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Professor Christopher Coker

Professor Christopher Coker

March 28th, 1953 - September 5th, 2023

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Name Professor Christopher Coker
Date of Birth March 28th, 1953
Date of Death September 5th, 2023

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Michael Evans published a tribute .

A seminal thinker on the philosophy of war, a splendid scholar and an English gentleman of grace and dry wit. He came to Australia on a number of occasions to speak at military conferences and always left professional officers wiser and better educated for his presence. I recall his droll wit. Speaking once on the impossibility of predicting war he remarked 'there is of course the exception of Hollywood. In a Three Musketeers movie a retainer pops his head in to a room to inform Cardinal Richelieu: Your Eminence the Thirty Years War has just begun'. Vintage Christopher. He leaves an intellectual vacuum that will not be easily filled. A good man, a fine mind. Vivit post funera virtus.

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Karin Lunden published a tribute .

Dear Christopher Coker,-
You had the most beautiful hands in the world, the sharpest mind, and the greatest intellect. My pleasure to have recieved some of your lectures sent to me on paper, which I treasure the most. Thanks for everything I was lucky enough to learn from you. A true british gentleman, with impeccable manners.
Our souls live on after death. I lit a light for you in great remembrance and gratitude. My love be with you.

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Karin published a comment .

Dear Christopher,
Your birthday today.,
Forever missed.

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Rob Weighill published a tribute .

I first met Chris at the NATO Defence College (NDC) Rome and instantly connected with his unique sense of humour, empathy and above all his superb grasp and articulation of the geopolitical context, so important for the students at the NDC.
He was kind enough to review my book on NATO’s Campaign in Libya and did so in such an insightful manner.
What a man, what a master, what a loss. RIP my friend and be proud of the immense legacy you leave behind.

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Alper Ozden published a tribute .

It is so shocking, so sad to learn his passing away. He was a ture realist, kindest person and really a genius personality with his unique sense of humor. I learned a lot from him about war, about relations among nations and about life. I still remember word by word his future perspectives about some countries and leaders that later happened to be true. I always admired his wisdom. Words are not enough to express his open heartedness and sincerity. I will always miss him.

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Ryan published a tribute .

I graduated in 2001 with a MSc in International Relations. Dr. Coker was my supervisor, mentor, and friend. In fact I just emailed him about a 2024 visit and learned of his death. He is by far, the most brilliant political scientist I've ever met; he could anticipate what I'd say before I had even thought of it. Dr. Coker, I love you. You made me who I am today and can't believe you're gone. You're irreplaceable. We'll meet again one day.

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Roger Lim published a tribute .

I graduated from LSE in 1994 and I’ve never stopped thinking about Dr Coker. He totally changed the way I viewed the world. Through his lens I saw international relations with cultural sensitivity. He was the first to impress upon me that China’s Confucian past is more indicative how it will act in the future. His lectures were punctuated with Nietzsche quotes and imagery from Dante. He had nothing to gain from being kind to a young, ignorant Singaporean. Yet he would lend me John Keegan books, share a Pad Thai in Soho or a drink in his office. He had that generosity of spirit, and genuine interest in his students. Through our conversations I learned of his stint at Lloyds, RSI pains and summer fasting habits. Dr Coker had a fantastic sense of humour. I was withdrawing cash from the ATM on Houghton Street, when he strolled past and whispered, “I take that in tens and twenties please.”

I console myself that he lives on through his grand legacy of books and lectures on YouTube. Farewell Dr Coker. You have touched so many, and opened our eyes.

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Maguelonne published a tribute .

Professor Coker was one of those great mentors who instilled you with the drive to constantly challenge yourself and see things from different perspectives. I will always remember him for his sharp mind, incisive wit, matched with great kindness. He kept you on your toes and whether spending time with him in his lectures or over drinks, it was always exciting. I will also never forget your treasure trove of highly political incorrect memorabilia in your office which always gave me a chuckle as we would sit down to tuck into whatever serious topic we were due to discuss that day. Thank you for everything Pr Coker. I feel honored to have been your mentee.

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Lauen published a tribute .

A great mind who influenced my work in high risk and war zones as a maritime lawyer managing a significant fleet. Christopher's professional legacy remains in his work, and in the memories of those he touched on issues so important. He was a fine educator and speaker, and his words in forums related to the Somalian piracy crisis continue to influence my personal and professional views.

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Saqib published a tribute .

3 months on and his passing away still bloody hurts a lot

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Tejas Barot published a tribute .

I was deeply saddened to learn of Professor Coker’s passing and can only second the other comments here. In addition to his intellectual brilliance and spellbinding capabilities as a lecturer, Professor Coker was an absolute gentleman and incredibly warm, generous, caring and patient – both with students whom he taught directly as well as others (like myself) who sought his guidance and expertise during the course of their studies and beyond. His memory endures as does his great contribution to the study of war and armed conflict. RIP.

