Dr Ian Paterson

  • Lecturer (Politics)


Ian Paterson joined the School of Social and Political Sciences in September 2018 and currently works as a Lecturer in International Relations. He holds a PhD in Politics from the University of Glasgow (2018), an MSc in International Relations from the same institution (2014), and a MA(Hons) in History and Politics from the University of Dundee (2013). In addition, he has previously taught at the University of Strathclyde and the University of the West of Scotland. His main research and teaching interests lie in the areas of international security studies and security theory, with a specialised focus on securitisation and migration politics.

Research interests

Dr Paterson's current research efforts could be grouped into two main areas.

The first concerns the theoretical and methodological development of securitisation theory. Among others, he is proposing an extension of the theory beyond its typically qualitative evaluations to explore how audiences interpret political cues about the presence of a perceived threat by employing mixed-methods research designs. Moreover, he is bringing this approach to bear on the under-theorised conceptual-twin, desecuritisation, and broader attempts to 'contest' security, as well as unpacking the role of non-traditional security actors (such as religious elites and NGOs). This approach enables scholars to gain a more comprehensive understanding of how and when de/securitisation attempts succeed and fail.

A second area of research focuses on migration politics. This is directly related to the above, regarding an exploration of the ways in which migration has been constructed as a threat and attempts to challenge this threat-centric approach. However, he also has an interest in understanding the various drivers of immigration attitudes. 


List by: Type | Date


Paterson, Ian (2020) 'Building bridges, not walls? The role of NGOs in contesting the security-migration nexus.' Carnegie Trust: Research Incentive Grant (£3,392).

Paterson, Ian (2021) 'From Hostile to Hospitable? Enhancing Efficacy in the Asylum/Refugee Sector in Scotland: Strategic Coordination, Cooperation and Practice.' ESRC Impact Accelerator Account (£5,000).


Ian welcomes potential doctoral students who are interested in his areas of expertise, especially the development of (de)securitisation theory and undersatanding the security-migration nexus.


Current PhD students:

  • Al-Khulaifi, Sultan (2021–24)
    • Project Title: Qatari Foreign Policy and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Constructivist Understanding


Postgraduate Taught

  • International Security and Strategic Studies

Honours and Pre-Honours

  • Politics 1B: Introduction to International Relations

Additional information

  • RET Associate Fellow (Recognising Excellence in Teaching)