Professor Neil Cooper is Director of the School of Peace and Conflict Studies at Kent State. He has published over 50 books, edited books and journal special issues that have been widely cited. His co-authored book War Economies in a Regional Context has some 350 citations. His co-edited book Whose Peace? Critical Perspective on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding has some 230 citations. His 2006 article ‘Putting Disarmament Back in the Frame’ and his article “Peaceful Warriors and Warring Peacemakers’ have both been published in anthologies of key works. His refereed journal published in the Journal Of Global Security Studies received the University of Bradford’s best publication prize in 2018. Professor Cooper’s research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council of the UK, the British Academy, The Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada; and the Trust for Research and Education on the Arms Trade.
Professor Cooper was formerly editor of the refereed journal International Peacekeeping. He is currently an associate editor of the Economics of Peace and Security Journal and a member of the editorial board of the journal Critical Studies on Security. He is co-editor of a new refereed journal of Peace and Conflict Studies currently under development with colleagues in Peace Studies at Bradford, UK and Notre Dame in the US. He has acted as a peer reviewer for grant applications to major funding bodies including the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Irish Research Council. He has previously served on the Executive Committee of the British International Studies Association and was a member of the UK Economic and Social Research Council’s Expert Network established to provide advice on the social science content of the RCUK Global Uncertainties research programme. He has also served on the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council PaCCS (Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research) Large Grants Panel.
He has previously served as Head of the Division of Peace Studies and International Development at the University of Bradford in the UK and also as Associate Dean for Research. He has a BA (Hons) in Politics and Sociology from York University in the UK, an MA in International Relations from the University of Kent in the UK and a PhD, also from Kent.
His current research is focused on (i) the history of arms trade regulation (ii) cultures of military precision and (iii) the relationship between society, technology and security.
Books and Special Issues
• Arms Trade Regulation: A History, Palgrave, planned 2020.
•Co-editor with David Mutimer, Contemporary Security Policy, Special Issue: Arms Control for the 21st Century: Controlling the Means of Violence’, Vol. 32, Issue. 1, April 2011.
Also published as: Reconceptualising Arms Control: Controlling the Means of Violence, Routledge, 2011, 275 pp.
• Co-editor with Michael Pugh and Mandy Turner, Whose Peace?Critical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding (2nd edition including revised conclusion by the editors) Palgrave Macmillan (New Security Challenges Series), 2011, 412 pp.
•Co-editor with Michael Pugh and Mandy Turner, Whose Peace?Critical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding, Palgrave Macmillan (New Security Challenges Series), 2008, 408 pp.
•Co-editor with Michael Pugh of Conflict, Security and Development, Special Issue on ‘War Economies, Peace and Globalisation’, Vol. 6, No. 3, Oct. 2006.
•Co-author with Michael Pugh and Jonathan Goodhand, War Economies in a Regional Context: The Challenges of Transformation, Boulder, Co: Lynne Rienner, 2004, 273 pp.
•Co-author with Michael Pugh, Security-Sector Transformation in Post-Conflict Societies, London: Centre for Defence Studies, 2002, 68 pp.
•The Business of Death: Britain’s Arms Trade at Home and Abroad, London: I.B. Tauris, 1997, 223 pp.
Refereed Journal Articles
•Planned: ‘Towards a Genealogy of Military Precision’, for Review of International Studies.
• With Mandy Turner, ‘The Iron Fist of Liberal Intervention Inside the Velvet Glove of Kantian Idealism: A Response to Burke’ Critical Studies on Security, Vol 1, No. 1, 2013, pp. 35-41.
• With Paul Holtom (SIPRI) and Mark Bromley (SIPRI) ‘The UN Arms Trade Treaty: arms export controls, the human security agenda and the lessons of history’, International Affairs, Vol. 88, No. 5, September 2012, pp. 1029-1048.
• With Michael Pugh and Mandy Turner, ‘The End of History and the Last Liberal Peacebuilder: A Reply to Roland Paris’, Review of International Studies, Vol. 37, Issue 4, 2011, pp. 1995-2007.
• ‘Humanitarian Arms Control and Processes of Securitisation: Moving Weapons Along the Security Continuum in Contemporary Security Policy, Special Issue: Rethinking Arms Control for the 21st Century, Vol. 32, Issue. 1, April 2011, pp. 134-158.
also published inReconceptualising Arms Control: Controlling the Means of Violence, Routledge, 2011.
