Dr Mark Lacy

Senior Lecturer


My research focuses on the changing character of war and international politics in times of a dramatic and accelerated pace of change in geopolitics (the return of great power conflict and competition, the emergence of new non-state actors), technology (AI, drones and robots, critical infrastructures) and the ‘anthropocene’ (climate change, food security, cyborg bodies and space security). This focus on the pace of change – and what it means for the tactics, terrains and technologies of war and global conflict – is explored in my book Theorising Future Conflict: War out to 2049 (Routledge, 2023): https://www.routledge.com/Theorising-Future-Conflict-War-Out-to-2049/Lacy/p/book/9781032113654.

This book follows on from my previous books on IR theory and the problems of the Anthropocene and technological acceleration, an exploration in 2005 of ‘realist’ security thinking and climate change and an examination in 2014 on the work of Paul Virilio for understanding the security landscape of the 21st century – and the changing nature of ‘accidents’ in global politics.

Central to my interest in future trends in war and international politics is a focus on the creative techniques that are being used by militaries, states and businesses to prepare for complex and uncertain futures – and also on how creative techniques (such as the use of science fiction) are being developed to challenge the geopolitical pathways we are on. This focus is explored in my work on the ‘military design’ movement – work outlined in my essay in Global Studies Quarterly on design ( https://academic.oup.com/isagsq/article/3/4/ksad062/7473270 ) and in an essay on the next 50 years of international relations in the 50th anniversary issue of Review of International Studies published in 2024.

I am currently part of a group working on a project funded by the Canadian Department of National Defence on the risks and opportunities presented by the use of generative-AI by military organisations. You can answer questions on AI here: Adaptive Edge - Generative AI Survey (google.com)

I am also lead editor for the Routledge Studies on Conflict, Security and Technology – a series that attempts to publish books on a range of emerging security challenges: https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-Studies-in-Conflict-Security-and-Technology/book-series/CST

I am interested in exploring new approaches to teaching IR and security studies and have published a chapter on how critical design and military design is being used to understand security challenges: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/security-studies-critical-perspectives-9780198867487?cc=gb&lang=en& . I am currently developing a textbook currently titled ‘Future wars and Global Politics: Critical Perspectives’ that will introduce students to a wide range of contemporary, emerging and future security challenges.

Nicholas Taylor
Hosting a Non-Academic Visitor

Project Albatross - Breakthrough Playtesting

  • Security Lancaster
  • Security Lancaster (Academic Centre of Excellence)
  • Security Lancaster (Policy, Law and Ethics)
  • Security Lancaster (Security Futures)
  • Security Lancaster (Societal Threats)