Rick Fawn, Professor


Professor Rick Fawn is a specialist on international security, with a geographic concentration on the former communist space. He has conducted research in and published on Central Europe, the Balkans, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia. He has also made numerous invited briefings and contributions to governments, NGOs and media, and given many papers and invited lectures and keynote addresses in the UK and overseas. 

Professor Rick Fawn has received research grants from various bodies, including:

  • the European Union (FP7 and Horizon 2020).
  • the British Academy
  • the Nuffield Foundation
  • the Open Society Institute
  • the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Academy
  • The Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • the Russell Trust
  • the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

He was also the St Andrews lead and steering committee member of the 8-University £4,700,000 ESRC/AHRC-funded Centre of Excellence called the Centre for Russian and Central and East European Studies (CRCEES).

Research areas

Professor Rick Fawn's current research is focused on security and conflict, and conflict resolution in the post-Soviet space. Aside from academic research, this interest has involved considerable work on-ground and with conflict parties and international stakeholders.

Other areas of research include comparative regionalism, that is a global phenomenon, but also with a continuing interest particularly in its many manifestations across the post-communist world. Within that, Fawn retains a long-standing interest of Visegrad, and has been invited routinely over its history, to comment to its policy-makers.

Beyond that, Fawn has researched the capacities of normative international organizations (IOs), that is, IOs with limited incentization and coercive capabilities but which still seek to induce norm adherence from recalcitrant member/participating states.

He also retains interest in the political legacies of communist-era dissident thinking.



  • International Organizations and Internal Conditionality: Making Norms Matter (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
  • "Rick Fawn has delivered the defining study of the power politics, normative struggles and subtle tools of influence that characterize value-based organizations like the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Fawn's theoretical precision, fascinating cases and eye for the unexpected turn reveal both how cynical states subvert the principled commitments of international organizations and how tactically astute bureaucrats and like-minded allies can counter their challenges. International Organizations and Internal Conditionality is a must-read for scholars and international policymakers engaged with the broader question of how regional organizations maintain normative commitments in the absence of hard material incentives."
    - Alexander Cooley, Columbia University, USA.
  • "Well researched and cogently reasoned, this book will undoubtedly be widely read and will make a lasting contribution to the theory as well as the practice of democratization and human rights promotion [...] Most of the IR literature on norm diffusion has focused on transnational networks and argumentation with officials at the national level. Fawn goes beyond this scholarship in a very important way: by inquiring into the processes whereby IOs, transnational civil society and the state engage one another. In order to do so he advances the concept of 'internal conditionality,' or the means through which normative influence is exerted by IOs."
    - Douglas Blum, Providence College, USA.
  • 'It is a common error to give credit only to NATO and the European Union for the relative stability and good governance European nations enjoy today. Wider, ostensibly weaker groupings like the Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have also striven since Cold War times to spread Western standards to a growing range of neighbouring or newly-created states. This book for once gives these organizations their due, looking in detail at cases where they have applied overt and/or subtle pressures to remedy government abuses - with results more significant than many might expect.'
    - Alyson Bailes, University of Iceland.
  • ‘this is a very interesting study that Fawn offers on a less known aspect of conditionality, namely internal conditionality, contrary to most IR studies which focus on external conditionality.’
    - Elsa Tulmets, European Review of International Studies, Vol. 4, No. 2-3 (2017).
  • 'Rick Fawn ... has written an important book. His expertise in security and democratization processes in Central and Eastern Europe is demonstrated on each and every page.'
    - Otto Spijkers, Public International Law, Utrecht University, Security and Human Rights, 2015.
  • 'the analysis contributes to the unveiling of a specific aspect of interactions among international and domestic actors, which has never been so carefully investigated before .... this book will remain a path-breaking investigation in the analysis of international and domestic interactions. In particular it succeeds in bringing new data and concepts to address the latest topics in democratisation studies, such as the presence of challenges or alternatives to Western norms'
    - Europe-Asia Studies, 2015.
  • 'an informative read for all scholars and policy makers, and a "must read" for scholars with a special focus on international organisations, Europe and post-Soviet studies.'
    - Political Studies Review, 2016.

Previous books:

  • International Organizations and Internal Conditionality: Making Norms Matter (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
  • Georgia: Revolution and War (Routledge, 2013, as editor).
  • Historical Dictionary of the Czech State (co-authored with Jiri Hochman; 2010), 428pp.
  • Globalising the Regional, Regionalising the Global (Cambridge University Press, 2009; as editor), 261pp.
  • The Iraq War: Causes and Consequences (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006; co-edited with Raymond Hinnebusch), 357pp.
  • Ideology and National Identity in Post-communist Foreign Policies (Routledge, 2003, as editor), 241pp.
  • Global Responses to Terrorism: 9/11, Afghanistan and Beyond (Routledge, 2003; co-edited with Mary Buckley), 334 pp.
  • Realignments in Russian Foreign Policy (Routledge, as editor, 2003).
  • Russia after Communism (Routledge, 2002, as co-editor with Stephen White).
  • The Changing Geopolitics of Eastern Europe (Routledge, 2001; as co-editor with Andrew Dawson). 
  • The Czech Republic: A Nation of Velvet (Routledge, 2000).
  • International Society after the Cold War: Anarchy and Order Reconsidered (Macmillan, 1996, as co-editor with Jeremy Larkins), 302 pp.


