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Peter Sutch

Professor Peter Sutch

Professor of Politics

School of Law and Politics

+44 29208 74257
69 Park Place, Room 1.06, Cathays, Cardiff, cf103as
Media commentator


Professor of Political and International theory

Head Politics and International Relations

My main research area explores questions of international justice, in particular questions relating to international law. I am particularly interested in normative or moral questions and their impact on, and relation to, questions of politics and law. I have been concerned with questions of how we should conceive of the relation between ethics and international politics (Ethics Justice and International Relations, Routledge 2001) and have published The Politics of International Law and International Justice with Edwin Egede. I also have broader interests in contemporary political theory and the history of political thought and along with colleagues in the political theory research unit, have recently collaborated on projects on multiculturalism (Multiculturalism, Identity and Rights Routledge 2003) and questions of justification in moral theory (Principles and Political Order: The Challenge of Diversity Routledge 2006) and the nature of evil in contemporary political theory (EUP 2011). I am currently working on questions of just war theory,global law and distributive justice in the global commons.




  • Sutch, P. 2021. Moral irresponsibility in world politics. In: Hansen-Magnusson, H. and Vetterlein, A. eds. The Routledge Handbook on Responsibility in International Relations. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, pp. 84-95.





  • Roberts, P. and Sutch, P. 2016. The global commons and international distributive justice. In: Boisen, C. and Murray, M. C. eds. Distributive Justice Debates In Political and Social Thoughts: Perspectives on Finding a Fair Share. Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought New York and Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 230-250.











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Selected Publications


(with Edwin Egede) The Politics of International Law and International Justice, Edinburgh University Press 2013


(with Peri Roberts) An Introduction to Political Thought: A Conceptual Toolbox, Edinburgh University Press 2004, NYUP 2004, Atlantic Press (Indian Edition) 2005, Studentlitteratur AB (Swedish edition 2007), Second Edition 2011.

Ethics, Justice and International Relations: Constructing an International Community, Routledge, 2001


Neo-Kantian Cosmopolitanism and International Law: Modest Practicality? Kantian Review, Volume 24, Special Issue 4 (Special Issue on Kant & Law) December 2019 , pp. 605-629

Outer space and neo-colonial injustice: Distributive justice and the continuous scramble for dominium International Journal of Social Economics, Volume 46 Issue 11 - Special Issue: The social and economic injustices of colonialism and postcolonialism,

‘Freedom Power and the Global Economic Order’ Journal of the Good Society, 26:1, 2017

‘Normative IR Theory and the Legalization of International Politics: The dictates of humanity and of the public conscience as a vehicle for global justice’ Journal of International Political Theory, 8, 1, 2012

‘Human Rights and the Use of Force: Just War vs. Assertive Liberalism’ European Journal of Political Theory, April 2012

‘International Justice and the reform of Global Governance’, The Review of International Studies, 35, July, 2009

Book chapters

'The Slow Normalisation of International Political theory: Cosmopolitanism and Communitarianism then and now' in C. Brown and R. Eckersley (eds), The Oxford Handbook of International Political Theory, Oxford University Press 2018

'The Global Commons and International Distributive Justice' (with P. Roberts) in Boisen and Murray (eds), A Fair Share: Distributive Justice in the History of Social and Political Thought, Routledge 2015

‘Evil in Contemporary International Political Theory’ in Haddock Roberts and Sutch (eds) Evil in Contemporary Political Theory, Edinburgh University Press, 2011


I teach a wide variety of modules in political theory and international relations. At undergraduate level I teach Introduction to Political thought and in Year 3 Justice, Legitimacy and International Law. I have also taught modules in IR theory and the history of political thought. At MA/Msc I teach broadly in Ethics and International Relations, Just war and humanitarian intervention. I am currently teaching  modules jointly with the law school where we encourage postgraduate students of international law and international politics to study together. I also teach for the LLM a class called International Affairs: Legal and Political Aspects which provides a challenging class in the law and politics of global affairs.

I am currently supervising doctoral research on a broad range of IR topics (all informed by questions of ethics and law). Recently completed PhD’s include Dr Marc Pollentine (on the meaning of R2P), Dr Anthony Oloughlin (normative theory after postmodernism) Dr Claire Malcolm (feminist constructivism and humanitarian intervention) Dr Murad Gassanly (Oil Politics) and Dr Helen Griffiths (Feminist jurisprudence and VAW) and Dr SamTung Hing (on China and the norm of humantiarianism). Current PhD students are researching the ethics and politics of Humanitarian law  and Peremptory norms in international law. I welcome applications for doctoral research from strong candidates with a passion for questions of global law and ethics and international political theory.


Career profile

I came to Cardiff in 1998 having previously taught at Swansea University and with the Open University. In 2013 I was appointed Professor of Political and International Theory. I am currently Actin co- Head of School and Head of Politics and Inernational Relations