photo of Jan Selby

Prof Jan Selby

Post:Professor of International Relations (International Relations, International Development)
Location:ARTS B B381

Telephone numbers
Internal:6694 or 8892
UK:01273 876694 or 01273 678892
International:+44 1273 876694 or +44 1273 678892

Research expertise:
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Jan Selby is Professor of International Relations, and Director of the Sussex Centre for Conflict and Security Research (SCSR). His research focuses principally on political ecology and environmental security, but also addresses issues of conflict, peace-building and development; International Relations theory; and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On political ecology and environmental security, Jan's work focuses on water, climate and energy issues and their intersection. He is author of a 2003 monograph, Water, Power and Politics in the Middle East, and various articles on Israeli-Palestinian and Middle Eastern water politics, including a groundbreaking analysis of Israeli-Palestinian water negotiation files, which identified a consistent pattern of Palestinian and donor complicity with water infrastructure-building for Israeli settlements. He has written widely on the claimed links between climate change and conflict, including in relation to Cyprus and Israel-Palestine, Sudan and Syria. He is a member of the RCUK-funded DEMAND Centre, leading work on the impact of non-energy policies on energy demand ('invisible energy policies').

On conflict, peace-building and development, Jan's work has involved case study and comparative work, plus theoretically informed analyses of contemporary conflict, security and peacemaking practices. Recent publications in this area include a volume on militarism and International Relations (co-edited with Anna Stavrianakis); a critique of 'the myth of liberal peace-building' within contemporary peace-building research; a special issue of IDS Bulletin on conflict-development linkages in the Middle East (co-edited with Mariz Tadros); and work for UNICEF on education, conflict and peace-building in South Sudan.

While Jan has conducted field research in a number of countries, his main area focus is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is reflected in his work on both peace processes and environmental security.

Jan works widely with policymakers and NGOs on the above, both in the UK and internationally.

Beyond these main areas of research, Jan maintains a strong interest in International Relations theory. He has published on global governance (the focus of a 2003 co-edited volume); on the use and misuse of the work of Michel Foucault in IR; on the work of Edward Said; and most recently in a co-edited volume What's the Point of International Relations? (with Synne Dyvik and Rorden Wilkinson).

Jan has supervised around 20 PhD projects, and is interested in taking on new projects on environmental and energy security, in particular.

Jan studied at the universities of Durham and Lancaster, and received his PhD in Sociology from Lancaster in 2000. He subsequently taught in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Lancaster, and the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth, before joining Sussex in 2005. He was Head of Department at Sussex from 2007-2009.