•With David Mutimer, ‘Arms Control for the 21st Century: Controlling the Means of Violence’ in Contemporary Security Policy, Special Issue: Arms Control for the 21st Century: Controlling the Means of Violence’, Vol. 32, Issue 1, April 2011, pp. 3-19.
also published inReconceptualising Arms Control: Controlling the Means of Violence, Routledge, 2011.
• ‘On Forgetful Goldfish and Failed Mnemonics: Transforming Political Economies of Conflict’ The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Vol. 5, No. 1. 2010, pp. 35-44.
•‘On the Crisis of the Liberal Peace’ Conflict, Security and Development, Vol. 7. No. 4, Dec. 2007, pp. 605-616.
•‘Chimeric Governance and the Extension of Resource Regulation’, Conflict, Security and Development, Vol. 6, No. 3 Oct 2006, pp. 315-35.
•‘Putting Disarmament Back in the Frame’, Review of International Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2006, pp. 353-376.
republished in, the following anthology of key works: Maria Rost Rubles and Ramesh Thakur, Nuclear Politics, Vol. Four, 2014, Sage, 2014.
•‘What’s the Point of Arms Transfer Controls?’ Contemporary Security Policy, Special Issue: Future Directions in Small Arms Control, Vol. 27, No. 1, April 2006, pp. 118-137.
•Peaceful Warriors and Warring Peacemakers’ The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, Vol 1, No. 1, 2006, re-published article from ECAAR Review 2003 noted below.
republished in the following anthology of key works on peacebuilding: Vincent Chetail and Oliver Jűtersonke (eds), Peacebuilding (Critical Concepts in Political Science), Palgrave, 2015.
•‘Picking Out the Pieces of the Liberal Peaces: Representations of Conflict Economies and the Implications for Policy’, Security Dialogue, Vol. 36, No. 4, Dec. 2005, pp. 463-478.
• ‘The Business of War’, Peace Research, 36: 2, 2004, pp. 107-110.
•’A Regional Approach to the Transformation of War Economies’, Development and Cooperation, Vol. 30, 2003, pp. 456-459.
•‘State Collapse as Business: The role of conflict trade and the emerging control agenda’, Development and Change, Vol. 33, No. 5, Nov. 2002, pp. 935-955.
also published in: Jennifer Milliken (ed), State Failure, Collapse and Reconstruction, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2003, pp. 179-198.
•The Business of War: How Not to Downsize’, Conflict, Security and Development, 2:3, 2002, pp. 117-126.
•‘Conflict Goods: The Challenges for Peacekeeping and Conflict Prevention’, International Peacekeeping, Vol. 8, No. 3, Autumn 2001, pp. 21-38.
•‘Arms Exports, New Labour and the Pariah Agenda’, Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 21, No. 3, December 2000, pp. 54-77.
•'British Defence Exports: trends, policy and security implications', Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 16, No. 2. Aug. 1995, pp. 219-239.
•'Britain and the SDI', Paradigms: The Kent Journal of International Relations, Vol. 1, No. 2, Dec. 1987, pp. 69-88.
Chapters in Books
• ‘On the Post-Cold War Arms Trade Paradox: Humanitarian Arms Control, NGOs and the Strategic Complexes of the Liberal Peace’ in Jackie Smith and Ernesto Verdeja (eds), Globalization, Peacebuilding and Social Movements, Syracuse University Press, 2013, pp. 21-46.
•Co-authorwith Michael Pugh and Mandy Turner, ‘Institutionalised and Co-opted: Why Human Security Has Lost Its Way’ in David Chandler and Nikola Hynek (eds), Critical Perspectives on Human Security: Rethinking Emancipation and Power in International Relations, London: Routledge, 2010, pp. 83-96.
•Co-author with Joanna Spear, ‘The Defence Trade’ in Alan Collins (ed), Contemporary Security Studies, (2nd edition) Oxford: OUP, 2010, pp. 394-412.
•’Training Goldfish in a Desert: Ethical Trading Initiatives and Neoliberalism’ in Oliver Richmond (ed), Advances in Peace and Conflict Studies, Palgrave, 2010, pp. 307-326.
•As Good As It Gets: Securing Diamonds in Sierra Leone’, in Cooper, Pugh and Turners (eds), Whose Peace?Critical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding, Palgrave 2008, pp. 103-117.