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Ahmed S. Hashim published a tribute .

I only learned today of the death of Christopher Coker; I was very saddened to hear that one of the leading scholars of war, and from whom I learned so much about it is no longer with us. A great loss.

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Sumantra Bose published a tribute .

Christopher Coker was an extraordinary person. It is the rare individual who wins the respect and admiration of many, and much rarer still their love and affection. Christopher touched very many lives, and in the process acquired a large, global quasi-family who not just admired but adored him. The grief so many have felt at his utterly untimely passing is testimony to that.

Unusually, I did not meet Christopher in person for some two and a half years after February 2020, because of the pandemic. We kept in touch regularly, though. When we finally re-connected in person in November 2022, it was a classic Coker occasion, but of course--five hours over drinks and then dinner at the One Aldwych. I was struck, not for the first time, by his deep human warmth. An intriguing character--for someone with a famously reserved, private core, he was also one of the warmest people I have known. My sense is that Christopher, possibly, valued friendship more than anything else in life. That is why he has so many friends who mourn his loss. Of course, he did have strong likes and dislikes.

On the way home that night, both of us had minor mishaps. Christopher's train--the last one scheduled--was cancelled and he had to repair to a hotel. I, driving, got caught in a tailback caused by a road closure on the Marylebone Road and the few miles home took more than two hours. We commiserated with each other via message, and I was touched by his concern for me.

A few days later, I received an email from him. In it, he said that something I had said during that evening had led him to conclude, on reflection, that he had made one, particular mistaken assumption and argument in his 2019 book on the civilizational state.

There followed our wonderful, ten-day trip to Romania--Transylvania and Bucharest--in June 2023. Christopher, the leader of our small but lively expeditionary force of unusually convivial intellectuals, took care of every detail with meticulous attention. He was clearly intent on ensuring that we all enjoyed the trip. Those ten days in Cluj, Turda, Zabola, Sibiu, Brasov and Bucharest are now a precious memory.

Christopher, to my mind, has two legacies. One is the intellectual legacy, the body of scintillating work he produced as a scholar. The other is the human legacy, his community of friends around the world. This community comprises of very different kinds of people, yet united by their admiration and affection for Christopher Coker.

It is difficult to believe that the master-raconteur with the inimitable twinkle in the eye and the unmatched wit and irony is no more. A legend has passed.

I am sorry to miss his memorial service due to being abroad. He lives in our hearts. Rest in Peace, Christopher.

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Louise Knight published a tribute .

Somehow this terribly sad news has only just reached me. Christopher, it was an absolute privilege to work with you over the years on your brilliant and breathtakingly erudite books. I am shocked and saddened at your untimely passing. It is a great loss.

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Kitty Willis published a tribute .

It was my privilege to know you - a kind and humble gentleman with a great sense of humour and a brilliant mind.

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Alison Carter published a tribute .

I worked closely with Christopher as his PA/secretary for nearly 20 years in the Department of International Relations at LSE. It is terribly shocking and sad to hear of his passing at such a young age when he was just at the beginning of his retirement.

He was easy to work with - he was obliging and kind, and more efficient than he wanted people to believe. I always admired that he lived life on his own terms and was entirely unsentimental. We used to laugh about his 'Eeyorish' pessimistic view of the world. He always delighted in telling me the latest gossip, or about his exploits abroad or at the Travellers' Club, and in showing me the latest bizarre and fascinating acquisition for his Aladdin's cave of an office.

He was always writing another book, several of which, in the early days, I typed up for him from the microtapes onto which he dictated. And I know how fascinating and multi-disciplinary they were, and what an interesting and well-read scholar he was. I learned a huge amount from him. I was always impressed by the number of former students and friends he managed to keep up with, all around the world. Many of the familiar names of his former students and friends I see paying tribute on this page. His work will live on and the impact he has had on all the students in his life will also live on, but he is sadly missed by so many, and gone far too soon. Farewell Christopher, and thank you.

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Hans Gutbrod published a comment .

thank you, Alison, for sharing this...

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Jake Tyshow published a comment .

Alison, thank you for everything. I hope you’re doing well!

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Alexander Evans published a comment .

Thank you Alison - you made so much of his engagement with students and his wider network possible.

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Lynne Griffiths-Fulton published a tribute .

So saddened by this news. It was my privilege to work in the IR department for Chris many years ago. He was a gentleman and a scholar; and made a mean martini. Rest in peace.

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Jon Dannemann published a tribute .

I only met Prof. Christopher Coker once, during my first few days in Singapore as a (post)graduate student of RSIS at Nanyang Technological University. What immediately struck me, as he was addressing a small group of students in small talk on the margins of a conference on Sentosa Island in 2013, was the sharpness of his mind, combined with a distinctly British flavour of gentlemanly subtleness and wit. While the interaction was only brief, it demonstrated to me how the study of history can mould a human being in habit and erudition, and it appeared to me through him as something most worthy of emulation.

