SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

Professor Dan Plesch

BA (Nottingham), PhD(Keele)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Expertise
  • Publications


Dan Plesch
Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD)

Professor of Diplomacy and Strategy

Centre for Iranian Studies


Centre on the Politics of Infrastructure and Energy Security (CEPIES)

CEPES Member

SOAS Middle East Institute (SMEI)


Centre for Global Media and Communications

Associate Member

Professor Dan Plesch
Email address:
+44 (0)20 7898 4841
+44 (0)20 7436 3844
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Mondays 12:00 noon - 2:00pm


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.


Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised


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.


For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email

Available for
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Press
  • Briefings
  • Special Study Programmes
  • Short Term Consultancy
  • Long Term Consultancy
Regional Expertise
  • Global
Country Expertise


Authored Books

Plesch, Dan (2017) Human Rights After Hitler: The Lost History of Prosecuting Axis War Crimes. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

Plesch, Dan (2010) America, Hitler and the UN: How the Allies Won World War II and Forged a Peace. London: I.B.Tauris.

Plesch, Dan and Blankenburg, Stephanie (2008) How to make corporations accountable. Liverpool: The Institute of Employment Rights.

Plesch, Dan and Austin, Greg and Grant, Fiona and Sullivan, Stephen (2006) Bio-energy and CAP Reform: The Gains to Europe and Africa. London: Foreign Policy Centre.


Acharya, Amitav and Plesch, Dan (2020) 'The United Nations: Managing and Re-shaping a New World Order'. Global Governance, (26) 2, pp 221-235.

Plesch, Dan (2016) 'The South and disarmament at the UN'. Third World Quarterly, (37) 7, pp 1203-1218.

Plesch, Dan and Weiss, Thomas G. (2015) '1945’s Forgotten Insight: Multilateralism as Realist Necessity'. International Studies Perspectives, (17) 1, pp 4-16.

Plesch, Dan and Weiss, Thomas G. (2015) '1945’s Lesson: ‘Good-Enough’ Global Governance Ain’t Good Enough'. Global Governance, (21) 2, pp 197-204.

Plesch, Dan and Sattler, Shanti (2014) 'A New Paradigm of Customary International Criminal Law: The UN War Crimes Commission of 1943–1948 and its Associated Courts and Tribunals'. Criminal Law Forum, (25) 1-2, pp 17-43.

Plesch, Dan and Sácouto, Susana and Lasco, Chante (2014) 'The Relevance of the United Nations War Crimes Commission to the Prosecution of Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes Today'. Criminal Law Forum, (25) 1-2, pp 349-381.

Plesch, Dan and Sattler, Shanti (2013) 'Changing the Paradigm of International Criminal Law: Considering the Work of the United Nations War Crimes Commission of 1943–1948'. International Community Law Review, (15) 2, pp 203-223.

Blankenburg, Stephanie and Plesch, Dan and Wilkinson, Frank (2010) 'Limited liability and the modern corporation in theory and in practice'. Cambridge Journal of Economics, (34) 5, pp 821-837.

Plesch, Dan and Christiansen, Poul-Erik (2008) 'A Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East: Reflections on a Project of Academic Applied International Relations'. International Relations, (22) 3, pp 391-396.

Plesch, Dan (2008) 'Introducing the Concept of a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone'. International Relations, (22) 3, pp 323-329.

Plesch, Dan (2008) 'How the UN beat Hitler and prepared the peace'. Global Society, (22) 1, pp 137-158.

Blankenburg, Stephanie and Plesch, Dan and Sakamoto, E Elize (2007) 'Their gain and your pain: the limitations of limited liability'. Tribune, pp 15-15.

Blankenburg, Stephanie and Plesch, Dan (2007) 'Corporate rights and responsibilities: restoring legal accountability'. openDemocracy.

Plesch, Dan (2005) 'Corporate social Responsibility: questions of equality before the law, property rights and de-regulation'. Accountancy Business and the Public Interest, (4) 2, pp 1-27.

