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Image of Robert Patman 2017BA(Lanc) MA(Warw) PhD(S'ton)

Robert is one of the University of Otago's inaugural Sesquicentennial Distinguished Chairs and his research interests concern international relations, global security, US foreign policy, great powers, and the Horn of Africa. He served as an editor for International Studies Perspectives (2010–14) and Head of Department of Politics (2013–16).

Robert is the author or editor of 12 books. Publications include Strategic Shortfall: The 'Somalia Syndrome' and the March to 9/11 (Praeger, 2010), co-edited books titled China and the International System: Becoming a World Power (Routledge, 2013); Science Diplomacy: New Day or False Dawn? (World Scientific Publishers, 2015) and New Zealand and the World: Past, Present and Future (World Scientific Publishers, 2018).

Robert is currently writing a volume called Rethinking the Global Impact of 9/11 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

He is a Fulbright Senior Scholar, an Honorary Professor of the New Zealand Defence Command and Staff College, and provides regular contributions to the national and international media on global issues and events.


  • POLS 104 Introduction to International Relations
  • POLS 308 US Foreign Policy Since 1945 (co-taught with Dr Lena Tan)
  • INTS 502 International Relations
  • INTS 590 and INTS 591 Master of International Studies (MIntSt) Dissertation

Contact details

Room 4N3, 4th floor, Arts (Burns) Building
Tel +64 3 479 8669
Research day – Thursday

Professor Patman's website, YouTube and Twitter accounts

Robert Patman's website



Strategic Shortfall


Patman, R. (2023). Liberal hawks versus realist doves: Who is winning the ideological war over the future of Ukraine? The Conversation. Retrieved from

Patman, R. G. (2022). New Zealand opposes China's assertiveness but remains sceptical about AUKUS. Australian Naval Review, 1, 43-50.

Patman, R. G. (2022). Some see NZ's invite to the NATO summit as a reward for a shift in foreign policy, but that's far from accurate. The Conversation. Retrieved from

Patman, R., Ungor, M., & Kiglics, B. (2022). After APEX, where to on China? Newsroom, (21 November). Retrieved from

Köllner, P., Patman, R. G., & Kiglics, B. (2022). From Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific: Diplomacy in an emerging strategic space. In R. G. Patman, P. Köllner & B. Kiglics (Eds.), From Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific: Diplomacy in a contested region. (pp. 1-27). Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-981-16-7007-7_1

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