Professor Colin Wight

H04 - Merewether Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 3310

Website Contact Details

Biographical details

Colin Wight’s research interests originate in the desire to explore and understand the fragmented nature of International Relations Theory and to embed this understanding in wider intellectual and public debates. Although primarily interested in theory all his work is constructed around the desire to understand, and show, how theoretical work impacts on empirical research; the Political Studies piece on ‘The Agent-Structure Problem and Institutional Racism’ being a good example of this. His Cambridge University Press book, Agents Structures and International Relations, examines the manner in which differing theories conceptualise the key units of analysis that are claimed to contribute to the processes of International Relations, and attempts to show how these understandings play a role in substantive empirical research and the practice of international politics. He is also interested in all aspects of political violence and is currently completeing a book on Terrorism, Violence and the State. He moved to Sydney in January 2001, having previously worked at Exter, Sheffield and Aberystwyth. He is currently the Editor in Chief of the European Journal of International Relations. He is keen to supervise PhD students on any aspect of International Relations.

Research interests

  • International Relations
  • International Relations Theory
  • The Philosophy of Social Science
  • Political Theory
  • Terrorism and Political Violence

Teaching and supervision

Current Courses

Current research students

Project title Research student
Research on the Influence of Rite and Ritual System on China's Diplomacy Huan LIU
Middle Powers in the Asia Pacific: Rules, Roles and Relations Sarah TEO
A Reluctant Caliphate: the Battle for Salafist Radicalization in Bosnia and Herzegovina Laura WELTY

Selected grants

2017

  • The Crisis of Post-Truth Discourse; Enfield N, Wight C, Mann A, Keane J, Schlosberg D, Murray J; DVC Research/Sydney Research Excellence Initiative 2020 (SREI).

Selected publications

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Books

  • Wight, C. (2015). Rethinking Terrorism: Terrorism, Violence and the State. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Wight, C. (2006). Agents, Structures and International Relations: Politics as Ontology. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
  • Dean, K., Joseph, J., Roberts, J., Wight, C. (2006). Realism, Philosophy and Social Science. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan. [More Information]

Edited Books

  • Joseph, J., Wight, C. (2010). Scientific Realism and International Relations. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.

Book Chapters

  • Wight, C. (2017). The Will to Be: Human Flourishing and the Good International Society. In M. S. Archer (Eds.), Morphogenesis and Human Flourishing, (pp. 261-276). Springer International Publishing.
  • Wight, C. (2016). Emergence, Development and Death: Norms in International Society. In M. S. Archer (Eds.), Morphogenesis and the Crisis of Normativity, (pp. 69-85). Springer International Publishing.
  • Wight, C. (2016). Protest and International Politics in the Information Age. In K. Booth and T. Erskine (Eds.), International Relations Theory Today, (pp. 202-216). Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Wight, C. (2015). Realism, agency, and the politics of nature. In D Jacobi and A Freyberg-Inan (Eds.), Human Beings in International Relations, (pp. 195-211). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2015). Theorizing International Relations: Emergence, Organized Complexity, and Integrative Pluralism. In Emilian Kavalski (Eds.), World Politics at the Edge of Chaos: Reflections on Complexity and Global Life, (pp. 53-77). New York: State University of New York Press.
  • Wight, C. (2014). Morphogenesis and Cooperation in the International System. In Margaret S. Archer (Eds.), Late Modernity: Trajectories towards Morphogenic Society, (pp. 221-240). Cham: Springer. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2013). Agency, structure, international relations and foreign policy. In Fredrik Bynander, Stefano Guzzini (Eds.), Rethinking Foreign Policy, (pp. 31-44). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
  • Kurki, M., Wight, C. (2013). International Relations and Social Science (Third Edition). In Tim Dunne, Milja Kurki, and Steve Smith (Eds.), International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity, (pp. 14-35). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Wight, C. (2013). Morphogenesis, Continuity and Change in the International Political System. In Margaret S. Archer (Eds.), Social Morphogenesis, (pp. 85-101). London: Springer. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2013). Philosophy of Social Science and International Relations. In Walter Carlsnaes, Thomas Risse, Beth A. Simmons (Eds.), Handbook of International Relations [Second Edition]. London; Thousand Oaks, California; New Delhi; Singapore: Sage Publications Ltd.
  • Wight, C. (2012). No: State terrorism: who needs it? In Richard Jackson, Samuel Justin Sinclair (Eds.), Contemporary Debates on Terrorism, (pp. 50-57). Abingdon: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis. [More Information]
  • Wight, C., Joseph, J. (2010). Scientific Realism and International Relations. In Jonathan Joseph and Colin Wight (Eds.), Scientific Realism and International Relations, (pp. 1-30). United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Kurki, M., Wight, C. (2007). International Relations and Social Science. In Timothy Dunne, Milja Kurki, Steve Smith (Eds.), International Relations Theory: Discipline and Diversity, (pp. 13-33). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Journals

