Department of Politics and International Studies

Professor Dan Plesch

Key information

Department of Politics and International Studies Professor of Diplomacy and Strategy Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy Member Centre for Iranian Studies Member Centre for Energy and Climate Policy CEPES Member Centre for Global Media and Communications Associate Member
BA (Nottingham), PhD(Keele)
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address
Telephone number
+44 (0)20 7898 4841
Support hours
Term 1: Tuesday 11 - 1
Term 2: on research leave
Term 3: Tuesday 11 - 1

email for an appointment


Professor Plesch is Professor of Diplomacy and Strategy at SOAS University of London and is a 'door tenant' at the legal chambers of 9 Bedford Row, in London.

His most recent research Women and the UN: a new history of women’s international human rights with Professor Rebecca Adami is published in 2021.

He is the author of Human Rights After Hitler - featured on Netflix, reported on US National Public Radio and in other international media. His previous books include: America Hitler and the UN, Wartime Origins and the Future UN (with Prof. Weiss) and the Beauty Queen's Guide to World Peace. He leads research on the UN, War Crimes and on Disarmament. See www. and the cisd research pages.

Plesch read history at Nottingham and qualified in social work and public administration at Bristol and has a PhD in political science from Keele. In 1986 he founded the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) and directed it from Washington DC until 2001, when he became the Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in London.

Plesch has been Scholar in Residence at the School of International Service at American University, Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of Peace Studies at Bradford University, Research Associate at Birkbeck College, University of London and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at Keele University.

Outside academia, he has acted as advisor to the UK and US governments, the BBC, CNN and Sky News. He was the independent advisor to the UK government's department of constitutional affairs on the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act. His research has featured in global media since the 1980s.

Research interests

In 1985 the Washington Post devoted a front-page 1,200 word news story to his research into the nuclear weapons policies of the Reagan Administration and its NATO allies, and the relationship of these governments to their legislatures. Since then his research has been focused on critical contemporary global issues and his work has often attracted similar attention.

For fifteen years he led international research-based applied international relations programmes as director of BASIC. These programmes focused on Western nuclear weapons policy, doctrine and deployments, UN disarmament processes, EU and NATO security policy and the development of global controls on small arms. This research was supported by governments and by such organisations as the Ford and MacArthur Foundations.

In recent years he has broaden his research into area including corporate accountability, energy policy, global counter-insurgency strategies, the origins of the present UN system and UK Parliamentary law.

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Ewan Lawson The United Nations War Crimes Commission and Crimes of Sexual Violence
Neale Vickery A Positive Peace: Britain and the Creation of the United Nations


Contact Daniel