Profile icon

Liam Mccarthy-Cotter

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Politics and International Relations


Liam McCarthy is a Lecturer in International Relations with teaching responsibilities on the BA (Hons) International Relations, BA (Hons) Joint Honours Humanities, BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations and MA International Relations courses. Liam is the module leader for a number of modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level and is also the Course Leader for the BA (Hons) International Relations degree.

Liam teaches on a range of modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level including in the following areas: International Relations Theory, International Security, International History, Foreign Policy, Research Methods, and the International Relations of Southeast Asia.

Liam is also co-director of the Insecurity, Political Violence and Change research cluster.

Career overview

Prior to joining NTU, Liam McCarthy was a Teaching Fellow at the University of Nottingham and a Lecturer of Strategic Studies at the University of Kent.

Research areas

Liam's current research is exploring three paths. Firstly, examining the nation/regime building processes of Indonesia, seeking to explore the nature of political legitimacy in the East Indies and the transitions to, and through, authoritarianism and democracy. He is analysing the role of new "democracies" in Southeast Asia, and their position as potential norm entrepreneurs in ASEAN and beyond.

Secondly, Liam engages with contemporary reinterpretations of security studies, in particular, looking at the mechanisms of norm formation, the impact of the so called neo-liberal "Industrial Complexes" and the implications of this for the practice and study of security. Both of these paths are tied together by a critical understanding of legitimacy and resistance, which lie at the heart of many security challenges.

Thirdly, Liam is researching the pedagogic challenges that we face as lecturers in Politics and International Relations, in particular the drivers imposing positivist epistemologies and methodologies on scholars at all levels. In particular the consequences of this move for both students and staff, exploring the various strategies deployed in cognitive disciplines nationally and internationally to address these concerns.

External activity

  • International Studies Association (ISA)
  • The European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR)
  • Association of Southeast Asian Studies in the United Kingdom (ASEASUK)
  • Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies (IAPS) at the University of Nottingham
  • Centre for Conflict, Security and Terrorism (CST) at the University of Nottingham


  • The Fetishization of Drones in Political Consciousness (Political Horizons Conference, Manchester, June 2014)
  • An exploration of Drones in Strategic Thinking (Airpower and War in the 21st Century workshop, University of Nottingham, June 2014)
  • Fear and Loathing of Research Methods Training (European Conference on Teaching and Learning Politics and International Relations, Maastricht, June 2014)
  • Making and breaking the rules of resistance (Complexities of Governance/Resistance Workshop, Kuala Lumpur, May 2012)
  • Regime Resilience and Integrity: Desecuritizing Human Security (Security in the EU and ASEAN: comparisons and interactions in Kuala Lumpur May 2011)
  • The Security of Ideas: Securitization, Regime Change and Political Opposition (Presented at the 2008 PSA Conference)

Press expertise

  • Indonesia
  • South East Asia
  • International Security