Department of Political Science


Professor Lauge Poulsen

Lauge Poulsen
Professor of International Relations and Law
Room: G.02, 31 Tavistock Sq.
Tel: 020 3108 9297 (x59297)
Email: l.poulsen@ucl.ac.uk

Lauge Poulsen is Professor and Deputy Head of Department at the Department of Political Science. Before joining UCL, Poulsen was a postdoctoral fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, and he has been a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution, London School of Economics' Department of Law, and Melbourne Law School. He serves as Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons' International Trade Committee, is lead on Whitehall's Advanced Trade Policy training programme, and is chair of OECD’s Future of Investment Treaties work programme. From 2017 to 2020, he was adviser on trade policy to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and was appointed OBE in the 2022 Queen’s New Year Honours list for services to UK trade policy.


Poulsen's first book, Bounded Rationality and Economic Diplomacy: The Politics of Investment Treaties in Developing Countries (Cambridge Press), won the International Studies Association's inaugural award for best book in International Political Economy. His second book, The Political Economy of the Investment Treaty Regime, was published in 2017 (Oxford Press; with Bonnitcha and Waibel). He has published articles in leading journals of international relations and international law, including International Studies Quarterly, International Comparative Law Quarterly, Journal of International Economic Law, World Development, and World Politics. He is currently working on a long-term project on commercial diplomacy during the Cold War.



  • The Political Economy of the Investment Treaty Regime. Oxford University Press, 2017. Spanish 2021. With M Waibel and J Bonnitcha.
  • Bounded Rationality and Economic Diplomacy. Cambridge University Press, 2015. Paperback 2017. Winner of the International Studies Association’s Best Book Award for International Political Economy.

Selected Articles

  • Loyalty in World Politics. European Journal of International Relations, 26(4), 2020.
  • Beyond Credible Commitments. International Studies Quarterly, 64(1), 2020.
  • Legalization, Diplomacy, and Development. World Development 107, 2018. With G Gertz and S Jandhyala
  • States as Foreign Investors. ICSID Review – Foreign Investment Law Journal, 2016.
  • Bounded Rationality and the Diffusion of Modern Investment Treaties. International Studies Quarterly 58(1) 2014.
  • When the Claim Hits: Bilateral Investment Treaties and Bounded Rational Learning. World Politics, 65(2) 2013. With E Aisbett.