Personal profile


Joseph MacKay is a Research Fellow in the Department of International Relations. His research focuses on historical manifestations of international hierarchies, at both the micro and macro levels, as well as on a variety of IR-theoretic and qualitative methodological issues.

He holds a PhD in Political Science, specialising on international relations and political theory, from the University of Toronto (2015) and was previously a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University (2015-17). His doctoral research concerned individual level learning about complex policy problems, with a focus on counterinsurgent warfare. His more recent work concerns empires and political legitimacy, with a mind to comparing the historical Euro-Atlantic and East Asian experiences.

Joseph’s research has appeared in the Review of International Studies, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Central Asian Survey, and Social Science History, and with co-authors in the Journal of International Relations and Development, International Studies Review, Terrorism and Political Violence, International Peacekeeping, International Politics, and International Theory.

Research interests

 Counterinsurgency, empire, piracy, IR theory, qualitative methods, Central and East Asia


PhD (Toronto), LLM (Kent), BA (Vind)


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