Associate Professor William Clapton
Associate Professor

Associate Professor William Clapton

Arts,Design & Architecture
School of Social Sciences

William Clapton is an Associate Professor in International Relations in the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW. He has research interests in International Relations theory, sovereignty, international hierarchy, risk in International Relations, international intervention in the post-Cold War era, the defence and immigration policies of the United States, European Union, and Australia, and popular culture in global politics.

William was awarded his PhD from Murdoch University in 2010. The thesis explored interventions conducted by Western societies in the post-Cold War era that aimed to promote liberal democratic institutions and governance and their impact on the constitution of international society.

He has published on risk, international intervention and international hierarchy in journals such as the Politics, European Journal of International Security, and the Australian Journal of International Affairs. He is also the author of Risk and Hierarchy in International Society: Liberal Interventionism in the Post-Cold War Era (Palgrave, 2014) and Immigration, Risk, and Security Under the Trump Administration Keeping ‘Undesirables’ Out (Palgrave 2022).

Current Research Projects

Popular Culture in Global Politics
This project explores the the ways in which audiences constitute pop cultural artefacts through debates and contests over the meaning of artefact's representational practices. It focuses on debates over representations of identity politics in games, film, and TV shows.

Risk and Immigration
This project explores the immigration practices of the European Union and the Trump administration, particularly the travel ban and wall along the border with Mexico, through a security logic of risk.


+61 (2) 9385 3570
124 Morven Brown
  • Books | 2022
    Clapton W, 2022, Immigration, Risk, and Security Under the Trump Administration Keeping ‘Undesirables’ Out, Palgrave Pivot
    Books | 2014
    Clapton W, 2014, Risk and Hierarchy in International Society: Liberal Interventionism in the Post-Cold War Era, Palgrave Studies in International Relations, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire,
  • Book Chapters | 2022
    Clapton W, 2022, 'Digital Politics', in Gender Matters in Global Politics A Feminist Introduction to International Relations, Routledge
    Book Chapters | 2017
    Clapton W, 2017, 'Resisting ‘Good Governance’ Norms in the EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy', in Bloomfield A; Scott SV (ed.), Norm Antipreneurs and the Politics of Resistance to Global Normative Change, edn. Routledge Challenges of Globalisation, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, pp. 215 - 230,
    Book Chapters | 2016
    Barthwal-Datta M; Clapton W, 2016, 'Diplomacy Down-Under: Australia-India Relations under Modi’s Leadership', in Chowdhury Y; Chowdhury AD (ed.), Narendra Modi and the World: The Ring View Inside Out, pp. 152 - 158
    Book Chapters | 2015
    Clapton W, 2015, 'Pedagogy and Pop Culture: Pop Culture as Teaching Tool and Assessment Practice', in Caso, Federica ; Hamilton, Caitlin (ed.), Popular Culture and World Politics: Theories, Methods, Pedagogies, E-International Relations, Bristol, UK, pp. 169 - 175,
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Clapton W, 2023, 'Decolonising Politics and International Relations Classrooms: Reflections from the “Field”', Australian Journal of Politics and History,
    Journal articles | 2021
    Clapton W, 2021, 'Issues in Australian Foreign Policy January to June 2021', Australian Journal of Politics and History, 67, pp. 544 - 558,
    Journal articles | 2021
    Clapton W, 2021, 'The exceptionalism of risk: Trump's Wall and travel ban', European Journal of International Security, 6, pp. 129 - 147,
    Journal articles | 2021
    Hall L; Clapton W, 2021, 'Programming the machine: gender, race, sexuality, AI, and the construction of credibility and deceit at the border', Internet Policy Review, 10, pp. 1 - 23,
    Journal articles | 2019
    Clapton W; Shepherd LJ, 2019, 'Ethics Ex Machina: popular culture and the plural futures of politics', Australian Journal of Political Science, 54, pp. 531 - 542,
    Journal articles | 2018
    Clapton W, 2018, 'Island off the coast of Asia: Instruments of statecraft in Australian foreign policy.', RUSI Journal, 164, pp. 147 - 150,
    Journal articles | 2017
    Clapton W; Shepherd L, 2017, 'Lessons from Westeros: Gender and power in Game of Thrones', Politics, 37, pp. 5 - 18,
    Journal articles | 2017
    Clapton W, 2017, 'Independent Ally: Australia in an Age of Power Transition', RUSI JOURNAL, 162, pp. 111 - 112,
    Journal articles | 2017
    Clapton W, 2017, 'Pluralism, Decolonization and International Society', Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 30, pp. 350 - 367,
    Journal articles | 2012
    Clapton W; Hameiri S, 2012, 'The domestic politics of international hierarchy: Risk management and the reconstitution of international society', International Politics, 49, pp. 59 - 77,
    Journal articles | 2011
    Clapton W, 2011, 'Risk in International Relations', International Relations, 25, pp. 280 - 295,
    Journal articles | 2009
    Clapton W, 2009, 'Managing Risk within International Society: Hierarchical Governance in the Asia-Pacific', Australian Journal of International Affairs, 63, pp. 416 - 429,
    Journal articles | 2009
    Clapton W, 2009, 'Risk and Hierarchy in International Society', Global Change, Peace and Security, 21, pp. 19 - 35,

2023-2025: Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities Grant (with CIs Prof Terry Flew, A/Prof Robert Nicholls, Prof Derek Wilding, Prof Kalervo Gulson, Prof Lyria Bennett Moses, A/Prof Heather Ford, Dr Joanne Gray, Dr Marian-Andrei Rizoiu, Dr Jonathon Hutchinson, A/Prof Daniel Joyce, Dr Sacha Molitorisz,  Dr Karen Lee, and Prof Catharine Lumby), 'The International Digital Policy Observatory'. LE230100069

3rd Oceanic Conference on International Studies Best Postgraduate Paper, 2008.

I am an Associate Editor (Politics) for the Australian Journal of Politics and History. I am also the convenor of the Australian Political Studies Association International Relations Research Group and sit on the editorial board of the Australian Journal of International Affairs.

I am a member of the International Studies Association and Australian Political Studies Association.


My Research Supervision

Alexander Hynd - Middle Power Identity Formation and Hierarchy in the Asia Pacific.

Jamie-Lee Burgess - Security Dilemma Mitigation: Great Power Relations and Smaller Power Implications

Andre Nassiri - Informal Urban Futures: An Alternative Pathway for Development and Decolonisation in Sub-Saharan Africa

Emma Tindal-Clarke: Differentiated Integration in the EU


My Teaching

ARTS2821 Colonialism

ARTS3814 Australian Foreign Policy

POLS5102 - Key Issues in Australian Foreign Policy