Selected refereed journal articles:

  • Rick Fawn, 'External Assessments of Visegrad since its International Recognition over the “Migrant” Crisis', International Issues & Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs Vol. XXVII, No. 1-2 (2018), pp. 63-79.
  • Rick Fawn, 'Visegrad’s place in the EU since accession in 2004: “Western” perceptions', International Issues & Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs No. 01-02 (2014), pp. 3-24.
  • Rick Fawn, 'Visegrad: Fit for Purpose?' Communist and Post-CommunistStudies, Vol. 45, No. 3 (2013).
  • Rick Fawn and Robert Nalbandov, 'The Difficulties of Knowing the Start of War in the Information Age: Russia, Georgia and the War over South Ossetia, August 2008’, European Security, Vol. 21, No. 1 (March 2012), pp. 57-91.
  • Rick Fawn; ‘“Central Europe”: On the Move?’ Perspectives: The Review of International Affairs,Vol. 18, No. 2, 2010, pp. 79-94.
  • Rick Fawn; "“Bashing About Rights”: Russia and the “New” EU States on Human Rights and Democracy Promotion";Europe-Asia Studies; Vol. 61, No. 10 (2009), pp. 1777-1803.
  • Rick Fawn; "“Regions” and Their Study: Where From, What For and Where To"; Review of International Studies; 35:2009, pp. 5-34.
  • Rick Fawn and Oliver Richmond; ‘De facto States in the Balkans: Shared Governance versus Ethnic Sovereignty in Republika Srpska and Kosovo’,  Journal of Intervention and State-Building  Vol. 3, No. 2 (June 2009), pp. 205-38.
  • Rick Fawn,  ‘Visegrad: The Study and the Celebration’, Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 60, No. 4 (June 2008), pp. 681-92.
  • Rick Fawn, ‘The Kosovo – and Montenegro – Effect’, International Affairs, Vol. 84, No. 2 (March 2008), pp. 269-94.
  • Rick Fawn, ‘No Consensus with the Commonwealth, No Consensus within Itself: Canada and the Iraq War’, The Round Table, Vol. 97, No. 397 (August 2008), pp. 519-34.
  • Rick Fawn, ‘Battle Over the Box: International Election Observation Missions, Political Competition and Retrenchment in the Post-Soviet Space’, International Affairs Vol. 82, No. 6 (November 2006), pp. 1133-53.      
  • Rick Fawn,  ‘Enlarging (the Debate on) Central Europe’, Slavonica Vol. 13, No. 2 (2007), pp. 168-75 (review article).
  • Rick Fawn,  ‘Alliance Behaviour, The Absentee Liberator, and the Influence of Soft Power’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs Vol. 19, No. 3 (September 2006), pp. 465-80.
  • Rick Fawn, ‘The Temelín Nuclear Power Plant and the European Union in Austrian-Czech Relations’, Communist and Post-Communist Studies Vol. 39, No. 1, 2006, pp. 101-19.
  • Rick Fawn,  ‘From Universal Ideology to Nationalist Doctrines: Post-Communist Foreign Policies in Perspective’, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics Vol. 19, No. 3, 2003, pp. 1-41.
  • Rick Fawn, ‘Reconstituting a National Identity: Ideologies in Czech Foreign Policy after the Split, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics Vol. 19, No. 3, 2003, pp. 204-228.
  • Rick Fawn, ‘Russia’s Reluctant Retreat from the Caucasus: Abkhazia, Georgia and the US after September 11’, European Security Vol. 11, No. 4 (Winter 2002), pp. 131-50.
  • Rick Fawn,  ‘The Media between Conflict and Consensus in Czech-Romani Affairs’, Journal of European Area Studies Vol. 10. No. 1 (May 2002), pp. 71-89.
  • Rick Fawn, ‘Correcting the Incorrigible?: Russia’s Relations with the West over Chechnya’, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics Vol. 18, No. 1 (March 2002), pp. 1-19.
  • Rick Fawn, ‘Interests over Norms in Western Policy Towards the Caucasus: How Abkhazia is No One’s Kosovo’, European Security Vol. 10, No. 3 (Autumn 2001), pp. 84-108 (as co-author).
  • Rick Fawn, ‘Czech Attitudes towards the Roma: “Expecting More of Havel’s Country”?’, Europe-Asia Studies Vol. 48, No. 8 (December 2001), pp. 1193-1219.
  • Rick Fawn, ‘Death Penalty as Democratisation: Is the Council of Europe Hanging Itself?’ Democratization Vol. 8, No. 2 (Summer 2001), pp. 69–96.
  • Rick Fawn ‘The Elusive Defined? Visegrád Cooperation as the Contemporary Contours of Central Europe’, Geopolitics, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Summer 2001), pp. 47-68.
  • Rick Fawn, ‘Symbolism in the Diplomacy of Czech President Václav Havel’, East European Quarterly,Vol. XXXIII, No. 1 (March 1999), pp. 1–19.

