Prof. Doug Stokes

Prof. Doug Stokes: Senior Adviser

Doug Stokes is a Senior Advisor at the Legatum Institute and a Professor of International Security and Strategy at the University of Exeter. He is an accomplished academic and security expert. Ranked in the global top five scholars in strategic studies, his academic work has been published in leading journals, including International Affairs, Journal of Strategic Studies, Review of International Political Economy, RUSI Journal, and The Review of International Studies. His books include Global Energy Security and American Hegemony (Johns Hopkins University Press) and US Foreign Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Lord Sumption argues that the arguments developed in his latest book, Against Decolonisation: The Campus Culture Wars and the Decline of the West (2023), “have rarely been made with such verve and force as they are in this succinct demolition of modern decolonisation theory.” Dr Munira Mirza, former head of the No. 10 Policy Unit and CEO of Civic Future, called the book a “highly insightful and persuasive contribution … going far beyond the walls of academia into wider institutions and the international world order.” Decolonisation was nominated for The Times Literary Supplement book of the year 2023.

Professor Stokes has acted as Director of Exeter University’s Strategy and Security Institute, was a Senior Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) for over a decade and is also the Thomas Telford Fellow at the Council on Geostrategy. Professor Stokes regularly writes for major news outlets, including The Times, Telegraph, Spectator and the Daily Mail, and frequently appears on television news programs.

His work has been influential in policy, with citations in Parliamentary Briefings. He actively engages with civil society organisations, sitting on the advisory board of the UK’s Free Speech Union and on the editorial committee of History Reclaimed. Professor Stokes also provides regular advice to ministerial teams on pressing issues. Most recently, he worked with a small team of concerned academics and civil society organisations to help deliver the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act 2023, safeguarding free speech on British campuses.