Professor Lee Marsden

Head of School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies; Professor of Faith and Global Politics

Lee Marsden is Professor of Faith and Global Politics in the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies. In August 2013 he was appointed head of the school of Political, Social and International Studies, the first UEA alumnus to be appointed to the position, before leading the merger of this school with those of Philosophy and Language and Communication Studies a year later to form Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies. He is a specialist in faith, politics and international relations; international relations theory and US foreign policy.

A lively and engaging communicator Professor Marsden is a regular speaker at national and international academic conferences, at schools and third sector organisations, and appears regularly in national and local media. From 2009-2012 Lee was a trustee and member of the executive of the British International Studies Association. From 2010 to 2013 he served as co-convenor of the BISA US foreign policy working group. Lee is organiser of the Keswick Hall lecture series, Charles Clarke in Conversation series and with Professor John Charmley founder and organiser of the Religious Literacy Network based at UEA. He is author of six books, including three edited volumes and is series editor for the Routledge Series on Religion and International Security.

Lee entered higher education as a mature student in 1996 after a background in management. In 1999 he achieved a first class honours degree in Politics from the University of East Anglia, winning the Thomas Paine Prize for Politics. This was followed by achieving a distinction in MA International Relations from the same institution in 2000. Lee then spent four years at the Open University as the first full time, fully funded PhD student in Politics and Government successfully passing his viva on US Democracy Promotion in Russia without corrections in 2004. In 2005-6 Lee returned to UEA and PSI to become an ESRC postdoctoral research fellow on US democracy promotion before his first appointment as Lecturer in International Relations at Oxford Brookes University in 2006.

A year later he returned to PSI taking up a full time position as Lecturer in International Relations and has remained with the school ever since.  During this period Lee has taken leadership of the international relations group within the school, introducing new modules in security, terrorism and religious fundamentalism. He has played a key role in expanding international relations as a discipline within the school and introducing an MA International Security course. Outside the School Lee has played a key role within the faculty of Arts and Humanities in developing the Thought out project, as part of the Centre for Public Understanding of the Humanities led by Professor Sarah Churchwell. He served as Associate Dean for Admissions in 2012-13 taking a key leadership role in strategic thinking on admissions across the faculty. In August 2013 Lee was appointed to a Chair in International Relations and heads up a school which has risen dramatically in the Guardian League tables from 43rd in 2009 to 16th in 2013. Building on the key strengths of PSI in cultural politics, communications and media, public policy and public management, and international politics Lee is intent on steering the school into the top ten politics departments in the United Kingdom.



  • August 2013 to present   Professor of International Relations and Head of School PSI, UEA
  • September 2012 – 2013  Associate Dean Admissions Faculty of Arts and Humanities, UEA
  • August 2009 – July 2013 Senior Lecturer in International Relations PSI, UEA 
  • September 2007 – July 2010  Lecturer in International Relations PSI, UEA
  • September 2006 – August 2007 Lecturer in International Relations Oxford Brooke University
  • September 2006 – August 2006  ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, PSI, UEA
  • November 2003 – September 2005 Lead Research Fellow, City College Norwich

Academic Background

Educated through the state education system and dropped out of University after first year at University of Sussex in 1977. Nineteen years later Professor Marsden took an access course in Social Sciences at Lowestoft Further Education College before taking a Politics degree at the University of East Anglia. Successful completion of the degree led to a Masters degree in International Relations before taking a PhD at the Open University in Milton Keynes.  

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