Department of International Relations

photo of Patricia Owens

Prof Patricia Owens

Post:Professor of International Relations (International Relations)
Location:ARTS C C328

Telephone numbers
UK:01273 872735
International:+44 1273 872735

Research expertise:
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Patricia Owens is Professor and Chair of the Department of International Relations. She joined Sussex in 2011 after holding previous positions in London and Oxford (where she recieved a teaching excellence award). In the summer of 2018, Owens will be Visiting Kathleen Fitzpatrick Professor in the Department of History at the University of Sydney.

Her most recent book, Economy of Force: Counterinsurgency and the Historical Rise of the Social (Cambridge University Press, 2015) won the 2016 Susan Strange Prize for the Best Book in international studies, the 2016 International Studies Association Theory Section Best Book Award, and was Runner up for the 2016 Francesco Guicciardini Prize for Best Book in Historical International Relations. Owens' first book, Between War and Politics: International Relations and the Thought of Hannah Arendt (Oxford, 2007) was the subject of a roundtable in the journal International Politics

Owens is currently co-editor of European Journal of International Relations and co-editor of the leading undergraduate textbook in IR, The Globalization of World Politics (Oxford, 2016), now in its 7th edition and translated into Arabic, French, Korean, Polish, Greek, Turkish, Slovene, and Macedonian.

She has held a number of previous prestigious fellowships and competitive awards including at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard; a Visiting Professorship at UCLA; the Seton-Watson Research Fellowship at Oriel College, Oxford; the Jane Eliza Proctor Research Fellowship at Princeton University; a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Southern California, and a Visiting Scholarship at UC-Berkeley, supported by a grant from the Social Science Research Council. Owens holds graduate degrees from Cambridge and Aberystwyth.

Despite the highly critical and theoretical nature of her work, Owens was a member of an expert 'contact group' at the British Ministry of Defence in preparation for the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

She has recently given invited talks/keynotes at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, LSE, Ohio, Queen Mary, Newcastle, Glasgow, Sheffield, Aberystwyth, and Exeter. In addition to co-editing EJIR, Owens sits on the editorial boards of Security Dialogue and Political Studies and previously served on the boards of Journal of International Political TheoryHumanity: an International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development and The New Strategist and was a managing editor of Cambridge Review of International Affairs.

Follow her on and read a recent interview here: <script>


Head of the Department of International Relations

Senator representing School of Global Studies

Management Committee, Centre for Advanced International Theory

Co-editor, European Journal of International Relations

Previous roles

Postgraduate Research Convenor

Peer Review College, Department of International Relations 

Social Sciences Academic Promotions Board Member 

School of Global Studies Promotions Advistory Committee

Community and Business

Member, Contact Group for Strategic Defence and Security Review, British Ministry of Defence, 2015