B. and E. Herring, The Arms Dynamic in World Politics (Lynne Rienner 1998). Published in Chinese 2002. ‘a winner – a signal contribution … cuts through hundreds of books and articles’ (Prof. KJ Holsti, University of British Columbia). ‘ambitious, noteworthy … an unambiguous success’ (Professor Denis Ross, University of New Mexico). ‘highly sophisticated … first class’ (Prof. Andrew Pierre, Georgetown University). ‘creates an agenda for future dialogue between the fields of security studies and international relations’ (Dr. Bryan Mabee, Queen Mary, University of London).
- Herring, E. (ed.). Preventing the Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (Frank Cass 2000).
- Herring, E., Danger and Opportunity: Explaining International Crisis Outcomes (Manchester University Press, 1995). 'There is much to like about this book. Herring is knowledgeable about political science theory and wise in its ability and limitations to guide policy’ (Prof. Steven David, Johns Hopkins University). ‘will no doubt have an impact on the discussion’ (Prof. Colin Gray, University of Hull).
- Pridham, G., E. Herring and G. Sanford (eds), Building Democracy? The International Dimension of Democratisation in Eastern Europe (Leicester University Press 1994, rev. edn. 1997). ‘first-rate’ (Prof. Paul G. Lewis, Open University).
- Booth, K. and E. Herring, Strategic Studies (Mansell 1994). ‘wonderful’, an ‘Outstanding Academic Book’ (Choice).
Journal articles (selected)
- Herring, E. 'Variegated Neoliberalisation, Human Development and Resistance: Iraq in Global Context’, International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies, 5:3 (2011), pp. 337-355.
- Herring, E. and D. Stokes, ‘Critical Realism and Historical Materialism as Resources for Critical Terrorism Studies’, Critical Studies on Terrorism, 4:1 (2011), pp. 5-23.
- Herring, E. ‘Iraq, Fragmentation and the Global Governance of Inequalities’, Globalizations, 6:1 (2009), pp. 91-97.
- Herring, E. ‘Critical Terrorism Studies: An Activist Scholar Perspective’, Critical Studies on Terrorism, 1:2 (2008), pp. 197-211.
- Herring, E. ‘Remaking the Mainstream: The Case for Activist IR Scholarship’, Millennium: Journal of International Relations, 35:1 (2006), pp. 105-118.
- Herring, E. and G. Rangwala, ‘Iraq, Imperialism and Global Governance’, Third World Quarterly, 26:4/5 (2005), pp. 661-677.
- Herring, E. and P. Robinson, ‘Too Polemical or Too Critical? Chomsky on the Study of the News Media and US Foreign Policy’, Review of International Studies, 29:4 (2003), pp. 553-68.
- Herring, E. ‘Between Iraq and a Hard Place: A Critique of the British Government’s Case for UN Economic Sanctions’, Review of International Studies, 28:1 (2002), pp. 39-56.
- Herring, E. ‘From Rambouillet to the Kosovo Accords: NATO’s War Against Serbia and its Aftermath’, International Journal of Human Rights, 4:3/4 (2000), pp. 225-245.
- Herrng, E. ‘Rogue Rage: Can We Prevent Mass Destruction?’, The Journal of Strategic Studies, 23:1 (2000), pp. 188-212.
- Herring, E. ‘Slow Dawn: Beyond the Attempted Ethnic Partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina’, The Brown Journal of World Affairs, 7:1 (2000), pp. 27-36.
- Herring, E. ‘The Manufacture of Consent for the Arms Embargo on Bosnia-Herzegovina’, Oxford International Review 6:2 (1995), pp. 32-40.
- Herring, E. ‘“Buzantine” Security Complexes in the Pacific’, The Pacific Review, 4:3 (1991), pp. 280-82.
Book chapters (selected)
- Herring, E. ‘Historical Materialism’ in A. Collins (ed.) Contemporary Security Studies (Oxford University Press 2012), 3rd edn.
- Herring, E. ‘The Future of Iraq’, in A. Acharya and H. Katsumata (eds), Beyond Iraq: The Future of World Order (World Scientific Publishing 2011), pp. 1-20.
- Buzan, B. and E. Herring, ‘Arms Races’ in C.W. Hughes and Y.M. Lai (eds) Security Studies: A Reader (Routledge 2011).
- Herring, E. ‘Armed Groups and the Fragmentation and Globalisation of the Iraqi State’ in K. Mulaj (ed.), Violent Non-State Actors and International Relations (Columbia University Press and C. Hurst & Co. 2010).
- Herring, E. ‘Neoliberalism Versus Peacebuilding in Iraq’ in N. Cooper, M. Pugh and M. Turner (eds), Whose Peace? Critical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Peace Building (Palgrave Macmillan 2008), pp. 47-64. Paperback 2011.
- Herring, E. ‘Sanctions’ in M. Bevir (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Governance (Sage 2006), 2, pp. 849-50.
- Herring, E. ‘Military Security’ in A. Collins (ed.) Contemporary Security Studies (Oxford University Press 2006), pp. 129-145.
- Herring, E. ‘Sanctions’ in C. van den Anker and R. Smith (eds) The Essentials of Human Rights (Hodder Arnold 2004), pp. 315-17.
- Herring, E. ‘Power, Propaganda and Indifference: An Explanation of the Maintenance of Economic Sanctions on Iraq Despite Their Human Cost’, in W. Haddad, T. Ismael (eds.), Iraq: The Human Cost of History (Pluto 2003), pp. 34-55.
- Herring, E. ‘An Uneven Killing Field: The Manufacture of Consent for the Arms Embargo on Bosnia-Herzegovina’ in M. Evans (ed.) Aspects of Statehood and Institutionalism in Contemporary Europe (Dartmouth 1997), pp. 159-82.
- Herring, E. ‘International Security and Democratisation in Eastern Europe’ in G. Pridham, E. Herring and G. Sanford (eds.), Building Democracy?, pp. 87-118 (pp. 81-109 in 1997 edn).
- Herring, E. ‘The Collapse of the Soviet Union: The Implications for World Politics’ in J. Baylis and N. J. Rengger (eds.) Dilemmas of World Politics (Clarendon 1992), pp. 354-83.
- Herring, E. ‘The Decline of Nuclear Diplomacy’ in K. Booth (ed.) New Thinking About Strategy and Security (London: Harper Collins 1991), pp 90-109.
I am passionate about teaching and was very pleased to be awarded a Faculty of Social Sciences and Law Teaching Prize in 2005.
I teach 11102 Introduction to World Politics for first and second year undergraduates and M3012 International Security at MSc level. I use a wide range of teaching methods and materials. My fundamental goals are to introduce you to relevant scholarly knowledge, ideas and debates, to assist you in understanding the world better and to help you develop your independent analytical capabilities in ways that will serve you well beyond university.
I supervise PhD research on diverse critical security studies and world politics topics (e.g. state terrorism, the arms trade, US foreign policy, the news media, neoliberal globalization, strategic nonviolent struggle, refugees), using many kinds of method and drawing on a wide range of theoretical perspectives.
The unifying theme in my teaching and PhD supervision is critical scholarly engagement with a significant contemporary question or issue. 'Critical' in this context refers to identifying and questioning underlying values and frames of reference rather than taking them at face value. It also refers to exploring the prospects and potential for connecting scholarship to positive social change while understanding that what constitutes 'positive social change' is itself something that should not be taken as self-evident or beyond dispute.
- Herring, E & D, S 2011, Critical Realism and Historical Materialism as Resources for Critical Terrorism Studies. Critical Studies on Terrorism, vol 4., pp. 5 - 21
- Herring, E 2011, Variegated Neoliberalization, Human Development and Resistance: Iraq in Global Context. International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies, vol 5:3., pp. 337 - 355
- Herring, E 2002, Between Iraq and a hard place: a critique of the British government's case for UN economic sanctions. Review of International Studies, vol 28 (1)., pp. 39 - 56
- Herring, E & Rangwala, G 2006, Iraq in Fragments: The Occupation and its Legacy. C Hurst and Co and Cornell University Press
- Herring, E & Buzan, B 1998, The Arms Dynamic in World Politics. Lynne Rienner
Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system