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LSE IDEAS is a foreign policy think tank at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Its director is Professor Michael Cox.

The 2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index ranked IDEAS as the third best University Affiliated Think Tank in the world. The 2016 rankings also places IDEAS twenty first among all Western European think tanks.[1]

IDEAS runs seven research projects, public and private events (101 in 2015) and publishes analysis of international affairs. In addition, IDEAS houses the LSE Executive MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy, a programme designed to enhance the strategic vision of mid-career professionals.[2]

IDEAS was founded as a think tank for Diplomacy and Strategy in February 2008, succeeding the Cold War Studies Centre founded in 2004.


Through sustained engagement with policymakers and opinion-formers, IDEAS aims to provide a forum that informs policy debate and connects academic research with the practice of diplomacy and strategy.

Philippe Roman Chair

IDEAS hosts the Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs, an annual visiting Professor position for leading scholars based outside the UK made possible by a donation to honour the memory of Philippe Roman. Each chair delivers a series of public lectures of the duration of the year.[3]

The current Philippe Roman Chair is Professor Ian Morris. Notable chairs include Paul Kennedy, Niall Ferguson and Anne Applebaum.

Current IDEAS Projects

  • China Foresight: Analysing Chinese strategy and foreign policy from the inside out by understanding the domestic policy making process in China and engaging with the ongoing debates among Chinese academics and senior policy-makers.
  • Cold War Studies Project: Continuing the work of IDEAS on the key aspects of the Cold War, their historical origins and their contemporary repercussions. CWSP is home to the journal Cold War History and a range of international partnerships.
  • Dahrendorf Forum: A joint project between the LSE and German partners the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and Stiftung Mercator contributing to the debate on Europe’s external relations.
  • LSE Diplomacy Commission: A forum for informed, private and strategic discussion on the future of British diplomacy.
  • Global Strategies @ LSE: Connecting academics with Whitehall and beyond. The aim of the project is to provide sound practical advice on how strategy can be made more effective, bringing together a wide range of academics from LSE with senior practitioners past and present from the UK and overseas.
  • International Drug Policy Project: A cross-regional research project contributing to debate on the international drug control system and policy implementation on regional, national and local levels.
  • Power Shifts: Power Shifts investigates claims that across the world power is moving: particularly from the US to China, from West to East, and from states to non-state actors.

Select Publications

  • After the Drug Wars (2016)
  • Investing for Influence: LSE Diplomacy Commission Report (2015)
  • Ending the Drug Wars: Report of the LSE Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy (2014)
  • Putinism: The Ideology (2013)
  • Governing the Global Drug Wars (2012)
  • China's Geoeconomic Strategy (2012)
  • The United States After Unipolarity (2011)
  • The Future of UK Foreign Policy (2010)
  • Prospects for Reform? The Iranian Elections (2009)

Executive Education

IDEAS houses the LSE Executive MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy. The 1-year programme is designed for mid-career professionals from the public, private, and NGO sectors who deal with international relations, diplomacy, security, and international business in their working lives.

The programme aims to provide its participants with the conceptual and theoretical tools to analyse the main actors, trends and issues shaping international affairs. The programme is also focused on applicability and relevance: participants learn not only how to use strategy to deal with adversaries, but also to cooperate with others in solving common problems, be they military, diplomatic/political, economic or business. The programme is taught by a combination of academics and senior policy practitioners.

Notable alumni include former UK Ambassador to Afghanistan Karen Pierce and current UK Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Edward Ferguson [1].

Governance and Advisory Board

The work of IDEAS is overseen and supported by both an Academic Management Committee and Advisory Board respectively.

The Academic Management Committee is composed of academic staff from LSE who monitor operations and research, while the Advisory Board provides an external perspective. Members are senior practitioners from the diplomatic world who provide independent oversight and guidance on IDEAS’ strategy.

Current Advisory Board Members include:

See also


  1. ^ "2016 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report". Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  2. ^ "LSE IDEAS Projects". Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  3. ^ "Philippe Roman Chair - LSE IDEAS". Retrieved 2016-04-07.

External links

  • Official website
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