Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science

Institutional Affiliation 

Colorado State University, Department of Political Science


PhD in Government, University of Texas at Austin, 2015

MA in Government, University of Texas at Austin, 2013

MSc in International Politics, SOAS, University of London, 2009

MA (Hons) Politics, University of Edinburgh, 2008

Regional and Thematic Interests

International relations of the Asia-Pacific, rise of China, US-China relations, the Indian Ocean, the Chagos Islands, overseas military bases, military environmentalism


Peter Harris is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Colorado State University, where his teaching and research focus on international security, International Relations theory, and US foreign policy. Peter has two main research projects underway: one focusing on great power relations during periods of major international change (with a specific emphasis on US-China relations) and another focusing on the environmental protection of US military bases, including overseas bases in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean, as well as installations in the US states and territories. He has conducted extensive research into Diego Garcia, the largest island of the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory), which is home to one of the most important US military bases in the world. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and holds additional degrees from SOAS, University of London and the University of Edinburgh. His work has appeared in journals such as African Affairs, Anthropology Today, Asian Security, Chinese Journal of International Politics, Environmental Policy and Law, International Journal, International Political Sociology, International Politics, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, Journal of Transatlantic Studies, Marine Policy, National Interest, Political Quarterly, PS: Political Science & Politics, and Review of International Studies. He is newsletter co-editor for the International History and Politics section of the American Political Science Association.

Selected Publication

China in British Politics: Western Unexceptionalism in the Shadow of China’s Rise. The Chinese Journal of International Politics 10, no. 3 (Autumn 2017): 241-267.

America’s Other Guantánamo: British Foreign Policy and the U.S. Base on Diego Garcia. The Political Quarterly 86, no. 4 (October-December 2015): 507-514. 

Why Law and Politics Matter for Marine Conservation: The Case of the Chagos Marine Protected Area. Environmental Policy and Law 45, no. 5 (September 2015): 204-207.

The Imminent US Strategic Adjustment to China. The Chinese Journal of International Politics 8, no. 3 (Autumn 2015): 219-250.

Britannia Rules the Waves? The Law of the Sea, the British Indian Ocean Territory, and the Chagos Islanders’ Right to Return. Anthropology Today 31, no. 3 (June 2015): 18-19.

Militarism in Environmental Disguise: The Greenwashing of an Overseas Military Base. International Political Sociology 9, no. 1 (March 2015): 19-36.                                                                                                                                         

Problems with Power-Transition Theory: Beyond the Vanishing Disparities Thesis. Asian Security 10, no. 3 (December 2014): 241-259.

Environmental Protection as International Security: Conserving the Pentagon’s Island Bases in the Asia-Pacific. International Journal 69, no. 3 (September 2014): 377-393.

Fortress, Safe Haven or Home? The Chagos MPA in Political Context. Marine Policy 46 (May 2014): 19-21.

A Political Trilemma? International Security, Environmental Protection and Human Rights in the British Indian Ocean Territory. International Politics 51, no. 1 (January 2014): 87-100.

Decolonising the Special Relationship: Diego Garcia, the Chagossians and Anglo-American Relations. Review of International Studies 39, no. 3 (July 2013): 707-727.

Dead End or Crossroads? The Chagossians Fail in Strasbourg. Anthropology Today 29, no. 3 (June 2013): 26.

Not Just a Military Base: Reframing Diego Garcia and the Chagos Islands. African Affairs 110, no. 440 (July 2011): 491-499.