Professor Sir Michael Aaronson
Professorial Research Fellow
Phone: Work: 01483 68 3130
Room no: 15 AC 05
By appointment - requests to email@example.com
From 1995-2005 Mike was Director General (chief executive) of Save the Children UK, and from 1988-1995 was the charity’s Overseas Director. He first joined Save the Children in 1969, spending two years as a relief worker in Nigeria after reading philosophy and psychology at St John’s College, Oxford. Between 1972 and 1988 he held various posts in the UK Diplomatic Service, serving in London, Paris, Lagos, and Rangoon.
From 2007-2012 he was a Civil Service Commissioner, appointed by the Crown to maintain the principle of fair and open recruitment to the UK Civil Service. Since 2006 he has been Chairman of Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and a non-executive director of Oxford Policy Management Limited, a development consultancy firm based in Oxford.
Mike is a founder member, and from 2001-2008 was Chair of the Board, of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, a Geneva-based private foundation working to improve the international response to conflict, in particular through independent mediation. From 2001-2007 he was a Governor of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy in London, a non-departmental public body working to strengthen democracy in Africa, the Middle East, and the countries of the former Soviet Union; he was Vice Chair from 2005-2007. From 2004-2012 Mike was a Visiting Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, where he is now an Honorary Fellow.
In September 2008 he was appointed an Honorary Visiting Professor and in May 2011 a Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Politics at the University of Surrey, where he is also Executive Director of cii - the Centre for International Intervention. He is an occasional Senior Adviser to NATO, working on the political/military aspects of NATO transformation, and an occasional lecturer at the UK Defence Academy on civil/military collaboration in conflict situations.
In January 2000 Mike was made a CBE and in June 2006 he was made a Knight Bachelor for services to children. In July 2011 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Surrey.
Mike has helped introduce two modules for MA students at Surrey on: “The Politics of International Intervention”. These examine why and how states intervene in the affairs of other states, the international instruments they create to facilitate and regulate this, the consequences of their intervention on international society, and how society might approach intervention differently in future.
He is interested in developing a cross-disciplinary approach to these matters, involving colleagues from, for example, international relations, law, economics, sociology, anthropology, refugee studies and forced migration, security studies, and development studies. He is also interested in improving the interface between academics and practitioners and enhancing their joint impact on public policy concerning international intervention.
In July 2012 Mike co-organised an international, multi-disciplinary, workshop funded by the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at Surrey, with the title of "Hitting the Target?" This explored ways in which new technologies are reshaping international intervention and the wider impact of technology on society and behaviour. Full details of the workshop can be found on the IAS website at: http://www.ias.surrey.ac.uk/workshops/intervention/report.php
Following this workshop and in collaboration with the Royal United Services Institute - RUSI - a collection of short papers was published as RUSI Whitehall Report 2-13, available at: http://www.rusi.org/publications/whitehallreports/ref:O51509D843E399/ The report was launched at an event at RUSI on 26 March 2013; details available at: http://www.rusi.org/events/ref:E511BB3D16FB0F/#.UXj0XcqDl8E Further collaboration underway on this theme includes an edited volume currently in preparation.
Aaronson, M (2007), “A Holistic Approach to the War on Terror?”, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue Opinion Paper available at: http://www.hdcentre.org/files/War%20on%20Terror.pdf
Aaronson, M, (2008) “An Outsider’s View on the Civil-Military Nexus in Afghanistan” in “Comparative Perspectives on Civil-Military Relations in Conflict Zones”, Williams, M and Clouston, K (eds.), RUSI Occasional Paper, available at:
Aaronson, M, (2009) “International NGOs and International Development Assistance: What They Can and Cannot Contribute to Combating Terrorism” in Tsang, S (ed.) “Combating Transnational Terrorism: Searching for a New Paradigm”, Praeger Security International, Santa Barbara, California.
Aaronson, M (2013) "Interventions: A Life in in War and Peace" (book review), The RUSI Journal, 158:1,80-81
Aaronson, M, and Johnson, A (eds.) (2013) "Hitting the Target; How New Capabilities are Shaping International Intervention"?" RUSI Whitehall Report 2-13, available at: http://www.rusi.org/publications/whitehallreports/ref:O51509D843E399/
Aaronson, M (2013 - forthcoming) "The Nigerian Civil War and ‘Humanitarian Intervention’" in Everill, B, and Kaplan, J "Humanitarian Intervention and Aid in Africa", Palgrave, Basingstoke.
Aaronson, M (2013 - forthcoming) "Interventionism in US Foreign Policy from Bush to Obama" in Bentley, M.E. and Holland, J, "Obama's Foreign Policy: Ending the War on Terror", Abingdon, Routledge.