Book Chapters

Selected book chapters:

  • ‘Regional Relations and Regional Security’, in Sabrina P. Ramet (ed.), Central and Southeast European Politics since 1989 second edition (Cambridge University Press, 2019).
  • ‘The Historical Difficulties of Regional Cooperation in a Space Where My Hero is Your Enemy’, in Michal Vit and Magdalena M. Baran (eds), Transregional versus National  Perspectives on Contemporary Central European History: Studies on the Building of Nation-States and Their Cooperation in the 20th and 21st Century (Ibidim Press, 2017).
  • Rick Fawn, ‘The Puzzle of the Czech Republic’s Relative Energy Security but Russian Sycophancy, in Eamonn Butler and Wojciech Ostrowski (eds), Understanding Energy Security in Central and Eastern Europe (Routledge, 2018), pp. 73-92.
  • Rick Fawn, 'Russian foreign policy and the promotion of alternative conceptions of democracy and human rights', in Shifting Power and Human Rights Diplomacy (Amnesty International, 2017).
  • Rick Fawn, 'International Commitments to International Election Observation in the Caucasus and Central Asia: The Interplay between Political Identity, Foreign Policy and Regional Affiliations,' in M. Ayoob and M. Ismayilov (eds) Identity and Politics in Central Asia and the Caucasus (London: Routledge, 2015), pp. 134-57.
  • Rick Fawn, 'The International Transformation and Re-regionalization of ‘Eastern Europe’ in Stephen White, Judy Batt and Paul G. Lewis (eds), Central and East European Politics 5 (Duke University Press, and Palgrave, 2013), pp. 119-38.
  • Rick Fawn, 'Regional Relations and Regional Security' in Sabrina P. Ramet (ed.), Central and Southeast European Politics since 1989 (Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 495-518.
  • Rick Fawn, 'Democracy or Deficiency? Parties, Coalitions and Politics in the Czech Republic', in Lars Johannsen and Karin Hilmer Pedersen (eds), Pathways: A Study of Six Post-Communist Countries (Aarhus, Denmark: University of Aarhus Press, 2009), pp. 117–37.
  • Rick Fawn,  ‘Chechnya, the Council of Europe and the Advocacy of Human Rights in the Toughest of Cases’, in Douglas W. Blum (ed.), Russia and the World: Globalization, Identity and Security (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), pp. 259-286.
  • Rick Fawn,  ‘Central and Eastern Europe: Independent Actors or Supplicant States?’, in Fawn and Hinnebusch (eds), The Iraq War: Causes and Consequences (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006), pp. 83-101.
  • Rick Fawn, ‘The Iraq War of 2003: unfolding and unfinished’, in Fawn and Hinnebusch (eds), The Iraq War (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006), pp. 1-18.
  • Rick Fawn,  ‘The East’, in Hans Mouritzen and Anders Wivel (eds), The Geopolitics of Euro-Atlantic Integration (Routledge, 2005), pp. 128-48.
  • Rick Fawn, ‘From Ground Zero to the War in Afghanistan’, in Buckley and Fawn (eds), Global Responses to Terrorism (Routledge, 2003), pp. 11-24.
  • Rick Fawn, ‘Canada: Reluctant Moral Middle Power’, in Buckley and Fawn (eds), Global Responses to Terrorism (Routledge, 2003), pp. 79-89
  • Rick Fawn, ‘Perceptions in Central and Southeastern Europe’, in M. Buckley and S. Cummings (eds), Kosovo: Perceptions of War and its Aftermath (London and New York: Continuum, 2001), pp. 136-55.
  • Rick Fawn and James Mayall, ‘Recognition, Self-determination and Secession in Post-Cold War International Society’, in Fawn and Larkins (eds) International Society After the Cold War (Macmillan, 1996), pp. 193–219.
  • Rick Fawn, ‘Central Europe since the Revolutions of 1989: States, Economies and Culture in a Time of Flux’, in John Macmillan and Andrew Linklater (eds), Boundaries in Question: New Directions in International Relations (London and New York: Pinter, 1995), pp. 69-86.