Edited Books or Journals

Adami, Rebecca and Plesch, Daniel, (eds.), (2021) Women and the UN: A New History of Women's International Human Rights. London: Routledge. (Explorations in Development Studies).

Plesch, Dan and Weiss, Thomas G., (eds.), (2015) Wartime Origins and the Future United Nations. Oxon; New York: Routledge. (Global Institutions).

Plesch, Dan, (ed.), (2008) International Relations. September 2008, Volume 22, No. 3. Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore: Sage.

Book Chapters

Adami, Rebecca and Plesch, Daniel and Acharya, Amitav (2021) 'Commentary: The restorative archeology of knowledge about the role of women in the history of the UN – Theoretical implications for international relations'. Women and the UN: A New History of Women's International Human Rights. London: Routledge, pp 161-168.

Plesch, Dan and Miletic, K (2019) 'The Relationship between Humanitarian Disarmament and General and Complete Disarmament'. In: Bolton, M and Benjamin-Britton, T and Njeri, S, (eds.), Global Activism and Humanitarian Disarmament. Cham: Palgrave, pp 199-224.

Plesch, Dan and Owen, Leah (2019) 'The United Nations War Crimes Commission: a model for complementarity today?'. In: Griech-polelle, B, (ed.), The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial and its Policy Consequences Today. Baden-Baden: Nomos.

Weiss, Thomas G. and Plesch, Dan and Owen, Leah (2016) 'The UN War Crimes Commission and International Law: Revisiting World War II Precedents and Practice'. In: Ziccardi Capaldo, Giuliana, (ed.), Global Community: Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence 2015. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 71-109.

Plesch, Dan (2015) 'Building on the 1943-48 United Nations War Crimes Commission'. In: Plesch, Dan and Weiss, Thomas G., (eds.), Wartime Origins and the Future United Nations. Oxon; New York: Routledge, pp 79-98.

Roy, Pallavi (2014) 'Financing Gaps, Competitiveness and Capabilities: Why Bretton Woods needs a Radical Rethink'. In: Weiss, Thomas G. and Plesch, Dan, (eds.), Wartime Origins and the Future United Nations. Basingstoke: Routledge, pp 160-178.

Plesch, Dan and Shattler, Shanti (2014) 'Before Nuremberg: Considering the Work of the United Nations War Crimes Commission of 1943-1948'. In: Bergsmo, Morten and Cheah, Wui Ling and Yi, Ping, (eds.), Historical origins of international criminal law. Brussels: Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, pp 437-473.

Plesch, Dan (2009) 'United Nations (and League of Nations)'. In: Kazin, Michael and Edwards, Rebecca and Rothman, Adam, (eds.), The Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Plesch, Dan (2009) 'State Failure, Anarchy, War and Genocide'. In: Al-Rodhan, Nayef, (ed.), Potential Global Strategic Catastrophes: balancing transnational responsibilities and burden-sharing with sovereignty. Berlin: Lit Verlag, pp 233-252.

Monographs and Working Papers

Plesch, Dan (2008) Strategic Concept for the Regulation of Arms Possession and Proliferation. Westminster: House of Commons.

Plesch, Dan and Blankenburg, Stephanie (2007) Corporate rights and responsibilities: restoring legal accountability. London: the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce).

Plesch, Dan and Butcher, Martin (2007) Considering a war with Iran. CISD.

Plesch, Dan (2006) The Future of Britain's WMD. London: The Foreign Policy Centre.

Book Reviews

Plesch, Dan (2016) 'Review of: Andrew Buchanan. American Grand Strategy in the Mediterranean during World War II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. ISBN: 9781107044142'. H-Diplo Roundtable Review, (XVII) 15.


Plesch, Daniel (2021) 'Impact Case Studies prepared for the REF 2021'. [Unpublished]

Plesch, Dan (2018) 'Could the US win World War III without using nuclear weapons?' The Conversation.


This list was last generated on Tuesday, 27th September 2022, 22:03 Europe/London.