Dr Toby Dodge, Reader in International Relations, joined the IR Department at LSE in September and introduces himself here:
I arrived in the IR Department at LSE as a Reader in International Relations on September 1st following seven happy years spent in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary, University of London.
My research concentrates on the evolution of the post-colonial state in the international system. The main focus of this work on the developing world has been the state in the Middle East, specifically Iraq.
Against this background, my research interests combine both Foreign Policy Analysis and Strategic Studies. My main teaching in the IR Department is, at the moment, focused on Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA).
One of my two ongoing research projects studies the ideological parameters within which the administration of George W. Bush developed its policy towards Iraq. It examines the extent to which both Neo-Liberalism and Neo-Conservatism shaped George W. Bush’s foreign policy and argues that American policy towards Iraq went through a series of major changes from the invasion in 2003, until the announcement of the ‘surge’ in 2007. These changes were driven by the rising tension between ideologically shaped categories of analysis and the violent realities on the ground.
Within the field of strategic studies my work looks at the theoretical explanations of civil war and compares them to the rise of counter-insurgency doctrine. Again the case study used for this is Iraq from 2003 onwards. The research seeks to assess the veracity of theories of civil war in explaining Iraq’s descent into violence after the US invasion. It goes on to examine the rise of counter-insurgency doctrine within the US military and its application to Iraq after 2007. It concludes by assessing the extent to which the application of counter-insurgency doctrine can explain the reduction in violence and the current balance of political forces within Iraq today.
My research for these projects has taken me to Iraq both before and after regime change in 2003. I was last in Iraq in March and April 2008, in Baghdad, Anbar and Tel Afar and in April 2007 in Baghdad, Mahmudiyah, Latifiyah, Yusufiyah and Barsa.
My future work will focus on the comparative study of interventions, regime change and state building. To this end I am co-editing a book on Afghanistan to be published before the end of the year.