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Sipei published a tribute .

I took IR415 in 2018 and was suprised and honored to acknowledge this was his last term as lecturer. Professor Coker was a true genius that held ocean of knowledge. Always respond your email in an honest way, and provided with constructive and solid advise. He will be sorely missed.

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Hayo B.e.d. Krombach published a comment .

Christopher Coker was not only a scholar but a thinker of war, not only a teacher qua instructor but a teacher qua educator of war. This is perhaps best exemplified through a quote of Clausewitz, the philosopher of war: 'I propose to consider first the various elements of the subject, next its various parts or sections, and finally the whole in its internal structure. In other words, I shall proceed from the simple to the complex. But in war more than in any other subject we must begin by looking at the nature of the whole; for here more than elsewhere the part and the whole must be thought together'.

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Katarina Sikimic published a tribute .

The memory of professor Christopher Coker will continue to inspire and guide me. You will be dearly missed!!

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Padideh Tosti published a tribute .

Professor Coker was more than a teacher, he was a mentor and a friend. He had a mischievous humor and was certainly a genius in his field. Someone might think this lead to arrogance but it was quite the opposite. He was a kind man and always open to learning more, exploring more.
Thank you Professor for all that you did for us. You will be missed.

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Arto Salonen published a tribute .

Very sorry to hear of Professor Cokers passing. I took IR415 in 2009 and found it a fascinating and enjoyable course made all the better by his wonderful lectures and sense of humour. Have remained a fan to this day by reading the many books he has brought out, all of which have proved essential reading . RIP Professor

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Aaron Mckeil published a tribute .

Christopher was a close colleague at LSE, during my phd and then onto LSE IDEAS, and became a mentor, like for so many. He always generously commented on draft papers and enjoyed discussing the philosophers. His eloquent and erudite writings and lectures on war have left an important impression on me, as well as his kind character.

His well-known pessimism about most things was always delivered with humour and a sense of acceptance. On one occasion, Christopher was impressed when I mentioned that Brian Porter said of Martin Wight that he made pessimism respectable in UK academia. I would say that Christopher made pessimism not only respectable, but also admirable and enjoyable, for a whole generation or more of his students and colleagues.

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Philip Hugh Price published a comment .

I am very sorry to learn of the death of Christopher Coker - he was exceptionally gifted and well deserved of his high flying career notably at the LSE. Christopher accepted me for Doctoral study re WEU circa 1986/87 but I was unable to fund the phd since I had had to self-finance my Masters. I followed his publications and I am sorry I was unable to get to the LSE last Nov. when he was presenting on OTAN Nuclear Doctrine. I send my deepest condolences to his family, colleagues/friends. from Philip Hugh Price ( Briston, Norfolk).

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Sebastian Cody published a tribute .

Unforgettable. Thanks for everything Chris.

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Sebastian Cody published a comment .

RIP

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Luke Cooper published a tribute .

Christopher was a very supportive colleague. especially to those of us at an early to mid career stage. I know that he will be deeply missed by staff, students and alumni across the LSE community - and, indeed, his personality was deeply interwoven with the life and times of the School. RIP.

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Jake Tyshow published a tribute .

Christopher’s guidance and impact as my IR academic advisor, and mentor, went far beyond the academic. Always outspoken in his very personal and soft-spoken manner, he taught us to be ardently analytical and unsentimentally critical, all the while maintaining a cheerfully ironic sense of humor about the world. His appreciation and critiques of the forces driving Western civilization were coupled with an appreciation of, without undue devotion to, the best experiences the world had to offer. In his unique ways, Christopher was the greatest intellectual warrior I’ve had the privilege to know, and a role model and friend to a diverse set of the most interesting characters in the world. Rest in peace, Professor Coker. I will miss you dearly.

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Jake Tyshow published a comment .

I’ve occasionally watched Christopher’s strategic lectures throughout the years, and that was always one of the best uses of my time. Here’s a link to one of his more recent ones…

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0OQZWN12ZIw

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Aidan Mcivor published a tribute .

I was so saddened to learn of Professor Chris Coker’s death. As other contributors to this page have said, Chris Coker was a remarkable thinker, writer, and teacher, as well as an inspirational human being for those who had the good fortune to be one of his students.
In 1985, the then Dr. Coker was my tutor at LSE. I remember Chris as not only as an outstanding intellectual but also as someone who had a genuine interest in the students under his care. During a brief period in the winter of 1985 when I was not well and when I began to have serious doubts about whether to continue with my degree course, Chris Coker met with me at short notice so that we could discuss my concerns. Chris advised me to ‘not to worry’ about the late submission of course work, to rest my mind and body, and to ‘stay the course’, which I did. I owe that to Chris Coker, whom I also remember strongly advised that I take myself off that afternoon to Leicester Square to watch a film that would make me laugh and smile afterwards. I followed Chris's wise advice, which helped me greatly. That is my abiding memory of Chris Coker, a brilliant academic and writer, who also cared deeply about his students.

