Head of Studies, Global Affairs
Associate Professor of Social Sciences (International Relations) and Head of Studies, Global Affairs, William Bain holds a joint appointment in the National University of Singapore (NUS) Department of Political Science. Prior to joining Yale-NUS and NUS, he held appointments at Aberystwyth University and the University of Glasgow. He was also Visiting Professor at Université Libre de Bruxelles.
Assoc Prof Bain’s research interests are located in the areas of international relations, international political theory, and intellectual history. His current research activity centres on a monograph entitled ‘Political Theology of International Order’. This project explores the way in which Christian theology, and especially medieval debates about the nature of God, shape the character of international order as well as fundamental ideas, such as anarchy, balance of power, and global constitutionalism. His earlier work explores the political theory of empire, especially as it relates to the idea of trusteeship and its implications for contemporary international administration and statebuilding. He is the author of several articles and book chapters on international relations theory, particularly the English School or international society approach, as well as security and intellectual history.
Assoc Prof Bain’s teaching interests focus on international relations theory and international political theory. He has received the NUS Faculty Teaching Excellence Award as well as the NUS Annual Teaching Excellence Award twice. Other awards include the NUS HSS Faculty Research Fellowship.
Assoc Prof Bain is co-editor of International Relations, having previously served as an associate editor for five years. He is also a member of the advisory board of Radical Orthodoxy: Theology, Philosophy, Politics. He previously served on the editorial board the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding and the advisory board of International Studies Review. He is a Research Associate at the NUS Centre for Legal Theory and the Centre of Advanced International Theory (CAIT) at the University of Sussex. He was previously Deputy Director of the David Davies Memorial Institute for International Relations at Aberystwyth University.
In addition to serving as Head of Studies, Global Affairs, he is Chair, and formerly Deputy Chair, of the University MTAR Committee (HSS).
International Relations Theory
International Political Theory
Between Anarchy and Society: Trusteeship and the Obligations of Power, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Editor and Contributor, Medieval Foundations of International Relations, London: Routledge, 2017.
Editor and Contributor, The Empire of Security and the Safety of the People, London: Routledge, 2006.
Selected Journal Articles
‘International Anarchy and Political Theology’, Journal of International Relations and Development, special issue (2018).
‘International Relations and Intellectual History’, International Relations, 31.3 (2017): 213-26, (co-authored with Terry Nardin).
‘Thomas Hobbes as a Theorist of Anarchy: A Theological Interpretation’, History of European Ideas, 40.1 (2015): 13-28.
‘Rival Traditions of Natural Law: Martin Wight and the Theory of International Society’, International History Review, 36.5 (2014): 943-960.
‘Saving the Innocent, Then and Now: Vitoria, Dominion, and World Order’, History of Political Thought, 34.4 (2013): 588-613.
‘Responsibility and Obligation in the “Responsibility to Protect”’, Review of International Studies, 36 (2010): 25-46.
‘One Order, Two Laws: Recovering the “Normative” in English School Theory’, Review of International Studies, 33.4 (2007): 557-575.
‘Are There Any Lessons of History?: The English School and the Activity of Being an Historian’, International Politics, 44.5 (2007): 513-530.
‘In Praise of Folly: International Administration and the Corruption of Humanity’, International Affairs, 82.3 (2006): 491-504.
‘Deconfusing Morgenthau: Moral Inquiry and Classical Realism Reconsidered’, Review of International Studies, 26.3 (2000): 445-464.
Selected Book Chapters
‘The Anarchical Society as Christian Political Theology’, The Anarchical Society at 40, Hidemi Suganami, Madeline Carr, and Adam Humphreys, eds., (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).
‘The Medieval Contribution to International Relations’, Medieval Foundations of International Relations, William Bain, ed., (London: Routledge, 2017).
‘The Pluralist-Solidarist Debate in the English School’, reprinted in Guide to the English School in International Studies, Cornelia Navari and Daniel Green, eds., (London: Wiley Blackwell 2014).
‘Vitoria: The Law of War, Saving the Innocent, and the Image of God’, Just and Unjust Military Intervention, Jennifer Welsh and Stefano Recchia, eds., (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
‘Old Empires and New Protectorates: A Conceptual Critique’, The New Protectorates: International Tutelage and the Making of Liberal States, James Mayall and Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, eds., (New York: Columbia/Hurst, 2011).
Ethics and Global Affairs