SCGA Team: Juliet Kaarbo

Juliet Kaarbo

Chair in Foreign Policy, University of Edinburgh

Juliet Kaarbo is Professor of International Relations with a Chair in Foreign Policy at the University of Edinburgh. She is founding co-director of Edinburgh’s Centre for Security Research. Julie’s research focuses on leader personality and decision making, group dynamics, foreign policy analysis and theory, parliaments and parties, and national roles and has been published in numerous prestigious journals and presses.

She has served as Associate Editor of the journals Foreign Policy Analysis and British Journal of Politics and International Relations. She was the 2018 Distinguished Scholar of Foreign Policy Analysis in the International Studies Association and was elected as an International Studies Association Vice President for 2022-23.

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Press, Clips, Interviews

Research has shown that an analysis of political leaders’ personalities can help to make sense of their approach to political decision-making.
With the UK facing a range of significant domestic and international challenges, Consuelo ThiersJuliet Kaarbo and Ryan Beasley apply a framework to understand the personality characteristics of new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, describing what their findings could mean for policy directions.

While there is much debate around an independent Scotland’s membership in the EU (would it be accepted by EU member states, how long would this take?), there would be few barriers to Scotland’s membership in many other international organisations.

Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine — surprising to many Russia-watchers, dangerous and risky to most observers, and condemned by a broad range of international actors — has prompted many questions, including: Why did Putin choose this option? And why now?

Professor Juliet Kaarbo, Professor Peter Jackson and Professor Phillips O’Brien discuss the potential of a Scottish Council on Global Affairs:- what it is, what it would do and the level of cross-party support for the initiative.

With a careful reading of the 2021 election manifestos of several Scottish political parties, you will find support for a Scottish Council on Global Affairs. Remarkably, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish Labour Party, and the Scottish National Party have all signalled their intention to support this initiative. What is this Council and why has it garnered cross-party promotion?

UK foreign policy is afoot. As Brexit works to untangle the woven web of more than 40 years of membership in the EU, the UK is labouring to find a new role to play within the international system. It is reading for several parts: the leading role of Global Britain, the lucrative role of Merchant of Brussels, and the supporting role of Faithful Ally to the US, among others.

In our third episode, we talked with Prof. Juliet Kaarbo on Foreign Policy Analysis.

Professor Julie Kaarbo (U. of Edinburgh) discusses role theory, the relationship between FPA and IR theory, and a new project she is calling Breaking Bad.

Research Publications


Written testimony submitted to the Treaty Scrutiny Inquiry, UK House of Lords, July 2020.

Written testimony submitted to the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee’s Inquiry on Global Britain, July 2018.

Invited witness for the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee’s Inquiry on the Foreign Policy Implications of and for a Separate Scotland, London, January 2013.

Social feed

Timely and important discussion of “International Responses to Russian Aggression in Ukraine” at Scotland House in Brussels. ⁦@scga_scot⁩ is proud to co-sponsor the event with the ⁦@epc_eu⁩.

❗️Starting now❗️

‘The international response to Russia’s war in 🇺🇦: Reflections and policy options’

@epc_eu and @scga_scot Policy Dialogue with @AivoOrav, @MJohnsonSG1, @davidmcallister, @IYefremova, @Maria_Golub03, @FabianZuleeg, Rick Holtzapple, @amandajanepaul & @JKaarbo.

Happening today! Looking forward to moderating this important event at Scotland House Brussels, co-sponsored by @scga_scot and @epc_eu…


We are pleased to invite you to this @epc_eu and @ScotGovBrussels Policy Dialogue with @VVChentsov, @AivoOrav, @MJohnsonSG1, @davidmcallister, @Maria_Golub03, @JKaarbo & @amandajanepaul.

More ℹ️ & registration:…

IR scholars in Scotland- join us to discuss policy-oriented scholarship, part of the #ISAintheworld series. Co-sponsored w/ @scga_scot & @isanet. Practitioner roundtable, practical tips & discussion w/ @JimGoldgeier of @BtGProjectDC. Jan 12. Registration:…

Really looking forward to welcoming colleagues to Scotland House on Weds (7th) for this important and timely policy dialogue. Still time to register - details below. @epc_eu @scga_scot @ScotGovBrussels @ScotlandEuropa…


We are pleased to invite you to this @epc_eu and @ScotGovBrussels Policy Dialogue with @VVChentsov, @AivoOrav, @MJohnsonSG1, @davidmcallister, @Maria_Golub03, @JKaarbo & @amandajanepaul.

More ℹ️ & registration:…

Thoroughly delighted! to have been awarded a Major Research Fellowship from @LeverhulmeTrust for my research on Breaking Bad: Leader Personality Changes & Political Impacts @EdinburghPIR @uoessps…

Congratulations to the 2022 Leverhulme Major Research Fellows, announced today! Keep an eye out for features in the February 2023 Newsletter and online. A complete list of the fellows is now on our website:…

Looking very much forward to hosting the last Europe in the world seminar of this semester. Always exciting to listen to Stefano Recchia.…

How can major powers obtain United Nations Security Council approval for #military interventions, when some of the council’s veto-wielding members such as Russia and China are hesitant or opposed?

Find out more from Stefano Recchia's talk this Wednesday

Looking forward to this event in Brussels next week, co-sponsored by @scga_scot and @epc_eu…


We are pleased to invite you to this @epc_eu and @ScotGovBrussels Policy Dialogue with @VVChentsov, @AivoOrav, @MJohnsonSG1, @davidmcallister, @Maria_Golub03, @JKaarbo & @amandajanepaul.

More ℹ️ & registration:…

ISA members: Don't forget to vote in the officer elections:…. The deadline is 5 December, but why not just go ahead and do it today? @isanet