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Chris Stoakes published a tribute .

It's wonderful to read so many tributes to Christopher. Mine is a bit odd since it comes from before his glittering academic career. I was a pupil at Charterhouse and Christopher was known to our history teacher, Colin Davies (they were both Cambridge men). Colin got Christopher (who was then about 22, 5 years older than us) to spend a term teaching us. I think Christopher was between his undergraduate studies at Cambridge and postgrad at Oxford.

Anyway, he was like nothing we'd ever encountered - a sort of alien from outer space.
"Why was the motor car invented when it was?"
"Please, sir, because there wasn't the technology before."
"Rubbish. Archimedes invented the steam engine long before."
We were stumped. Christopher explained that it was because people now lived in cities and were fed up with horse manure in the streets. They wanted a horse without the manure (and not, as Henry Ford thought, a faster horse).
Another one: "Why could the industrial revolution have only happened in Britain or Japan?"
We had no idea. Answer: "Tea." Both countries drank tea so they boiled their water. An industrial revolution required concentrations of people but that led to disease. Boiling water counteracted disease. And why Britain not Japan? Britain used the wheel. Japan didn't (there everything was transported on foot).

I recount these because he completely changed how we thought. My subject was Richard II. Christopher discussed it with me. He explained it was an example of king v magnates in medieval England. First question in my Oxford entrance exam: "Discuss relations between the king and magnates with reference to any one reign in medieval England." Suffice to say that essay got me into Oxford which in turn completely changed my life. Thank you, Christopher.

I have never, ever forgotten Christopher Coker. I have never met anyone since who had his ability to change the way you see the world and the intellectual insight and breadth to make connections you'd never have imagined. What an amazing man.

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C K Soh published a tribute .

Dr. Christopher Coker will always be remembered as the author of "War and the 20th Century", the best book on the subject. He took an unconventional path by looking at the intellectual and literary currents then that together "eased" and helped to form the impetus for wars in the last century. A most brilliant thinker who defies categorization, I have had the good fortune to attend his lectures and seminars while at the LSE. This is a passing of an intellectual of the first rank, the intellectual world will be poorer without him.

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Cheryl T published a tribute .

Professor! During my undergraduate studies in the IRD, you were exemplary in your lectures and writing. Prof Coker took time to engage with me during the occasional office hour even when I was not taking his class. He often injected classic film references into his lectures. When I asked him to speak for a film screening event, he immediately suggested Dr Strangelove. Like so many students, I will miss him and remiss the chance to visit him once more at the LSE. Rest in peace, Professor!

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Radu Iacob published a tribute .

Dear Christopher, thank you for everything!

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Adam published a tribute .

Dear Christopher — I am truly saddened to hear of this tragic news. We were due our annual catch-up, old friend. I am actually lost for words — something that you were not — and will miss our conversations….

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Joseph Taylor published a tribute .

Very sorry to hear about the passing of Professor Coker. He was a fantastic lecturer that opened up my thinking about drawing from different disciplines and different media during my degree. An approach I have aimed to carry with me in work.

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Daniel El-Gamry published a tribute .

I had the great fortune of having dinner with Chris only a fortnight ago. I am distraught that it will be the last time I see him.

Great teachers equip you with lessons that stay with you forever. Today I still feel the raw epiphany I felt as a postgraduate taking his famous Strategy course at the London School of Economics and Political Science – the revelation that so much can be learnt about the world and the human condition, all through one mind. Chris was able to masterfully blend insights from antiquity to modernity, from philosophy and fiction to help us understand why and how humans go to war against eachother.

There was a sparkle and erudition in his lectures which marked him out from his peers. That was always evident in the overflow of his Strategy lectures at Clement House on a Friday afternoon. Students would migrate from across the world to learn from him. Many like me kept in touch with him so we could keep enjoying his wonderful company and benefit from his wisdom (though he would detest that kind of flattery). The book which most influenced me was his ‘the rise of the civilisational state’ which like so many of his works be studied by many future generations.

Chris never got the recognition he deserved. Not only did he advise his own government, foreign ones, NATO and many universities, he saved a British institution, RUSI, when it faced huge peril. The School was unwise not conferring upon him a Emeritus status.

When people give you the gift of knowledge, I think they claim a special place in your memory. They help grow us as people, better equipped to face the world. Chris did that for me and thousands of other students. I already miss him and count myself incredibly fortunate to have known him.

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Mike Pugh published a comment .

A great loss to scholarship and intellectual life in the field of the history of war and peace. His sharp mind was a great inspiration to students and colleagues, such a huge range of reading and knowledge that came through in his writing and lectures. Moreover Chris was good company and a thoroughly charming man. His work will live on.