Some other publications, including policy briefs:

  • Was the 2018 Russian election a victory for international election commitments?’ Europe’s World, April 2018.
  • OSCE Confidence Building in the Economic and Environmental Dimension: Current Opportunities and Constraints (Vienna: OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institution, 2017), co-author.
  • Samuel Doveri Vesterbye, and Rick Fawn (eds), Threats to Stability in Wider Europe (Brussels: European Neighbourhood Council, 2017).
  • What Does the Russian-Armenian Joint Military Force Mean for Security in the South Caucasus? (Tbilisi: Georgian Institute of Politics, 2016).
  • 'Trouble in the neighbourhood? The understated but essential roles for Visegrad', in Adam Hug (ed.), Trouble in the Neighbourhood? The future of the EU's Eastern Partnership (London: The Foreign Policy Centre, 2015).
  • Working together to improve human security in the South Caucasus rapporteur report on policy conference sponsored by the UK Foreign Office and Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs (as incoming Chairmanship of the OSCE), published January 2014.
  • External Diplomatic Perceptions of Visegrad Cooperation, funded by the International Visegrad Fund, published October 2013.
  • Security in the South Caucasus, rapporteur’s report for Wilton Park conference co-organised by the British Foreign Office and the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, April 2012, 10pp. 
  • XIX or XXI century? Divergent perspectives and policies in Russian-British/Western security relations since the end of the Cold War,’ in Oрыт Bторй мировой войны для Европы XXI века (The Lessons of the Great Patriotic War for the 21th Century) (Moscow: Russian Academy of Sciences, 2011), pp. 118-31.
  • ‘The EU’s newer human rights promoter – post-communist states and EU-Russian relations’, The EU-Russia Centre Review Issue Sixteen, November 2010, pp. 39-48. 
  • ‘Kosovo’s Independence and the Future of Nagorno-Karabagh’, in Azerbaijan in the World (Baku: Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy) Vol. 1, No. 3, 1 March 2008. 
  • ‘The Velvet Revolution’, in J. Merriman and J. Winter (eds), Europe Since 1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of War and Reconstruction (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2006).
  • Author of and contributor or consultant to several policy papers for governments, non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations.


Current modules:

  • War and Peace in the Caucasus (IR4544) - for senior Honours undergradutes
  • Conflicts, Security and Democracy in the Greater Caucasus (IR5227 and IR5527) - principally for MECASS and CEES MLitts.

Previous modules:

  • The International Relations of Post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe (IR3104) - for junior Honours undergraduates
  • Ethno-national Conflict in the Post-Communist Space - (IR4525) - for senior Honours undergraduates
  • War and Peace in the Caucasus (IR4544) - for senior Honours undergradutes 
  • Regional Security (IR5003) - core module for MLitt in International Security
  • Revolution and Change (IR5012 and IR5212) - less frequently offered
  • Peace and Conflict in Post-Communist Eurasia (IR5029 and IR5229) - principally for MECASS and CEES MLitts
  • Conflicts, Security and Democracy in the Greater Caucasus (IR5527) - principally for MECASS and CEES MLitts.

Professor Rick Fawn was previously a second-year convenor and convenor for the MLitt and International Security Studies.

Research students

First supervisor:

  • Michael Cecire
  • Pengfei Hou
  • Jason Bruder
  • Shair Dzhuraev
  • Karolina Kluczewska (recently successfully defended)
  • Nina Lutterjohann (recently successfully defended)
  • Marat Iliyasov (recently successfully defended)
  • Elena Zhirukhina (recently successfully defended)

Second supervisor:

  • Kristin Fjæstad
  • Selbi Hanova (recently successfully defended)
  • Aliya Tskhay (recently successfully defended)

PhD supervision topics

Topics include:

  • International organizations and international NGOs and the former Soviet Union.
  • Post-Soviet conflicts and conflict management, particularly regarding the North and South Caucasus.
  • Central European regional cooperation, particularly Visegrad, but also and especially comparison among for example BSEC, CBSS and CEFTA and post-Soviet forms, such as the CIS/Eurasian Union and CSTO and SCO.
  • EU and pan-European organizations and European security; relations with the Russian Federation.

Further information

Editorial work

  • Editorial Board, Europe-Asia Studies
  • Editorial Board, New Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Journal of Central & East European Politics and International Relations
  • Associate Editor, Review of International Studies (2006 to 2010)
  • Editor and Associate Editor, Millennium: Journal of International Studies

Extensive refereeing of submissions for major journals and university presses in IR theory, international security, international organizations and norms, European security, Central and East European and Post-Soviet politics, security and nationalism.

Invited talks, lectures and seminars

Numerous invited presentations, lectures, briefings and keynote addresses in the UK, USA, Europe and Asia, to universities, government agencies, NGOs, intergovernmental bodies and think tanks.

On average, twelve invited lectures or policy-related presentations overseas each year.