• Co-author with Michael Pugh and Mandy Turner, ‘Introduction’ in Critical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding, Palgrave, 2008, pp. 390-397.
•Co-author with Michael Pugh and Mandy Turner, ‘Conclusion: The Political Economy of Peacebuilding: Whose Peace? Where Next?’ in Critical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding, Palgrave, 2008, pp. 390-397.
•Co-author with Arthur Romano, ‘Education for Peacebuilding: From Problem Solving to Critical Interrogations of the Liberal Peace’ in Kazuo Takahashi(ed), Capacity Development for Peacebuilding: An International Network Approach, ICU COE (Center of Excellence) and ICU Rotary Peace Center, March 2007.
•Co-author with Joanna Spear, ‘The Defence Trade’ in Alan Collins (ed), Contemporary Security Studies, Oxford: OUP, 2006, pp. 311-330.
•Warlords and Logo Warriors: The Political Economy of Post-modern conflict’, in Paul Dunne and Jurgen Brauer (eds), Arming the South: The Economics of Military Expenditure, Arms Production and Trade in Developing Countries, London: Macmillan, 2002, pp. 35-50.
•‘Security Sector (Lack of) Transformation in Kosovo’, in Keith Krause and Fred Tanner (eds), Arms Control and Contemporary Conflicts: Challenges and Responses, PSIS Special Studies No. 5, Geneva: Programme for Strategic and International Security Studies and Geneva Centre for Security Policy, 2001, p. 65-127.
•'New Labour and the Arms Trade', in Richard Little and Mark Wickham-Jones (eds), New Labour’s Foreign Policy: A new moral crusade?, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000, pp. 147-167.
•'Raising the cost of conflict, lowering the price of peace: demilitarisation after post-modern conflicts' in Michael Pugh (ed), Regeneration of War-Torn Societies, London: Macmillan, 2000, p. 54-73.
•'The international arms trade and its impact on warlordism', in Paul B. Rich (ed) Warlords in International Relations, London: Macmillan, 1999, pp. 17-37.
•With Cord Jakobeit and Michaela Maier, ‘Addressing the Political Economies of Armed Conflicts’, in Owen Greene, Julia Buxton and Charly Salonius-Pasternak (eds), Conflict Prevention, Management and Reduction in Africa, Helsinki: Development Policy Information Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2006. pp. 145-177.
• Neil Cooper and Anna Stavrianakis, ‘The Saga of Britain’s Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia Hits a New Low’, The Conversation, September 19, 2016.
•Neil Cooper and Anna Stavrianakis, Parliament Urgently Needs to Keep Tabs on UK Arms Exports’, The Conversation, January 2014
• ‘No to Russia but Yes to Israel: UK arms exports are riddled with contradictions’, The Conversation, Sept, 2014
•Co-author with Cord Jakobeit, ‘The EU and Conflict Prevention, Management and Reduction in Africa Finish Institute of International Affairs/Centre for International Cooperation and Security Project, Policy Paper 5: Addressing the Political Economies of Armed Conflict in Africa’, 2006. (84pp).
•Conflict Trade and Arms Acquisition. Report Commissioned by the Small Arms Survey, Geneva, Sept 2001 (6,000 words). The analysis and data generated was incorporated in the 2002 edition of the annual Small Arms Survey.
• With Michael Pugh, Memorandum in House of Commons International Development Committee, Conflict Prevention and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The Need for a Coherent Strategy, Vol. II, Session 1998-99, HC 55-II, London: HMSO, pp. 315-325
•How the UK Government Subsidises the Business of Death, London: Campaign Against the Arms Trade, June 1997.
•Co-author with Paul Dunne and Ron Smith, Killing Jobs: Arms Trade and Unemployment, London: Campaign Against the Arms Trade, April 1996.
• ‘British Arms Export: A Vicious Circle of Disadvantage’, Plymouth International Papers, University of Plymouth, 1995.
•'Labour's Invisible Defence Policy', Parliamentary Brief, Vol.4, No.2, November 1995.
•'Battling the Myth of Arms Exports’, Parliamentary Brief, Vol. 3, No. 4, Feb. 1995, pp. 66-72
Presentation on: ‘Historicizing the Discourse on Arms of Precision: From firearms in the 19th century to precisions-guided weapons in the 21st century University of Stockholm, May 16 2018.
‘Real Weapons of Mass Destruction or Arms of Precision?: A Genealogy of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Humanitarian Discourse’, Paper for the International Studies Association Conference, San Francisco, 2018.