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Peter Tunbridge published a tribute .

Very sorry to hear of Chris,s passing. We were at York house school together In Rickmansworth before it moved to the country. We did Charlie’s Aunt together with Mr Cant and the picture of the performers is still on the school website. Chris had a leading role I remember whilst I was the Coachman. We would talk about many things especially Sherlock Holmes and the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. He used to model his stance on Napoleon. I am sorry not to have seen him again since school . God bless Chris and thank you for your friendship Peter Tunbridge

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Hans Gutbrod published a comment .

...that would probably be this photo, yes? https://www.york-house.com/the-school/school-history

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Peter Tunbridge published a comment .

Yes thanks Hans PT

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Michael John Wiliams published a tribute .

I was very saddened and shocked to learn of the passing of Professor Christopher Coker of the London School of Economics. Christopher took me under his wing almost 20 years ago to the day. I would not now be starting a Fulbright Fellowship without his careful tutelage and friendship all these years. He led me to my first job in London at RUSI, which was a springboard to so much. He introduced me to my first publisher, and that book landed me my Lectureship at Royal Holloway. Not only did he offer insightful comments on my writing, he taught me to enjoy a single malt and a cigar. It was with Christopher that I discovered the world of London's old clubs, where we had so many good conversations. He seemed to many perhaps reserved, which he was, but he was also terribly funny, with interesting stories and a razor wit. He was devoted to his subject, but never took anything too seriously and advised me to do the same. He was a singular scholar, a true philosopher of war. In an era where political scientists seek to quantify everything, he understood the human condition could not be quantified. And thus neither can war, diplomacy or statecraft. He was a link to some of the greats - Michael Howard, whom I met because of Christopher, Phillip Windsor, whom I did not. He himself, was a great, and a gentleman. He looked after his flock, and I know I am not alone with my sorrow. He will be ever so sorely missed. Thank you Christopher.

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Peter Michael Nielsen published a tribute .

I am deeply saddened to learn of Christopher’s passing. I first met
Christoher three decades ago when I invited him for a conference in Copenhagen. His intellectual rigor and deep knowledge of Western societies, their philosophical and historical foundations and strengths and in particular their weaknesses, was deeply impressive and always stimulating. Combined with his wit and irony it was always highly inspiring to hear him speak and talk to him. What a great loss. RIP Christoher

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Guy Cohen published a tribute .

A devastating loss. I first met Christopher at a Chatham House event in Salzburg Global Seminar at Schloss Leopoldskron over a decade ago. In the Weinstube, we revisited the encirclement of the Egyptian Third Army by the I.D.F in the end of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, postulating different endings that are thought provoking, even 50 years on.

With Christopher, "War" never spoils a conversation - it is a fine art, especially when our 'Gestalt' of Germany is the topic: "I am not too worried by the resurgence of the Wehrmacht. Though I don’t think the Russians will be giving them too much grief this time round", he replied to me in one of our last correspondences.

Christopher influenced me greatly with his historical sensibilities, delicate irony, and an unmatched literary repertoire, as a historian, an author and as a rare Renaissance man in the English and global landscape. My conversations with him will be greatly missed and his legacy always be cherished.

There will not be another Christopher Coker.

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Rune Henriksen published a tribute .

https://www.stratagem.no/christopher-coker-in-memoriam/

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Hans Gutbrod published a comment .

thx for sharing this here also...

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Derek West published a tribute .

Professor Christopher Coker obituary In The Times:
https://archive.ph/rLYMv

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Nik Werk published a tribute .

I was saddened to hear of Chris' passing. During my time at LSE, there was no one I disagreed with more, respected more, or spent more time with on staff than him. We stayed in touch and met up for a few years afterwards, and I regret losing touch in the last few years.

He was always generous with his time, honest with his advice, kind and very fun company. He will be missed, and I was glad to know him.

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Ilya Shapiro published a tribute .

He was one of a kind and had a great impact on my life. I shall miss him deeply. https://ilyashapiro.substack.com/p/the-passing-of-a-legend

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Ann-Sofie Dahl published a tribute .

A terrible shock to hear of Christopher’s passing last week and still impossible to understand that he is no longer with us.
It was a true privilege to collaborate with him on all those projects and conferences over the last many years, and to call him as my friend.
Rest in peace, dear Christopher.

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Michael Hanke published a tribute .

I am shocked and saddened to hear of Professor Coker's passing. I had the privilege to experience his lectures during my LSE MSC program 2013-2014. Every lecture was a delightful combination of surprise, eye opener, bombshell, humor, and intensity. He had the ability to see things and uniquely weave together dots from literature, movies, academia, current/historical socio-economic & political events and deliver a compelling story like no other person. Like many of us who could not take their notes fast enough, I even saw occasionally other professors doing the same thing when they were in attendance. In recent years, I frequently watched some of his lectures on YouTube to get his take on some IR event. A more personal anecdote, I met him in his office for something administrative and sensed during our conversation that he was intensively private person. Nevertheless, as I happened to see a figure of the comic character Tintin on one of his bookshelves (I am a big fan myself), I asked him whether he was a fan also and he simply smiled and said something along the lines that Tintin was one among his fond memories of Brussels (the home of Tintin's creator). Professor Coker left too early and one has to wonder what fascinating perspectives he would have still shared with us. I am thankful for the time I was able to experience Professor Coker and I will sorely miss him. My thoughts are with his family and close friends. Professor Coker: RIP on the "other side".

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Terence Mcnamee published a tribute .

I wrote the tribute below within the first hour of hearing the news. So much more to be said, where could one begin or end. But for everyone here, how about this wonderful photo. Love Christopher's rather Gaulish expression here. 2007, Tony Blair's final speech as PM on Iraq/security, aboard HMS Albion. We (RUSI) hosted it, with the RN. Tony spoke first, I got Christopher to give the Conservative take on the war, the Labour take was the other chap. the Labour guy went to town on the war; Christopher also said it was a mess, but much more slyly, and praised him for understanding how the American saw the world. Tony was trying to convince him here of the rightness of his decision... Christopher just listened. A week later, Christopher showed me a formal typed note from the PM's office thanking him for participating in the event, with a personal handwritten note from Tony at the bottom which said.... "Thank you for your kind words, it is rare that someone has anything good to say about me these days"!



Scattered across the world tonight are legions of his ex-students and colleagues who doubtless feel as shocked and less-whole as I do. LSE’s Professor Christopher Coker has died. Of those scholars who have written on war or transatlantic relations during the past 50 years, Christopher was one of the most starkly insightful; perhaps none wrote with such aplomb. And that was just his writing. His lectures at LSE and in numerous halls and institutions across the world where he became a regular speaker were the stuff of legend. He especially relished drawing on, say, Britney Spears or Tinkerbell to explain war and international relations in ways that made revelatory sense. And yet, I don’t think Christopher would mind me saying that he forgot some of the best ones within hours of delivering them.
Despite several important and influential books, Christopher is less known than other great scholars in his field. He didn’t do self-promotion. He didn’t do a lot of things that might have taken his career to another level, whatever that means. His life and work, always on his terms. Though there were times when I sensed some regrets at having spent his whole academic career in one place.
I was close to him. As close as anyone could be to him. Which is not that close, in conventional terms. Christopher’s interior world was largely impenetrable. He had no siblings, no partner, no children. He was, unfailingly, a model of decorum, but often awkward in social settings. A drink or two were needed before he could ease into them. He was my PhD supervisor. Like all of us who had the privilege of learning from Christopher, meetings with him, whether in the small museum of global-political-kitsch (otherwise known as his office at LSE), the Travelers Club or a hotel bar on Aldwych, often left you looking at the world in a new way. We will all have a story about how Christopher helped us, in one way or another. We loved him. And he loved us, though I have no idea if he ever thought in those terms.
Christopher was apparently very ill. He never told me of his illness, nor I suspect anyone else, other than those he had to for professional reasons. I understand that he travelled alone to an island, one with a rich history of battles and conquest, of politics and intrigue. He died there.
I took a stupid selfie during what turned out to be our last get-together in London last year. I wish we’d stayed for another drink

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Alison Mutler published a comment .

Thank you, Terence. Your comments helped me write his obituary, What an ugly word.

https://universul.net/professor-christopher-coker-who-dedicated-his-life-and-brilliant-mind-to-writing-about-war-has-died/

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Hilary Parker published a comment .

Hello, Terry. It’s one week on since I heard the news and I’m still trying to come to terms with what has happened. But I just wanted to let you know that I thought your tribute to Chris was wonderful. Thank you for saying it just the way you felt it.

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Jill Stuart published a tribute .

I first knew Professor Coker when I took his course on strategic studies as an MSc student at the LSE in 2001-2002, and later as a colleague. At our lectures, he arrived with no powerpoint slides and no notes. He stood static behind the podium and spoke in a monotone… and his lectures were utterly electrifying. Totally compelling. I could not take notes fast enough to try and capture everything that he knew, compiled, portrayed. I was absolutely fascinated by his thoughts, which offered copious facts but also crossed disciplines and brought things together in a way that was completely unique. I hung on his every word. I later became a PhD student in the Department, and then faculty at the LSE, and continued to be awed by his intellectual enormity. It was a privilege to know him. He was amazing and will be very much missed.

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Paul Taylor published a tribute .

