School of Social and Political Science

Dr Oliver Turner

Job Title

Senior Lecturer in International Relations

Oliver Turner's photo

Room number


Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)


Research interests

Research interests

International security; discourse and narratives; empire; International affairs of Asia; US and UK power/policy in Asia and the Pacific; Western perceptions of 'rising powers' and 'world order'  

Topics interested in supervising

Oliver is interested in supervising PhD dissertations on topics related to his main research interests.

If you are interested in being supervised by Oliver Turner, please see the link below (opens in new window) for more information:


Oliver Turner is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. He has a PhD in International Relations from the University of Manchester, where he was subsequently employed as a Hallsworth Research Fellow.

Oliver is a former editor of the British Journal of Politics and International Relations. He has acted as convenor and co-convenor of BISA's US Foreign Policy working group, and is a former visiting research fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs.

At Edinburgh, Oliver convenes the courses International Relations of the Asia Pacific (UG) and Asia Pacific in the World (PG). He is co-director of the University's MSc in International Relations programme, and co-director of the University's Centre for Security Research (CeSeR).  

Oliver is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

You can follow Oliver on and Twitter




- Turner, O. and Parmar, I. (eds.) (2020) The United States in the Indo-Pacific: Obama's Legacy and the Trump Transition (Manchester University Press).

- Turner, O. (2014) American Images of China: Identity, Power, Policy (Routledge).

Peer-reviewed journal articles

- Turner, O. (2022) 'Frontiering International Relations: Narrating US policy in the Asia Pacific', Foreign Policy Analysis, 18:2.  

- Turner, O. and Kaarbo, J. (2021) 'Predictably Unpredictable: Trump's Personality and Approach Towards China', Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 34:3, pp.452-471.

- Turner, O. (2019) 'Global Britain and the Narrative of Empire', The Political Quarterly, 90:4, pp.727-734. 

- Turner, O. and Nymalm, N. (2019) 'Morality and Progress: IR Narratives on International Revisionism and the Status Quo', Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 32:4, pp.407-428. 

- Turner, O. (2018) ‘Subcontracting, Facilitating, and Qualities of Regional Power: The UK’s Partial Pivot to Asia’, Asia Europe Journal, 17:2, pp.211-226. 

- Pan, C. and Turner, O. (2017) ‘Neoconservatism as Discourse: Virtue, Power and US Foreign Policy’, European Journal of International Relations, 23:1, pp.74-96.

- Turner, O. (2016) ‘China, India and the US Rebalance to the Asia Pacific: The Geopolitics of Rising Identities’, Geopolitics, 21:4, pp.922-944.

- Turner, O. (2013) ‘Threatening China and US Security: The International Politics of Identity’, Review of International Studies, 39:4, pp.903-924.

- Turner, O. (2013) ‘Finishing the Job: The UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization and the Politics of Self-Governance’, Third World Quarterly, 34:7, pp.1193-1208.

- Turner, O. (2011) ‘Sino-US Relations Then and Now: Discourse, Images, Policy’, Political Perspectives, 5:3, pp. 27-45.

- Turner, O. (2009) ‘China’s Recovery: Why the Writing Was Always on the Wall’, The Political Quarterly, 80:1, pp. 111-118.

Book chapters 

- Turner, O. and Kaarbo, J. (forthcoming) 'Predictably Unpredictable: Trump's Personality and Approach Towards China', in Bentley, M. and Lerner, A. (eds.) A Trump Doctrine? Unpredictability and Foreign Policy (London: Routledge). 

- Harrison, J. and Turner, O. (2022) ‘The United States and the International Law of the Sea’, in Iommi, L.G and Maass, R.W. (eds.) The United States and International Law: Paradoxes of Support Across Contemporary Issues (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press).

- Turner, O. (2020) 'US imperial hegemony in the American Pacific', in Turner, O. and Parmar, I. (eds.) The United States in the Indo-Pacific: Obama's Legacy and the Trump Transition (Manchester University Press).

- Turner, O. and Parmar, I. (2020) 'Conclusion: Legacies and Transitions in the twenty first century Indo-Pacific', in Turner, O. and Parmar, I. (eds.) The United States in the Indo-Pacific: Obama's Legacy and the Trump Transition (Manchester University Press).

- Turner O. (2016) ‘The US and China: Obama’s cautious engagement’, in Holland, J. and Bentley, M. (eds.) The Obama Doctrine: Legacy and Continuity in US Foreign Policy (London: Routledge), pp.180-193.

- Turner, O. (2014) ‘The US Pivot to the Asia Pacific’, in Parmar, I., Miller, L. and Ledwidge, M. (eds.) Obama and the World: New Directions in US Foreign Policy, 2nd edition (London: Routledge), pp.219-230.

Media and opinion pieces/briefs/reports

- Turner, O. and Stephens, L. (2021) 'The Indo-Pacific Exposes the Regionalisms of "Global" Britain', The Diplomat, 24 November 2021,…

- Turner, O. (2020) 'COVID-19 challenges Downing Street’s post-Brexit Asia ambitions', East Asia Forum, 22 April 2020,…

- Turner, O. (2019) 'Why the 2020 Democratic Candidates’ Biggest China Challenge May be President Trump', LSE US Centre, 6 December,…

- Turner, O. (2018) 'The Golden Era of UK-China Relations Meets Brexit', The Diplomat, 18 December,….

- Turner, O. (2017) ‘The United States and China: Ruptures and Realignments in Trump's First Six Months’. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Brief no. 9. (Republished on the University of Edinburgh's PIR blog:

- Turner, O. and Pan, C. (2016) ‘How Neocons are Still Winning in 2016', The National Interest, 15 August,….

- Turner, O. (2016) ‘China and ASEAN: A Complex and Evolving Landscape, University of Nottingham China Policy Institute, 13 June,…

- Turner, O. (2016) ‘The Motives Behind China’s South China Sea Expansion’, South East Asia Globe, 12 April,

- Turner, O. (2015) ‘China and the 2016 US Presidential Debates: Curiosities and Contradictions’. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Brief no. 3.

- Turner, O. (2014) ‘Hagel Speech on China’s ‘Rise’ exposes Hypocrisy in Washington, The Conversation, 11 July,….

- Turner, O. (2013) ‘West Fears the Rise of Some Countries More Than Others’, The Conversation, 9 December,….