Dr Simon J. Smith

I am currently a Lecturer in International Relations at Staffordshire University, a Senior Research Fellow at the Scotland Institute and an Honorary Research Fellow at Aston University.

Before Joining Staffordshire University in January 2016, I was a Research Officer at PoLIS, University of Bath (2013-2015), Teaching Fellow at Aston University and contributed to the research and the administration of the Aston Centre for Europe (2012-2013).

Before my time at Aston, he was a University Teacher and the Administrator for the Centre for the Study of International Governance (CSIG) at Loughborough University. My doctoral research on the EU-NATO Relationship was also conducted at Loughborough University.

PhD (International Relations) Loughborough University MSc (Conflict and Cooperation) University of Stirling. BA (History/Political Science) Gonzaga University

Research interests

I have just finished a post (working with Professor David J. Galbreath) for an ESRC funded award entitled ‘The Drivers of Military Strategic Reform in the Face of Economic Crisis and Changing Warfare’ at the University of Bath: http://www.bath.ac.uk/polis/research/projects/military-strategic-reform-economic-crisis-changing-warfare/.

The project tested a series of conceptual and explanatory models that help answer the central research question: What are the drivers of strategic reform in contemporary militaries in Europe? We asked whether states will be more affected by the changing financial resources, change in geo-political climate, modern changes in military doctrine, or combat experience. We aim to test the hypotheses that result from this preliminary identification of strategic drivers.

My other research interests include:

EU and NATO Security Cooperation
EU and NATO Capabilities Transformation
EU and NATO Developing Security Partnerships
Transatlantic Security and Reforming European Defence
The Defence and Security Implications of an Independent Scotland Institutionalism
International Organisations
International Organisation Defence and Security Cooperation

Recent publications

My doctoral research was a Historical Institutionalist account of EU-NATO cooperation through the ‘formal’ mechanism of Berlin Plus and alternative ‘informal’ structures.

This project was funded through a Loughborough University Studentship and was conducted under the supervision of Professor Mark Webber, Professor Dave Allen and Dr Robert Dover.


Book Sections

Smith, S. and Kavalski, E., 2010. NATO’s Partnership with Central Asia:Cooperation à la carte. In: The New Central Asia. World Scientific.


Smith, S. J., 2015. Are the EU and NATO Really Committed to the International Order? European Leadership Network

Smith, S., 2015. Fact check:will renewing Trident cost £100 billion? The Conversation

Smith, S. and Gebhard, C., 2015. The two faces of EU–NATO cooperation:Counter-piracy operations off the Somali coast. Cooperation and Conflict, 50 (1), pp. 107-127.

Smith, S., 2015. European defence, CSDP and the UK:two cases of catch-22. European Geostrategy

Smith, S., 2014. An independent Scotland might have to agree a deal on Trident to get into NATO. The Conversation

Smith, S., 2014. After Ukraine NATO has a role again, but Americans look to Europe and say: who’s paying? The Conversation

Smith, S., 2014. How to strengthen Scottish defence after independence:cooperate with London. The Conversation

Smith, S., 2013. Defence and security in an independent Scotland. The Scotland Institute

Smith, S., 2011. EU–NATO cooperation:a case of institutional fatigue? European Security, 20 (2), pp. 243-264.

Conference or Workshop Items

Smith, S. and Galbreath, D., 2015. Knowing Me, Knowing You: Transatlantic impressions of military transformation in Europe. In: UACES CRN on the Common Security and Defence Policy, 2015-01-23 – 2015-01-23, Brussels.

Galbreath, D. and Smith, S., 2015. The Economic Crisis and European Defence Transformation. In: The 2015 Defence Reform Conference, 2015-01-15 – 2015-01-15, Oslo.

Smith, S. and Galbreath, D., 2014. The Drivers of Contemporary Strategic Reform in Europe : Planning for beyond the financial crisis? In: NATO after the Wales Summit, 2014-12-03 – 2014-12-03, Egham.


Galbreath, D. and Smith, S., 2015. Britain boosts military spending – here’s what it will be buying. The Conversation.

Smith, S., 2015. Putin’s Syria plans have forced Obama to face a terrible dilemma. The Conversation.

Smith, S., 2015. Why the military is divided over Britain’s nuclear deterrent. The Conversation.

Smith, S., 2015. Should the UK spend more on defence? The Conversation.

Galbreath, D. and Smith, S., 2015. Why NATO and Russia are playing a Cold War game of hotlines and spooks. The Conversation.

Smith, S., 2015. Manifesto Check:Tory defence policy talks tough but cuts deep. The Conversation.

Smith, S., 2015. Manifesto check:Labour leaves the door open to downscale Trident. The Conversation.

Smith, S. and Galbreath, D., 2015. Why the UK should heed a warning from the US over defence spending.The Conversation.

Smith, S., 2014. To stand up to Russia, NATO must split the defence burden more equally. The Conversation.

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