Christopher was a unique scholar, highly original, and gifted both in his writing and his teaching. He was completely lacking in any ambition in the conventional worldly sense. But he was also a highly social being with a wonderful sense of humour and great rhetorical skill which could reduce a room to fits of hopeless mirth. He was an unusual, gracious, kind, and remarkable, human being who has died far too young. I was always delighted to be in his company.

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Luca Tardelli published a tribute .

Hard to describe how much of an impact he could have on his students just via one lecture, a seminar discussion, or an office hour meeting. He was kind to his students, he was kind to me, and he was kind to many, many others. Sit tibi terra levis, Chris.

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Sophia Hoffmann published a tribute .

Ave Cesar! And thank you.

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Stuart Austin published a tribute .

Christopher pictured eating what he described as the best dessert that simply must be ordered no matter what else. Krakow, April 2023.

Christopher was a man out of time, and probably would have been happier born in another era, but pessimism was his game. No-one else could make doom and gloom so fun, nor so intellectual. And what an intellect he possessed. He was too clever a thinker on the human condition for this world. Why war, indeed.

Christopher has been a mentor to me over the last 3-4 years - not a word I would usually say face-to-face, as surely he would cringe, and he would certainly find this tribute overly long. Working with him practically defines my time at LSE IDEAS, and it has been a pleasure to work closely with him throughout his retirement years.

I will always treasure the memories working together since 2020, and his generous support, usually subtle in his own way. I'll miss the never-ending dialogues on history, reviewing every book ever published, the wittiest and sharpest dry humour, and the perfect regaling of anecdotes. The man knew everyone there was to know, or not know.

I wonder what book he was absorbing at the end. I hope it was Tacitus.

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Sven Biscop published a tribute .

I greatly admired Chris Coker's work. There are but a very few people whose every piece I would read - he definitely was one of them.

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Jess Keating published a tribute .

This is incredibly sad news. It was a pleasure to work with Christopher for a few years during my time at LSE IDEAS. What a great loss this is for all those who knew him, the team at LSE IDEAS, LSE as a whole, and the IR community.

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Inez Von Weitershausen published a tribute .

Few people have shaped my understanding of thinking about international conflict as much as this man. Thank you, Professor! RIP.

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Andrew Williams published a tribute .

Christopher was an amazing man, more of a philosopher and cultural omnivore than anyone I have met during my career. He certainly inspired me and I know many others. I will miss him.

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Erik Aakre published a tribute .

So sad to hear that Christopher has passed away. I first got to know him through his undergraduate lectures in Strategic Studies about 1990. He was such a kind and helpful tutor who became a friend. His sharp view of the world and keen literature suggestions guaranteed incredibly enjoyable lunches and meetings many years after I left academia. May he rest in peace!

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Robert Whittle published a tribute .

I was shocked and saddened to hear the passing of Professor Coker last week. Whenever I will look back at my times as a student of IR at LSE and my time at IDEAS, Professor Coker will always remain a permanent fixture. Whenever we met, he was always genuine and willing to help out with student society events (Grimshaw Society trip to Romania in 2019), provide talks and served as an essential guiding voice for the China Foresight programme. He'd always manage to crack a joke and I know many others will also smile back at his characteristic, cynical, yet highly entertaining humour and wit. Coker was a proper old-school academic, and his passing will be a huge loss to so many.

Thank you, Professor. Rest in peace.

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Karen Smith published a tribute .

As many have noted on these pages, Christopher was kind, modest and generous. In addition to his devotion to his students and teaching, and his exceptional contributions to scholarship, his long record of service to the Department and the LSE should also be celebrated - though he would never have demanded recognition for it. Indeed, the only time that I can recall in which he expressed pride about his service came after one Department Meeting that he chaired as HoD (late 2000s) when he told me that he must now hold the record for chairing the shortest DM (an accomplishment which has proved impossible to match). He had, as noted elsewhere in these comments, quite the sense of humour; I kept the email he circulated to the IRD after Trump's election, which contained just one brilliantly selected quote by H.L. Mencken summing up his (Coker's) 'reflection on our troubled times'. What a loss for us all.

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Eddy Fonyódi published a tribute .

What sad news! A brilliant mind has left us. When I saw the news of Professor Coker’s passing, I went back to my notes from his classes in 2005 and re-read a couple of them as well as an essay I wrote on War as a product of nature and nurture. I realised that over the years I have come to use so much of what Professor Coker taught me in his inspiring lectures and through our discussions in class – both in my further studies of security policy and my later and current work in the same field. I will be forever grateful for his frank, to the point and extremely intelligent way of formulating thoughts about some of the most gruesome traits of human nature and society – all for our better understanding, deeper knowledge and, hopefully, contribution to betterment. Rest in peace Professor Coker!

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Patricia Lewis published a tribute .

