Defence & Diplomacy

In the post-Cold War era of international relations, the global power structure witnessed a transition from American unipolarity towards a multipolar world order and renewed great power strategic competition. China’s growing economic influence seen through developments like the Belt and Road Initiative and its aggressive regional ambitions indicate that China will be a decisive player in shaping the emerging world order. The resurgence of Russia as a major world power is seen through its military and nuclear weapon capabilities, regional ambitions in Europe and challenge towards the Western norm of humanitarian intervention. Several other regional powers like India, Iran, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey and countries in Central Asia and Middle East are also emerging as important players in the modern international order. 

This year, the Policy Centre will focus on the theme: Exploring and Analysing the Emerging International Order. 

In the first term, the Policy Centre aims at analysing the implications of the emerging international order and great power rivalry on key policy fields in Defence and International Security. Some examples of the policy fields include geopolitics and regional rivalries, nuclear weapons, civil wars and conflict resolution, cybersecurity, climate change, health security, economic and ideological competition and many more. From increasing Chinese and Russian regional aggression and territorial claims, challenges towards US conflict management in Middle East and North Africa, risks of nuclear weapons proliferation in North Korea, Iran and India to security challenges posed by climate change and cyberattacks, this theme encompasses a broad spectrum of security issues. We aim at analysing the ambitions and behaviours of rising powers in such policy fields which produce global implications on the normative structure of international security. 

In the second term, we will explore the emerging world order through the lens of diplomacy. We will analyse the future of liberal international order by focusing on the role of international organisations in the wake of an emerging world order. With the ascendancy of new powers and new security challenges, this theme aims at analysing the efficacy of international organisations in meeting new security issues (health security, geopolitical risks, climate change). This theme will also explore increasing calls for institutional reforms in international organisations by new powers and challenges posed by China and Russia towards western humanitarian interventions using the discourse of respect of sovereignty and principle of non-interference in internal affairs. 

At the Defence and Diplomacy Policy Centre, we encourage and appreciate any contributions revolving around our theme. If you wish to contribute through participation in policy papers, blog posts or events, please do not hesitate to contact us at We look forward to hearing from you!

Femi Anna Ivan 

Director, Defence and Diplomacy Policy Centre

Our Policy Centre:

Femi Ivan


Hi everyone! I am Year 3 student of BA International Relations. The most interesting topic that our PC would cover this year would be regarding the future of multilateral organisations in the face of changing power-dynamics and to analyse the impact of Covid- 19 on multilateral diplomacy.


Matthew Ader


I’m a third-year War Studies student. I’m most interested in understanding the pressures shaping the future operating environment for Anglo-American strategy.

Ryan Chan


I am a postgraduate student reading an MA in International Peace and Security. I am also a recent graduate from King’s College London, holding a BA in History and International Relations. My research interestes include Chinese security and identity in the information age, Russian foreign policy, and the concept of Global Britain.

Juliette Aikman


I’m a second year International Relations student in the Department of War Studies. My interests are centered around intelligence studies and the future of diplomacy. I cannot wait to get to work as this year’s Liaison officer for the Defence and Diplomacy Policy Centre.

Our Working Group:

Prashasti Saxena

I’m a third-year International Relations student at King’s. My key areas of research are the Middle East and South Asia with a focus on identity politics and its interplay with nationalism and foreign policy.

Nicola Hope

I am a master’s student in conflict resolution in divided societies in the King’s War Studies department. I am most interested in post-conflict reconstruction and in evaluating the efficiency of foreign aid and international involvement in conflict-ridden countries.

Conor Hilliard

I’m a third-year History and International Relations student here at King’s. My main interests are diplomatic history, Anglo-Irish relations and diplomatic and security studies.

Justine Fung

I’m a third-year Politics student in the Department of Political Economy. My main areas of interest are United Nations peacekeeping, intergovernmental strategic communications, campaign communications and political behaviour.

Ella Burdett

I am a masters student reading International Relations with the King’s War Studies Department. My main research interests focus on the increasing challenges that climate change and migration poses to global governance and multilateral diplomacy, as well as human rights and border politics.

Noah Trowbridge

I’m a second year International Relations student in the Department of War Studies. My research interests span from African affairs to European defence, with a particular emphasis on international security law.

Ariel Koh

I’m a second-year History and International Relations undergraduate and am particularly interested in cultural diplomacy, Sino-US relations and the role of regional organisations in navigating today’s international system.