Discussant at a panel on ‘Drone Warfare: Issues and Controversies’ ESRC Festival of Social Science, University of York, Nov 2017.
‘Historicizing Precision’ at one-day seminar on ‘Representations of War Trauma’ Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, 30 August 2017.
‘Imperial Space, Telescopic Arms Control and the Standard of Civilization’ for one-day seminar on: ‘Exploring Landscapes of Peace and Peacebuilding’, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, 22 May 2015.
Roundtable on Landscapes of Peace and Peacebuilding for one-day seminar on: ‘Exploring Landscapes of Peace and Peacebuilding’, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, 22 May 2015.
‘One We (almost) Made Earlier: The US Draft Convention Governing the Manufacture and Trade in Arms at the League of Nations Disarmament Conference’. Paper for the International Studies Association Conference, New Orleans, 2015.
Roundtable panel including Mary Kaldor, Roger Mac Ginty and Jackie Smith: ‘Critical Reflections on Peacebuilding, Globalization and Social Movements’, International Studies Association Conference, Toronto, 2014.
Member of Roundtable with Caroline Hughes, Owen Greene, Agieszka Paczynska and Michael Brzoska: Academic Engagement with Government-supported Applied Peace Research: Examining the Academic-Policy Peace Research Nexus, International Studies Association Conference, Toronto, 2014.
With David Mutimer, ‘Excessive and Destabilising: A Genealogy’, PSS-ISA Joint Conference, Budapest, Hungary, 27-29 June 2013.
‘Securing Treasure, Saving Savages: Imperialism, Humanitarianism and Regulation of the Trade in Firearms’, British International Studies Association Annual Convention, Birmingham UK, 20-21 June 2013.
Presentation on: The 1950 Tripartite Agreement and Lessons for the ATT, UNIDIR seminar on the Arms Trade Treaty, Beirut, March 27-29, 2012.
Presentation on: Humanitarian Arms Control at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), October 2011.
With Arthur Romano, ‘Peace Studies and Education for Peacebuilding’ paper for the International Workshop on Educating for Peacebuilding, United Nations University, Tokyo, March 9-10, 2006.
The Regional Dimensions of War Economies, paper presented at an International Peace Academy Conference on: Regional Approaches to Conflict, West Point, May 5-9, 2003.
The Emerging Control Regime for Conflict Diamonds: A New Way of Doing Arms Control?, paper presented at the BISA Conference, LSE, Dec. 16-16, 2002.
Conflict Trade and Peacekeeping: Constructing a Political Economy, Paper presented at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in New Orleans, March 24-27, 2002.
The Role of Conflict Goods in State Collapse and Reconstruction, paper presented at a conference on: State Collapse and Reconstruction: Lessons and Strategies’, Geneva, 7-9 Dec. 2000. The conference was jointly organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Programme for Strategic and International Security Studies (PSIS) at the Graduate Institute of International Studies. A synthesis of the proceedings and the papers presented was published as: ICRC and PSIS, State Collapse and Reconstruction: Lessons and Strategies, Geneva: PSIS, 2002.
The Political Economy of Demilitarisation in Kosovo, paper presented at the UNIDIR/Graduate Institute Panel on ‘globalisation, insecurity and small arms’, at Geneva 2,000, Geneva 26-30 June, 2000.
Arming and Disarming Kosovo: A Structural Arms Control Perspective, paper presented as part of the arms control and disarmament section of the Clusters of Competence Programme established by the Swiss government, Geneva, 20-21 March, 2000.
Gesture Politics as Ethical Policy: New Labour and Arms Sales, paper presented as part of the academic seminar series of the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute (COPRI), Copenhagen, 8 Oct 1999.
Arms Sales and Nano-Ethics: New Labour in Office, paper presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, 2-5th Sept. 1999.
Disarmament and Demobilisation After Post-Modern Conflicts, paper presented at the International Studies Association Conference, Washington, 16-19th Feb. 1999.
An Agenda for Demilitarisation After Post-Modern Conflicts, paper presented at the Third Pan-European International Relations Conference, Vienna, 16-19th Sept. 1998.
The Arms Trade and Internal Conflict, paper presented at the British International Studies Association (BISA) Conference at Leeds University, Dec. 1997.
The Economics of the British Arms Trade, paper presented to a seminar organised by Campaign Against the Arms Trade, London, Aug. 1995.