Notable as both a diplomat and a scholar, he served on the European Council on Foreign Relations; advised the European Commission on affairs related to the Asian country of Myanmar; and outlined his "new liberal imperialism" doctrine in the important 2002 work The Post-Modern State.
After studying at both Worcester College, Oxford and the University of Pennsylvania, he began his career as a diplomat and was initially stationed at German and Japanese embassies.
His 2003 publication, The Breaking of Nations, received the prestigious Orwell Prize.
He had a long-term relationship with Japanese-born professional pianist Dame
Cooper's international policy philosophies and strategies greatly influenced the policies of United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair.