George Lawson

Professor, Department of International Relations
College of Asia & the Pacific
T: +61 2 6125 6491

Research interests

  • Processes of radical change, especially revolutions.
  • Historical Sociology, especially analysis of global modernity.
  • International Relations theory, especially the relationship between history and IR.


My work is oriented around the relationship between history and theory, with a particular interest in global historical sociology.

I apply this interest to the study of revolutions in two books: Anatomies of Revolution (2019) and Negotiated Revolutions: The Czech Republic, South Africa and Chile (2005). I am currently completing a co-authored book, with Colin Beck, Mlada Bukavansky, Erica Chenoweth, Sharon Nepstad and Daniel Ritter, provisionally entitled The Evolution of Revolution. Beyond this, I am in the planning stages (emphasis on planning) of a project on the long-term relationship between liberalism and revolution. 

I also apply my interest in history-theory to debates around global modernity, most notably in a book (co-authored with Barry Buzan) that charts the ways in which a range of important dynamics in contemporary international relations have their roots in the 19th century ‘global transformation’. Barry and I are in the early stages of a sequel to this project, tentatively entitled, Modes of Power

More details of my work can be found on my CV … here.

Researcher's projects

  • The Evolution of Revolution (1-2 years)
  • Modes of Power (2-3 years)
  • Oxford Handbook of International Political Sociology (2-3 years)
  • Liberalism and Revolution (5 years)

Available student projects

I have supervised projects ranging from intervention to everyday forms of protest, British counter-terrorism to global cities, Russian stigmatisation to US imperialism. So please get in touch to talk things through. 

That said, there are two themes I am most interested in: 

  • Historical International Relations and historical sociology.
  • Revolutions, and unruly politics more generally.

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Updated:  18 April 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers