The inter-disciplinary nature of International Relations has, for me, always been one of the most stimulating features of the subject. Whilst IR has long professed a strong core narrative of what distinguishes the field the most interesting work in the subject combines insights from a range of disciplinary traditions, whether History, Philosophy, Law, Political Economy, or Political Theory. It is this interdisciplinary character that enables a particularly rich analysis of the ‘big’ questions that IR addresses. For example, in the final year of my own undergraduate study I was struck by the proposition that stable liberal democracies rarely if ever went to war against each other. My subsequent research in this area combined the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, critical insights from Marxist inspired traditions, and a strong historical – or empirical – interest in specific interstate relationships culminating either in heightened conflict or the creation and maintenance of peaceful relations.
More recently I have been interested in the question of liberal state ‘intervention’ and in particular variation and trends in intervention over time. This has involved engaging with historical sociological and post-colonial perspectives as well as more established traditions within the discipline such as the English School ‘international society’ tradition. In this respect, matters of contextualisation and perspective are as important for allowing an individual to see the world in its richness and complexity as they are for understanding why it is that the members of international society frequently see the world in very different ways.
- DPhil International Relations (Oxford)
- BA International Relations (Keele)
Newest selected publications
Macmillan, J. (2013) 'Historicising intervention: strategy and synchronicity in British intervention 1815-1850'. Review of International Studies, November/December 2013. ISSN: 0260-2105 Open Access Link
Macmillan, J. (2012) ''Hollow Promises?' Critical materialism and the contradictions of the Democratic Peace'. International Theory, 4 (3). pp. 331 - 366.Open Access Link
Macmillan, J. (2012) 'Myths and lessons of liberal intervention: The British campaign for the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade to Brazil'. Global Responsibility to Protect, 4 (1). pp. 92 - 117. ISSN: 1875-9858 Open Access Link
Macmillan, J. (2006) 'Immanuel Kant and the democratic peace', inClassical Theory in International Relations. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press. pp. 52 - 73. ISBN 10: 0-521-68602-4. ISBN 13: 978-0-521-68602-0.