Academic staff profiles

  1. Academic staff profiles
  2. Professor Peter Willetts

Professor Peter Willetts

Emeritus Professor of Global Politics

Department of International Politics



Professor Peter Willetts is a leading authority on the role of non-governmental organisations in international diplomacy. His latest book,Non-Governmental Organizations in World Politics. The Construction of Global Governance, was published in December 2010, in the Routledge Global Institutions series.

His two earlier books on this subject werePressure Groups in the Global System, in 1982, and 'The Conscience of the World'; The Influence of Non-Governmental Organisations in the UN System, in 1996. Since the early 1980s he has been developing pluralist, multi-actor, issue-based theory, (now known as constructivism), as an alternative to the orthodox state-centric, power-based theory of international relations.

Research interests

Professor Willetts' main research interests are in the area of intergovernmental organisations. Initially, he worked on the Non-Aligned Movement and produced two books,The Non-Aligned Movement: The Origins of a Third World Alliance, in 1978, and The Non-Aligned in Havana, in 1981. Since 1979 he has contributed each year on the NAM and developing countries, to the Annual Register of World Events. Since 1980, Professor Willetts has worked on NGOs, initially being focused on their influence within the United Nations system.

From 2000, he gave special attention to their engagement with the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. His recent work emphasises how they act as norm entrepreneurs. In 2010, he was invited to Washington by the Institute for Peace and the Bertelsmann Foundation as a consultant in the production of the paper by Peter Walkenhorst and Tom Fries,Sharing Global Governance: The Role of Civil Society Organizations

. He also went to Moscow, to make presentations to the Sakharov Centre on the potential for the development of a stronger civil society in Russia.

Find us

City, University of London

Northampton Square

London EC1V 0HB

United Kingdom

Back to top

City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.