Professor Patrick Porter

Academic Director of SSI, Chair of Strategic Studies and MStrat Programme Director

RUSI Senior Associate Fellow

Patrick Porter is Professor of  Strategic Studies at the University of Exeter, where he is the Academic Director of the Strategy and Security Institute.  He is also Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).  He was born and grew up in Australia, and graduated at the Universities of Melbourne and Oxford, where he obtained his doctorate. He has also worked at the Joint Services Command and Staff College at the British Defence Academy, King's College London, and the University of Reading.

His research interests are US defence and foreign policy from 1941 to the present, American Political Realism, Geopolitics and Security in the Asia-Pacific. He is also interested in British security, was on the Chief of Defence Staff's Strategic Forum, and is on the editorial board of Defence Studies.

His latest book is The Global Village Myth: Distance, War and the Limits of Power, published by Georgetown University Press in March 2015, which he wrote with the support of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. He is currently researching a book on Britain's war in Iraq.

He is the Principal Investigator of a Minerva-funded project in partnership with RUSI, 'Information Warfare in a Russian and Chinese Age.'


PhD candidates interested in working with me or with SSI more broadly are welcome to get in touch - but formal applications should be submitted centrally.


Patrick Porter


Telephone: 01392 72 5589

I am excited and honoured to be coming to the Strategy and Security Institute, a growing and vital centre of security debate in the UK, and to the University of Exeter, a world class place of learning. The Vice-Chancellor and his team, the Director, the Dean, colleagues and students have made me feel very welcome. The SSI, I believe, can radiate influence over a generation of decision-makers and leaders. We live in an age of anxiety, a time of fiscal austerity, grinding military operations and complex crises from the Middle East to Eastern Europe. Rory Stewart MP urges the UK to remedy its 'gap of thought' by investing in intellectual capability, the ability to think practically about defining and understanding problems, in thinking through the nature and limits of power, and in coping with the unexpected. So SSI enters its third year at a vital time.

The MStrat Course is an important innovation in British higher education. It gives students the chance to study the making of strategy within the complexities of unique and contingent situations. Its aim is not to mass-produce geniuses, but to cultivate prudence, or practical wisdom, preparing students to make theoretically-informed choices under pressure.

So there's important work to be done. As incoming Chair of Strategic Studies and Academic Director, it will be a privilege to build on SSI's achievements, and help steer it forward.

Professor Patrick Porter on his arrival at SSI