  • Wight, C. (2017). Querying the queer wars. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 71(3), 247-254. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2016). Over Socialising the Social World(s)? Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 46(4), 413-419. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2013). The Dualistic Grounding of Monism: Science, Pluralism and Typological Truncation. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 41(2), 326-345. [More Information]
  • Dunne, T., Hansen, L., Wight, C. (2013). The end of International Relations theory? European Journal of International Relations, 19(3), 405-425. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2012). Critical Realism: some responses. Review of International Studies, 38(1), 267-274. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2012). Riot, why wouldn't you? Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies, (5), 161-166.
  • Wight, C. (2011). Theorising Terrorism, Part II: A Reply to Dani Nedal. International Relations, 25(2), 267-271. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2009). Theorising Terrorism: The State, Structure and History. International Relations, 23(1), 99-106. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2008). Living with Hume's Problem: Reply to Patrick Jackson. Cooperation and Conflict, 43(3), 357-360. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2007). A Manifesto for Scientific Realism in IR: Assuming the Can-Opener Won’t Work!. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 35(2), 379-398. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2007). A response to Friedrich Kratochwil: why shooting the messenger does not make the bad news go away!. Journal of International Relations and Development, 10(3), 301-315. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2007). Inside the epistemological cave all bets are off. Journal of International Relations and Development, 10(1), 40-56. [More Information]

2017

  • Wight, C. (2017). Querying the queer wars. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 71(3), 247-254. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2017). The Will to Be: Human Flourishing and the Good International Society. In M. S. Archer (Eds.), Morphogenesis and Human Flourishing, (pp. 261-276). Springer International Publishing.

2016

  • Wight, C. (2016). Emergence, Development and Death: Norms in International Society. In M. S. Archer (Eds.), Morphogenesis and the Crisis of Normativity, (pp. 69-85). Springer International Publishing.
  • Wight, C. (2016). Over Socialising the Social World(s)? Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 46(4), 413-419. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2016). Protest and International Politics in the Information Age. In K. Booth and T. Erskine (Eds.), International Relations Theory Today, (pp. 202-216). Cambridge: Polity Press.

2015

  • Wight, C. (2015). Realism, agency, and the politics of nature. In D Jacobi and A Freyberg-Inan (Eds.), Human Beings in International Relations, (pp. 195-211). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2015). Rethinking Terrorism: Terrorism, Violence and the State. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Wight, C. (2015). Theorizing International Relations: Emergence, Organized Complexity, and Integrative Pluralism. In Emilian Kavalski (Eds.), World Politics at the Edge of Chaos: Reflections on Complexity and Global Life, (pp. 53-77). New York: State University of New York Press.

2014

  • Wight, C. (2014). Morphogenesis and Cooperation in the International System. In Margaret S. Archer (Eds.), Late Modernity: Trajectories towards Morphogenic Society, (pp. 221-240). Cham: Springer. [More Information]

2013

  • Wight, C. (2013). Agency, structure, international relations and foreign policy. In Fredrik Bynander, Stefano Guzzini (Eds.), Rethinking Foreign Policy, (pp. 31-44). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
  • Kurki, M., Wight, C. (2013). International Relations and Social Science (Third Edition). In Tim Dunne, Milja Kurki, and Steve Smith (Eds.), International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity, (pp. 14-35). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Wight, C. (2013). Morphogenesis, Continuity and Change in the International Political System. In Margaret S. Archer (Eds.), Social Morphogenesis, (pp. 85-101). London: Springer. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2013). Philosophy of Social Science and International Relations. In Walter Carlsnaes, Thomas Risse, Beth A. Simmons (Eds.), Handbook of International Relations [Second Edition]. London; Thousand Oaks, California; New Delhi; Singapore: Sage Publications Ltd.
  • Wight, C. (2013). The Dualistic Grounding of Monism: Science, Pluralism and Typological Truncation. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 41(2), 326-345. [More Information]
  • Dunne, T., Hansen, L., Wight, C. (2013). The end of International Relations theory? European Journal of International Relations, 19(3), 405-425. [More Information]

2012

  • Wight, C. (2012). Critical Realism: some responses. Review of International Studies, 38(1), 267-274. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2012). No: State terrorism: who needs it? In Richard Jackson, Samuel Justin Sinclair (Eds.), Contemporary Debates on Terrorism, (pp. 50-57). Abingdon: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2012). Riot, why wouldn't you? Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies, (5), 161-166.

2011

  • Wight, C. (2011). Theorising Terrorism, Part II: A Reply to Dani Nedal. International Relations, 25(2), 267-271. [More Information]

2010

  • Joseph, J., Wight, C. (2010). Scientific Realism and International Relations. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Wight, C., Joseph, J. (2010). Scientific Realism and International Relations. In Jonathan Joseph and Colin Wight (Eds.), Scientific Realism and International Relations, (pp. 1-30). United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.

2009

  • Wight, C. (2009). Theorising Terrorism: The State, Structure and History. International Relations, 23(1), 99-106. [More Information]

2008

  • Wight, C. (2008). Living with Hume's Problem: Reply to Patrick Jackson. Cooperation and Conflict, 43(3), 357-360. [More Information]

2007

  • Wight, C. (2007). A Manifesto for Scientific Realism in IR: Assuming the Can-Opener Won’t Work!. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 35(2), 379-398. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2007). A response to Friedrich Kratochwil: why shooting the messenger does not make the bad news go away!. Journal of International Relations and Development, 10(3), 301-315. [More Information]
  • Wight, C. (2007). Inside the epistemological cave all bets are off. Journal of International Relations and Development, 10(1), 40-56. [More Information]
  • Kurki, M., Wight, C. (2007). International Relations and Social Science. In Timothy Dunne, Milja Kurki, Steve Smith (Eds.), International Relations Theory: Discipline and Diversity, (pp. 13-33). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

2006

  • Wight, C. (2006). Agents, Structures and International Relations: Politics as Ontology. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
  • Dean, K., Joseph, J., Roberts, J., Wight, C. (2006). Realism, Philosophy and Social Science. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan. [More Information]

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