Contact expert

Karen Smith, Prof

, International Relations

Areas of Expertise

Country of residence

United Kingdom

Online Academic Profile

Research Discipline

Politics & International Relations

Language Skills

  • Italian (fluent)
  • French (basic)
  • Spanish (basic)


I am Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Director of the European Foreign Policy Unit (within the International Relations Department). My main area of research has been the 'international relations of the European Union'. Initially, I was principally interested in analysing and explaining why a collectivity of states, the EU, has formulated and implemented common policies towards other countries and in the international system - overcoming numerous obstacles to inter-state cooperation in order to do so. I have since been exploring what kind of policy the EU's foreign policy system produces and related issues of consistency, coherence and effectiveness of EU foreign policy. In particular, I have examined the EU's pursuit of so-called 'ethical' foreign policy goals such as promoting human rights and democracy. More recently, I have pursued my interest in ethical foreign policy, and tried to explain policy-making within European states regarding genocide. I am currently pursuing several research questions arising from my book, Genocide and the Europeans (Cambridge University Press, 2010), as well as continuing to analyse EU-UN relations.