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Robert Singh

Professor of Politics (r.singh@bbk.ac.uk; 020 7631 6790)

Biographical details

  • Rob joined the Department of Politics in 1999. He was under-educated in the state sector and attended Christ Church and Nuffield College, University of Oxford, from where he graduated with, respectively, a first class BA Honours degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (1989) and a DPhil in Politics (1994). (While researching his doctorate, Rob spent the academic year of 1990-91 as a visiting Nuffield-Yale graduate exchange student at Yale University.)
  • Before joining the badlands of Birkbeck, Rob held College Lectureships at Oriel, University, Christ Church and The Queen's College, Oxford (1991-94) and permanent Lectureships in Politics at Trinity College, Dublin (1994-96) and the University of Edinburgh (1996-99). He was made Professor of Politics at Birkbeck in 2005.
  • Rob's main research interest is the politics of US foreign policy, but he has also written extensively on domestic US politics, from the politics of gun control and capital punishment to the politics of race. Rob is the author, co-author or editor of ten books and is currently researching and writing an eleventh on the politics of partisan polarisation and contemporary US foreign policy, for Georgetown University Press.
  • Rob's 2008 book After Bush won the 2009 Neustadt Prize from the American Politics Group of the UK Political Science Association. A critical review of Rob's 2012 book Barack Obama's Post-American Foreign Policy in the conservative US Claremont Review of Books ('Courtiers,' May 2013) touchingly, if inaccurately, described him as an 'intimate' of the 'US foreign policy establishment' who writes 'for the Euro-American ruling class.' ((He would very much like to write for them, and have them take him out for pricey all-expenses-paid dinners by scented candlelight to the sounds of soft jazz, in salubrious up-market restaurants with a soothing ambience, where the beautiful Euro-American ruling class people congregate; but they never reply to his letters. So instead he spends his few waking non-scholarly hours outside Pizza Hut: listening to "classic [pre-1990 - when it was good] rock" (Stones, Who, Zeppelin) and misanthropic male menopause music noir (Robbie Fulks, Warren Zevon, Nick Lowe, Lyle Lovett, Leonard Cohen, Ian Dury, Steely Dan and, of course, Shatner's seminal Has Been); rescuing itinerant puppies with attitude; selling landmines for Children in Need; penning song lyrics for Adele ('Guacamole Rhapsody', 'Dettol and Heartache', 'A Hamster Named Norbert', 'Interrogate My Concepts [the way you used to]'); contigency planning for Birkbexit; perfecting his googlies; warming snooker cues; and wistfully dreaming of Hurricanes and jambalaya on the bayou.))
  • Rob's most recent book, After Obama: Renewing American Leadership, Restoring Global Order was published in May 2016 by Cambridge University Press. One US endorsement described the book as '... the intellectual cold shower needed after more than a decade of strategically incoherent behavior on the part of the United States. Witty and sure-footed in his command of history, American politics and international affairs, Robert Singh offers a concise account of the hole Washington has dug for itself and the steps necessary for America to regain its position of global leadership.' He spoke about the book's themes in the autumn of 2016 at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, as well as in appearances in Doha, Bucharest, Canterbury, Lancaster, Bath, and the Defence Academy at Shrivenham.
  • Rob has appeared extensively on TV, radio and in print media as a commentator on US politics, elections, the presidency, public policy and contemporary US foreign and national security policy.

Research roles

  • Professor Singh is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, an Associate Fellow of the Institute for the Study of the Americas (University of London), a member of the external advisory board of the United States Presidency Centre, Institute for the Study of the Americas, an Honorary Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association (New York), and served as a Trustee of William Palmer Sixth Form College (2002-09).
  • He is also a member of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He was appointed Professor of Politics in 2005 and served as Head of the Department of Politics from 2004-2006.
  • Rob has acted as External Examiner for the Department of Politics and International Relations of DeMonfort University, the Department of Political, Social and International Studies at the University of East Anglia and the Department of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King's College, London. He was also the External Examiner for the Macmillan Prize at Eton College in 2011. In 2014 he served as the international member of the university review team of the Department of Political Studies at Cape Town, South Africa. He also serves on the Open University degree validation pool.
  • Rob is also a member of the Westlaw Round Table Group, the European Convention on Liberal Democracy, and the Academic Council of the Henry Jackson Society.

Research Interests

  • US politics and the politics of US foreign policy.

Areas of research supervision

Teaching

  • The Government and Politics of the United States (postgraduate)
  • American Foreign Policy (postgraduate)
  • The United States in International Politics (undergraduate)
  • Contemporary American Politics (undergraduate)

Robert Singh

Contact details

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7631 6790
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7631 6787
Email: r.singh@bbk.ac.uk

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