Professor of Practice in International Relations
Strategic Adviser to the Principal on External Relations

School of IR Profile

Pillars: peace and security; leadership and agency



Stephen served as the Member of Parliament for North East Fife from 2015 to 2019 and spent two parliamentary terms on the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee. During his time in Parliament Stephen served as the SNP spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Europe. He was at the heart of parliamentary debates before and after the EU Referendum and sponsored cross party motions and legislation.

Before going into politics Stephen worked in the NGO sector in the former Soviet Union and Western Balkans. He also worked in the European Union and Scotland House in Brussels. Stephen served as a Special Adviser to the First Minister of Scotland from 2009 to 2012 on issues such as International Affairs, Energy, Climate Change and Scotland’s relationship with the EU.

Outside the University Stephen is a Trustee of the John Smith Trust, a Special Adviser at Beyond Borders Scotland, and the Convener of EU+ME. He is also the District Chair of the Scouts. Stephen is a member of the University’s Senior Management Team and an Adviser to the Principal on External Affairs. He is currently writing a book on Scotland’s Foreign Policy footprint.


Stephen writes regularly for the media in Scotland and elsewhere–including The Herald, The National, The Observer, The Scotsman, and The Times–as well as making TV and radio contributions.

Stephen Gethins. 2019. “UK Arms export guidelines are not working.” The House Magazine. 24 June.

Stephen Gethins. 2017. “Can Scotland act as a bridge between the UK and EU?” The European Parliament Magazine. 21 March.

Stephen Gethins. 2017. “Scotland seeks a Life Raft in Brexit’s stormy seas.” The European Parliament Magazine. 17 February.

Stephen Gethins. 2003. Tackling small arms and light weapons proliferation in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia: The view from government. London: Saferworld.

Stephen Gethins. 2003. “Conclusion: Small arms proliferation – an opportunity for progress.” The Caucasus: Armed and Divided – Small Arms and Light Weapons proliferation and humanitarian consequences in the Caucasus. London: Saferworld.