Peter Lee


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Professor Peter Lee, Professor of Applied Ethics, is the Director, Security and Risk Research and Innovation at the University of Portsmouth. His research spans the ethical and other human aspects of drone operations in military, policing and wider security contexts, and the ethics of autonomous weapon systems. His latest research project examines screen-mediated visual trauma, entitled ‘Understanding moral injury and belief change in the experiences of police investigators in child exploitation units.’ In 2016 Peter was granted unprecedented research access to the two RAF Reaper (drone) squadrons for his latest book, Reaper Force: Inside Britain’s Drone Wars (October 2018). He is currently an Expert Adviser to the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones. From 2008 to 2017 he taught ethics and also air power studies at Royal Air Force College Cranwell for Kings College London and the University of Portsmouth respectively. Peter holds a PhD in War Studies from Kings College London which explores the emergence of Western war ethics. From 2001 to 2008 he served as a Royal Air Force chaplain.

Research Interests

The politics and ethics of war and military intervention, the ethics and ethos of lethal military drone operations, the politics and ethics of identity, and the application of Foucauldian conceptions of power, truth and subjectivity to contemporary political discourse. Peter is available for PhD supervision in these fields.

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., A genealogy of the ethical subject in the just war tradition., King's College London

1 Oct 20051 Aug 2010

Award Date: 1 Aug 2010


  • BJ Ethics
  • Just War
  • Political Theory
  • Drones
  • Foucault Studies
  • Identity
  • Ethics
  • Politics
  • Autonomous Weapons
  • Moral Injury


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