Professor Michael Sheehan
Professor Emeritus (Arts & Humanities)
College of Arts and Humanities
Telephone: (01792) 602215
Room: Office - 006
Ground Floor
James Callaghan
Singleton Campus

Michael previously worked at the University of Aberdeen, where he was Director of the Scottish Centre for International Security, and at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. He joined the Department in 2004.


  1. & Constructing Arctic security: an inter-disciplinary approach to understanding security in the Barents region. Polar Record 53(01), 52-66.
  2. The Security of the Sami People.. In Kamrul Hossein and Anna Petretei (Ed.), Understanding the Many Faces of Human Security. (pp. 139-172). Brill.
  3. Gleichgewicht der Krafte in einem anarchischen Staatensystem. In Michael Jonas, Ulrich Lappenkuper, Bernd Wegner (Ed.), Stabilitat Durch Gleichgewicht?. (pp. 183-201). Paderborn: Ferdinand Schoningh.
  4. The Changing Character of War’. In J Baylis, S Smith and P Owens (Ed.), The Globalisation of World Politics. (pp. 215-228). Oxford.
  5. The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of IR Theory. In R C H Witt (Ed.), Cosmological Viewpoints.. (pp. 227-231).

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  • PO-118 War and Peace in the Nuclear Age

    In this module you will examine the history of the international system from the end of the Second World War to the present day. It will provide an examination of the origins of the Cold War, how the two superpowers managed their relationship during the Cold War and an analysis of some of the key features of the post-Cold War world. We begin by assessing the rise of the USA and USSR and the emergence of deterrence. The failure of the US policy of containment in Vietnam and the emergence of tripolarity and detente in the 1970s then follows. By the beginning of the 1980s the superpowers relations had worsened and it was the time of the Second Cold War. Yet within ten years the Cold War that had dominated international relations since 1945 would be over. Why did it end, and who won will be questions for you to answer. The module will then examine the challenges facing the international system in the aftermath of the Cold War. Challenges ranging from failed states and military intervention to the rise of China and the re-emergence of Russia, and we conclude by asking, in the post 9/11 era, are we facing a clash of civilisations?

  • PO-M35 Approaches to International Relations

    The module explores a variety of approaches to the study of internation relations. It focuses on key issues which have become central to the sunject, notably the changing states system and the emergence of major non state actors, economic globalisation and security studies. It also examines key theoretical approaches, notably realism, liberalism and Marxism; Neo-realism and neo-Liberalism; and reflectivist critiques of rationalism, including constructivism, critical theory, post-structuralism and feminism.

  • PO-M40 Southeast Asian Security

    At the beginning of a new century the Asia-Pacific is beset with uncertainties. They range from `old¿ problems left remaining from the Cold War, such as the division of Korea and China, to `new¿ problems that have arisen in the post-Cold War era. In either case, these problems give rise to the perception that the Asia-Pacific has many `hotspots¿ that make conflict in the 21st Century a distinct probability. This module will focus on the security matters, broadly defined, of the region. In particular we will examine the internal threats to security that plague the ¿weak¿ states of the region as well as the inter-state rivalries that exist over Korea and Taiwan. The region is not bereft of ways of lessening tensions and thus appreciating the norms of behaviour that underpin the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the region¿s multilateral security forum (the ASEAN Regional Forum - ARF) are also necessary in our quest to assess the likelihood of conflict. With this knowledge at your finger tips you will become well-versed in one of the most dynamic regions in today¿s political world.

  • WS-200 Contemporary Wars and Conflicts

    This module introduces and critically explores contemporary warfare and conflict, from post WWII up to the present War on Terror. It considers the de-colonization/independence wars; the Cold War proxy conflicts; post-1990 New Wars and the War on Terror.

  • WS-M95 War, Identity and Society

    This module is the companion module to HUPM03. It takes a pluri-disciplinary approach to understanding the impacts of war on society and vice-versa. The module evaluates the ways in which conflict changes and reshapes society and analyses the problems of war, its representations and its social outcomes. 'War' in thus not viewed solely in terms of military history, but rather through a broader context of changing social, economic and cultural trends both as a motor for change and as part of those broader changes. The module is taught over a ten week period. The weekly two hour sessions include at least an hour of seminar style `teaching¿, to make sure that there is ample time for discussions, questions, student presentations, etc. Hence, it is expected of all students to read the compulsory reading for each session beforehand, so that meaningful discussions can take place. .


  • Cultural and social dimensions of the 'conspiracism' phenomenon in America during the 1960s-The JFK Myth. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Matthew Wall
    Other supervisor: Prof Michael Sheehan
  • Militarism in Post-Soviet Russia: War, culture and identity, 1990-2000. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Eugene Miakinkov
    Other supervisor: Prof Michael Sheehan
  • 'No plan survives first contact with the enemy': British airborne deployments in World War Two with particular reference to Operation Tonga and Operation Market Garden. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Michael Sheehan
    Other supervisor: Dr Gerard Oram
  • UAE Tribalism and Security Challenges to National Security (awarded 2019)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Mr Robert Bideleux
    Other supervisor: Prof Michael Sheehan
  • 'The politics of space cooperation as part of President Clinton''''s Russia policy: the Shuttle-Mir programme' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Mark Evans
    Other supervisor: Prof Michael Sheehan
  • 'An effectiveness Analysis of National Counter-Terrorist Financing Systems' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Luca Trenta
    Other supervisor: Prof Michael Sheehan