Department of Politics and International Studies

Dr Ben Whitham

Key information

Department of Politics and International Studies Lecturer in International Relations
PhD Politics (University of Reading)
MA International Relations and Globalisation (London Metropolitan University)
BA (Hons.) Politics (Uni. East London)
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address
Support hours
Term 2: Mondays 3pm-5pm


Ben Whitham (pronouns: he / him / his) is a Lecturer in International Relations, in the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS.

Ben’s research explores the global politics of inequality and insecurity. Specifically, his recent research has focused on: the centrality of Islamophobic political discourses and practices to the production of early twenty-first century social and economic order in the UK and the wider ‘West’; the UK’s foreign and security policies and its role in a global ‘War on Terror’; the connected rise of a new transnational far right and the so-called ‘culture wars’. Ben's peer-reviewed research findings have been published in journals including Security Dialogue, International Political Sociology, and Global Political Economy. He has also sought to produce socially impactful research, including influencing policymakers; Ben has provided written and oral evidence to cross-party committees of parliamentarians, his research has been cited in parliamentary reports and committees, and formed the basis for a REF2021 Impact Case Study, and he is currently working with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the UK government’s ministry of foreign affairs. Ben’s current research project situates British migration discourse on ‘small boats’ within the emerging theoretical and analytical field of global libidinal economy.  

Ben is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and holds a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. In 2019, he won the Political Studies Association’s national teaching award, the Bernard Crick Prize for Outstanding Teaching, in recognition of his ‘commitment to inclusion and innovation’ and ‘engagement in decolonising the curriculum’ in international theory. Ben is also the author (with Andrew Heywood) of a new Third Edition of the popular introductory textbook Global Politics (Bloomsbury, 2023).

At SOAS Ben convenes the postgraduate modules in International Theory and Foreign Policy Analysis, as well as the undergraduate module in Foreign Policy Analysis, and is a co-convenor of the undergraduate Final Year Project. He is currently a Postgraduate Taught Student Experience Coordinator and previously convened the MSc International Politics.

Beyond academia, Ben has worked as a policy researcher (at Citizens Advice), an NGO director (at the Nuclear Information Service), and a community organiser (at the Leicester People’s University). He currently contributes research-informed policy advice to the Community Policy Forum.



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