Staff Profile:Dr Graham O'Dwyer

Dr Graham O'Dwyer
Job Title:
Lecturer in Politics and International Relations

Convenor for the following modules

- PO2AMG: American Government and Politics

- PO3USF: US Foreign and Defence Policy Since 1950

- PO3BFD: British Foreign and Defence Policy Since 1945

- Academic Lead for the SPEIR Component of the Army Higher Education Pathway (AHEP)

Areas of Interest:

- Applied Cognitive Psychology and Human Irrationality in Politics

- Foreign Policy Analysis (specifically US, British, and French foreign policy)

- US Government and Politics

Feedback and consultation hours:

  • Thursday 16:00 - 18:00
Research groups / Centres:
This staff member does not appear to have any publication data in CentAUR

- Charles de Gaulle, the International System, and the Existential Difference (Routledge, 2017)

- American Government and Politics (Oxford University Press, 2018) (Forthcoming)

- From the Dunning-Kruger Effect to the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy: an introduction to Cognitive Psychology in Politics and International Relations (Oxford University of Press, 2018) (Forthcoming)


Graham joined the Department in September 2016 and primarily teaches American Government, and British and US Foreign Policy. While his research interests are varied he has a particular interest in the expression of human irrationality in political decision-making (especially foreign policy) and political debate and seeks to understand the political world through numerous theories of cognitive psychology such as 'narrative bias', 'the backfire effect', 'active information avoidance', and 'the availability heuristic.' These analytical techniques are useful in analysing why certain presidents and prime ministers act as they do, but they also have much to say regarding strategies of political campaigning and the critical mental errors that campaign teams often make seeking to gain office or win referenda.

Prior to joining the Department Graham taught American Government and Foreign Policy Analysis at the University of Kent in Canterbury and Kingston University in London. He is also the author of a new FPA work that explores the intellectual roots of Franco-American diplomatic disputes during the 1960s concerning the ontological 'content' of the international system. In addition to this he is working on Oxford University Press' new 'flagship' textbook on American Government and Politics (co-authored with Dr. Andrew Wroe, Kent) as well as a substantial monograph that introduces students of IR and FPA to 'actor specific theory' and the application of theories of cognitive psychology to this.

Impact and Outreach

Graham has appeared on numerous local and national radio stations to discuss various aspects of US current affairs and always welcomes the opportunity to do so. In addition to this Graham has also advised numerous political teams on what theories of cognitive psychology teaches us about effective and ineffective strategies of campaigning. Please feel free to contact him should you wish to discuss this.


Contact Details

Edith Morley 312

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