Strategy, Enterprise and Innovation

Photo of Dr Peter Lee

Dr Peter Lee

  • Qualifications: BSc MA PGCAP PhD
  • Role Title: Theme Director for Security and Risk Research and Reader in Politics and Ethics
  • Address: Richmond Building Portland Street Portsmouth PO1 3DE (room 4.09, Richmond Building)
  • Telephone: 01400 266 373
  • Email:
  • Department: Strategy, Enterprise and Innovation
  • Faculty: Portsmouth Business School


Dr Peter Lee is the Theme Director for Security and Risk Research and Innovation, and a Reader in Politics and Ethics at the University of Portsmouth.  He specialises in the ethics and ethos drone warfare, the politics and ethics of war and military intervention, and the politics and ethics of identity. His ongoing research with RAF Reaper drone crews will provide the basis of his next book, which will tell the story of the first 10 years of UK drone operations from the operators’ perspectives. Peter is regularly invited to speak on this and other subjects to military, academic, political, religious, media and wider audiences. In 2012 he published Blair’s Just War: Iraq and the Illusion of Morality and in 2015 published Truth Wars: The Politics of Climate Change, Military Intervention and Financial Crisis, both with Palgrave Macmillan. He gained his PhD in War Studies from King's College London for a thesis entitled: 'A Genealogy of the Ethical Subject in the Just War Tradition'.


Teaching Responsibilities

Peter is currently changing teaching responsibilities but continues to deliver postgraduate teaching in Qualitative Research Methods, the Ethics of War, Ethics and International Law, War: The Political Arena and Decision Making, and Leadership Ethics.



Current research projects

His current research explores the human dimension of drone operations with the UK’s Royal Air Force Reaper squadrons. Over the past year he has conduct field research at both Creech Air Force Base and RAF Waddington with No. 39 (Reaper) Squadron and No. XIII (Reaper) Squadron respectively. In addition he has interviewed more than 80 members of the RAF Reaper community. The research data will provide the basis of a book that tells the story of the first 10 years of UK drone operations from the operators’ perspectives (due to be published in 2018), as well as a series of scholarly paper on themes that include ethics, cognitive dissonance, decision-making under conditions of uncertainty, the drone operator and identity, and the emotional landscape of British drone operators.

Research interests

My main ongoing area of research interest is in exploring the personal, political and ethical dimensions of drone/remotely piloted aircraft operations, as part of a broader interest in the politics and ethics of war and military intervention. My other areas of interest are the politics and ethics of identity, and the application of Foucauldian conceptions of power, truth and subjectivity to contemporary political discourse.

Research supervision

I am currently providing PhD supervision that explores the relationship between drones, ethics and the classification of combatants and noncombatants in US drone operations, and using risk theory to explore US and UK drone operations. I am interested in supervising PhDs related to drones and autonomy, and drones in humanitarian roles.



Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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