Professor David Lewis

Senior Associate Fellow; Professor of Global Politics, University of Exeter


David Lewis is Professor of Global Politics at the University of Exeter. He is a specialist on international relations, with a regional focus on Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Professor Lewis has published widely on the rise of illiberalism and authoritarianism in global politics and on political developments in Russia and Eurasia. His recent work includes a study of radical conservative political thought in Russia, Russia’s New Authoritarianism: Putin and the Politics of Order (Edinburgh University Press, 2020).

After studying in Aberdeen and Moscow, Professor Lewis was awarded a doctorate in Soviet history at the London School of Economics. He worked as a political risk consultant for Control Risks Group in London, and subsequently as director of in-country research teams in Central Asia and Sri Lanka for the International Crisis Group. He returned to academia as a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford. Since 2013, he has been based in the Department of Politics at the University of Exeter.

From 2019 to 2022, Professor Lewis was seconded to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office through an ESRC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship, specialising in Russian foreign policy. He has provided advice and consultancy to other governments, international organisations and NGOs, including NATO, the European Union, International Crisis Group, Open Society Foundations, the Asian Development Bank, Foreign Policy Centre and others.

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