R. Neil Cooper is a Professor and Director of the School of Peace and Conflict Studies at Kent State. He has published over 50 books, edited books, journal special issues and articles covering the arms trade and arms control, post-conflict peacebuilding, the political economy of civil conflicts, and the regulation of conflict trade (e.g., conflict diamonds). His co-authored book War Economies in a Regional Context and the co-edited book Whose Peace? Critical Perspective on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding have been widely cited in the field. 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 most recent publications have included two chapters on humanitarian disarmament in The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Peace and Conflict Studies. He has recently developed a new book series, Studies in Technology and Security: Innovation, Impact, and Governance with the publisher Lynne Rienner and he is lead editor of a book planned for publication in 2024 on Rethinking Disarmament in an Age of Militarism. The latter has been developed from a series of workshops bringing together a network of academic, campaigning and policy experts on disarmament. These events have been funded by the New York office of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Other planned research outputs include a monograph on arms trade regulation in the age of empire that draws on extensive archival research, an article examining the history of military precision, including late 19th century discussions on the implications of new “arms of precision”, and a further article historicizing changing approaches to regulation of the international arms trade from the medieval era through to the present day.
Professor Cooper’s research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council of the UK, the International Peace Academy (now International Peace Institute), the British Academy, The Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the NATO Public Diplomacy Fund, and the Trust for Research and Education on the Arms Trade. He is a former editor of the peer reviewed journal International Peacekeeping and is an associate editor of the Economics of Peace and Security Journal as well as a member of the editorial board of the journal Critical Studies on Security. He has supervised PhD in the UK, Sweden, and the USA. He was a member of the UK Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Expert Network established to provide advice on the social science content of the RCUK Global Uncertainties research program, and he has served on the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) PaCCS (Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research) Large Grants Panel. He has worked as an external consultant for the University of Swansea in the UK on the development of its impact case studies for the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) and he has been external examiner for a variety of teaching programs at universities in the UK including the Department of International Relations at the University of Kent, the Department of War Studies, King’s College and the Department of Politics, University of Bristol.
He has previously served as Head of the Division of Peace Studies and International Development at the University of Bradford in the UK and 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-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.
• ‘Race, Sovereignty and Free Trade: Arms Trade Regulation and Humanitarian Arms Control in the Age of Empire’. Journal of Global Security Studies, 2018 (awarded the University of Bradford’s best publication prize). See: https://doi.org/10.1093/jogss/ogy013
• 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 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 in Reconceptualising 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 in Reconceptualising Arms Control: Controlling the Means of Violence, Routledge, 2011.
•‘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.
•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.
•'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-author with 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.
•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.
•The Arms Trade Treaty in the Context of Post-Cold War Conventional Arms Trade Regulation. London: Campaign Against the Arms Trade, 10 July 2012.
•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.
‘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.
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.
Conflict Trade and Peacekeeping: Constructing a Political Economy, Paper presented at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in New Orleans, March 24-27, 2002.