David Miles

Dr, Dr, Mr

  • KY16 9AX

    United Kingdom

Personal profile

Research overview

David Miles has a PhD in International Relations from the University of St Andrews and an MA (Hons) in German with International Relations – also from St Andrews. His research interests encompass political and legal theory, institutions, and identity. He is particularly interested in how political and legal authority, and liberal values, can be sustained across different sub-state and supra-state identities and communities, one of the areas looked at in his recent book. His interest in political theory and law is centred on issues and questions arising at the intersection between domestic and global politics, and on how political communities fragment and cohere domestically and globally in response to particular ethical, practical, and legal challenges.

David has taught in the School of International Relations at St Andrews since 2015 and has also taught in The Open University Law School. He is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

His PhD research was funded by a full Carnegie Scholarship from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. His book Democracy, the Courts, and the Liberal State: A Comparative Analysis of American and German Constitutionalism was published by Routledge in October 2020 under the Routledge Innovations in Political Theory series. He is Editor-in-Chief of Global Politics Magazine.

A further research focus of his book is the role of international institutions in supporting liberal democratic institutions within states after World War Two, and the tensions between constitutional courts such as Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court and the EU’s increasingly powerful institutions. His book also assesses the relationship between the development of constitutionalism after 1945 and developments in international law and international institutions (seen in the work of Hersch Lauterpacht and the various conventions on human rights).

Teaching activity

Current modules

Honours modules:

IR3022 – International Law and International Relations

IR3073  Dilemmas of International Order


Dr Miles contributes to team teaching at Sub-Honours level:

IR1005 and IR1006


Postgraduate modules:

IR5408 – Global Constitutionalism


Past modules

Dr Miles has taught or contributed to the following modules:

IR1005, IR1006, IR2005, IR2006, IR3023, IR4099, IR5408, LC5023. 

Academic/Professional Qualification

09/2012-06/2017         University of St Andrews

PhD in International Relations – Fully funded by a Carnegie Scholarship (Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland). Graduated June 2017.

Thesis title: ‘Stability or Renewal: The Judicialisation of Representative Democracy in American and German Constitutionalism’.

09/2005 – 06/2010      University of St Andrews

MA (Hons) in German with International Relations – First Class



Research interests

Areas of Core Research Interest

Constitutionalism; Institutions, Democracy and the State; Anglo-American and German Constitutional Law; German and American Political History; Constitutions and Society; The Domestic Sources of US Foreign Policy; Secularization, Identity and Democracy.

Additional Areas of Research Interest

Germany and Europe; the Role of Empathy and Restorative Justice in Conflict Resolution; Scotland’s Relationship with the UK; International Human Rights Regimes; Religion and the State; Populism and IR

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Editor-in-Chief, Global Politics Magazine

31 Jan 2011 → …


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