Dr Christian Emery

Dr Christian Emery

Lecturer in International Relations

Plymouth School of Government (Faculty of Business)


Lecturer in International Relations, University of Plymouth.


I completed my BA (History, 2003), MPhil (US Foreign Policy, 2005), and PhD (2011) at the University of Birmingham. Prior to joining Plymouth I held academic positions at the University of Warwick, the University of Nottingham, and the London School of Economics (LSE). Between 2010 and 2013 I was a post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of International Relations at the LSE. 


Trans-Atlantic Studies Association
International Association of American Studies
British Society for Middle East Studies
Chatham House
Middle East Studies Association
Gulf 2000

Teaching interests

Module leader Term 1 and 2:
IRL2201: Understanding World Politics
IRL3216: Democracy and Democratisation in the Middle East

Module leader Term 2:
IRL1203: IR Since 1945.

Research interests

I am interested in all aspects of post-war US foreign policy, with specific expertise in US policy in Iran. My research covers several areas but is primarily situated within the intersection of International Relations, Diplomatic History, and Foreign Policy Analysis. My work examines foreign policy making with reference to geo-political concerns but also ideology, inter-elite interactions, and domestic politics. I have also written about the political and strategic dynamics of Iran sanctions for both academic journals and media outlets. Recently, I have started a new collaborative research project which draws on role theory to examine the relationship between national role conceptions and Iran’s international and domestic political behaviour.

My book 'US Foreign Policy and the Iranian Revolution: The Cold War Dynamics of Engagement and Strategic Alliance' will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in October 2013

US Policy in Iran: The Cold War Dynamics of Engagement and Strategic Alliance 1978-81 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

Peer-reviewed articles
‘US Iran policy 1979-81: The Anatomy and Legacy of American Diplomacy’, Diplomacy and Statecraft, 24 (4) 2013, 1-21 
‘The Transatlantic and Cold War dynamics of Iran sanctions 1979-1980’, Cold War History, 10 (3) 2010, 371–96

Book chapter 
‘Reappraising the Carter Administration's response to the Iran-Iraq War’ in The Iran-Iraq War: New International Perspectives, ed. Bryan Gibson and Nigel Ashton. (Routledge, December 2012)

Book reviews
Andrew Cooper, The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East, Iranian Studies, 46 (5), 2013, 834-837
Bruce Jentleson, American Foreign Policy: The Dynamics of Choice in the 21st Century (third edition), reviewed in Argentia, December 2007

Other publications
‘From the Jaws of Syria’, The Majalla, 19 September, 2013
‘Rouhani hangs back on Syria’, The Majalla, 31 August, 2013
‘Secrecy and Spectacle in the Overthrow of Mossadegh’, The Disorder of Things, 19 August, 2013
‘A Very Iranian Coup’, The Birmingham Post, 8 October, 2009
‘Khamenei puts the ball in Mousavi’s Court’, The GuardianComment is Free,19 June, 2009
‘Khamenei’s Supreme Dilemma’, The GuardianComment is Free,17 June, 2009
‘Facing Reality in Iran’, The Guardian, Comment is Free, 14 June, 2009
‘Iran Reserves Judgement’, The Guardian, Comment is Free, 24 March, 2009
‘Gaza's Influence on the Israeli Election Campaign’, Atlantic-Community, February 2009