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

Juliet Kaarbo, a foreign policy professor at the University of Edinburgh, expressed similar skepticism. “Trump’s claim does not rest on solid assumptions,” she said. “He (or others) have not provided a reasonable causal chain that links him being in the presidency to an alternative outcome.”

In a recent journal article, Ms. Kaarbo and colleagues in part dismiss the theory, concluding that “it is reasonable to assert that Trump’s re-election would not have prevented Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

What would have happened if Donald Trump was President of the United States, instead of Joe Biden, when Russia prepared for and then invaded Ukraine in February 2022? Would the West have shared intelligence, remained united and forcefully condemned the invasion, and supported Ukraine, as it actually did in the early months of the war?

Ruth Deyermond, Juliet Kaarbo, Kai Oppermann and Ryan Beasley investigate the Trump administration’s Russia policy and implications for the RussiaUkraine war.

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.

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