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Barry Buzan

Barry Buzan

British political scientist
Barry Buzan
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro British political scientist
Is Historian Political scientist Educator
From United States of America
Type Academia Social science Politics
Gender male
Birth 28 April 1946, United Kingdom
Age 74 years
The details


Barry Gordon Buzan (born 28 April 1946) is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and honorary professor at the University of Copenhagen and Jilin University. Until 2012 he was Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at the LSE. Buzan sketched the Regional Security Complex Theory and is therefore together with Ole Wæver a central figure of the Copenhagen School.


From 1988 to 2002 he was Project Director at the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute (COPRI). From 1995 to 2002 he was research Professor of International Studies at the University of Westminster, and before that Professor of International Studies at the University of Warwick. During 1993 he was visiting professor at the International University of Japan, and in 1997-8 he was Olof Palme Visiting Professor in Sweden.

He was Chairman of the British International Studies Association 1988-90, Vice-President of the (North American) International Studies Association 1993-4, and founding Secretary of the International Studies Coordinating Committee 1994-8. From 1999 to 2011 he was the general coordinator of a project to reconvene the English school of international relations theory, and from 2004-8 he was editor of the European Journal of International Relations. In 1998 he was elected a fellow of the British Academy, and in 2001 he was elected to the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences.

Research Interests

Buzan defines his interests as:

  1. the conceptual and regional aspects of international security;
  2. international history, and the evolution of the international system since prehistory;
  3. international relations theory, particularly structural realism;
  4. international society, and the 'English School' approach to International Relations.


Buzan has published extensively, his most important works include:

  • People, States & Fear: The National Security Problem in International Relations (1983; revised second edition 1991)
  • The Logic of Anarchy: Neorealism to Structural Realism (1993) with Charles Jones and Richard Little
  • Security: A New Framework for Analysis (1997) with Ole Waever, Jaap De Wilde
  • The Arms Dynamic in World Politics (1998) with Eric Herring
  • The Mind Map Book (2000) with Tony Buzan
  • Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security (2003) with Ole Waever
  • The United States and the Great Powers: World Politics in the Twenty-First Century (2004)
  • The Evolution of International Security Studies (2009) with Lene Hansen.
  • Non-Western International Relations Theory: Perspectives on and beyond Asia (2010) editor with Amitav Acharya.
  • "An Introduction to the English School of International Relations: The Societal Approach" (2014).

He is currently working on a book (with George Lawson) on why the discipline of International Relations needs to pay much more attention than it does to the global transformation to modernity that took place during the 19th century.


Barry Buzan was born in London, but his family emigrated to Canada in 1954. He holds the citizenships of the United Kingdom and Canada, Buzan is a graduate of the University of British Columbia (1968) where he started an uncompleted master programme. He received his doctorate at the London School of Economics (1973). He describes his political views as social democratic and his religious views as extreme secularist.

Buzan's wife, Deborah Skinner, is an artist and youngest daughter of psychologist B. F. Skinner. They have no children. Mind map writer Tony Buzan is his brother, with whom he co-authored The Mind Map Book.

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