I am so sad to hear that Christopher has died. He was a huge influence on me in my early career in the 1980s-90s, introducing me to ideas and arguments that I had not encountered let alone understood. In return, he always wanted to discuss physics and philosophy and what that all meant for our world. This of course required long lunches.
I was pleased to be able to work with him again when I came back to the UK 10 years ago. He worked with Chatham House on the cultural dialogue project led by Alexis Crow. He was invited to Chatham House to speak on the topics he knew and communicated so well. I will always keep with me his sense of the warrior's honour and how dangerous it is for us to lose that - something we are witnessing in the battlefield horror today.
Christopher lived and died on his terms which were often very different to those of the crowd. I have always admired that aspect of his character. Of course he lives on in his work and his students - of whom he was immensely proud. He was a gifted, loyal teacher and he would do a great deal to assist his students in their careers and lives.
You will be much missed Christopher and, although you might not have believed that, I think you would have been secretly pleased to hear it.

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Martin Westlake published a tribute .

It is a great shock and massively sad to learn of Christopher Coker's untimely demise. He was partly responsible for recruiting me to the David Davies of Llandinam Research Fellowship in International Relations in the Department of International Relations at the LSE (2018-2019) and was thereafter unfailingly kind and supportive towards me as a colleague. He was also a great intellectual inspiration. His latest works, 'The Rise of the Civilizational State' and 'Why War?' were of outstanding quality and illustrate well what a tremendous loss Christopher's passing means to the IR and political science community. A quiet and modest man who never lived life on anything other than his own terms, his legacy will no doubt live on in the many colleagues and friends who were inspired by him and learned from him and were honoured and privileged to have known him.

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Leon Hartwell published a tribute .

I had the distinct privilege of knowing Prof Christopher Coker, who served as both my mentor and friend. Our paths crossed at the close of 2021 during an interview for a fellowship at LSE IDEAS, and from that point on, my journey led me to London, where I cherished the opportunity to spend time with him. He provided steadfast encouragement for my projects. Our shared adventures also took us to Romania, where I discovered the remarkable facets of Christopher's character.

Christopher possessed an extraordinary ability to craft compelling speeches from just a few scribbled bullet points on a scrap of paper retrieved from his pocket. Regardless of where one stood on the spectrum of political beliefs, it was universally acknowledged that his intellect and storytelling prowess were unparalleled. He could effortlessly transition between moments of profound seriousness and lighthearted playfulness.

Having traversed nearly 100 countries, Christopher held an anecdote suited for nearly every individual he encountered, no matter their origin. He regaled me with tales of his upbringing in Africa and his subsequent journeys to the continent. As a child, he once found himself briefly kidnapped by his gardener, who indulged him with ice cream before the authorities intervened. Remarkably, the kidnapper's folly led the police straight to his doorstep, as he had used his personal address for the ransom delivery.

Christopher's experiences extended to his evaluation of Apartheid-era South Africa, where he sought to determine whether the British government should recognize Bophuthatswana, a Bantustan recognized solely by South Africa as an independent state. After being lavishly entertained by Lucas Mangope, the so-called president of Bophuthatswana, Christopher and his delegation were whisked away to a grand party in Cape Town on Mangope’s private jet. When the pivotal question arose regarding UK recognition of Bophuthatswana, Christopher's unequivocal response was a resounding "no."

I am profoundly grateful for the countless stories, knowledge shared, and celebratory champagne toasts we enjoyed together. Your departure leaves a void that will be felt keenly by multiple generations. Christopher, you will be dearly missed, and your legacy will continue to inspire and inform.

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Brian C. Chao published a tribute .

I am saddened to read of Prof. Coker’s death. I first met him almost exactly 16 years ago, when he taught us Dartmouth College students in our strategic-studies seminar at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His seminars with us were insightful and thought-provoking, to the point that my classmates and I often just sat there, trying to process his words in silence, which he initially mistook for disinterest. His writings and lectures on war, its changing character, and on great-power relations profoundly shaped my own thinking. As I kept up an occasional correspondence with him over the years, he was always unfailingly kind and gracious: when I returned to London years later to check out graduate schools, he made time to see me; when he found out I was interested in studying China, he gave me a digital copy of his yet-to-be-published Improbable War. I will always remember his generosity. He was a character too, with his dictator figurine collection and his humor (“I’ve been to Rome over 20 times, and I’ve only traveled to three places: the airport, the conference site, and the hotel bar.”). Prof. Coker will be greatly missed.

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Alison Mutler published a tribute .

I'm not an academic but feel absolurtly honoured to have known Christopher and enjoyed his amazing lectures and company. It's wonderful to see how appreciated and loved he was. I hope my obituary paints something of his character and charm. I wish he was still with us.

https://universul.net/professor-christopher-coker-who-dedicated-his-life-and-brilliant-mind-to-writing-about-war-has-died/

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Sophie published a tribute .

Christopher was a dear friend of the family and of myself and we shared debates, conversations and good times over G and T’s in London. He took care of me and made me feel welcome when I arrived to the city and knew few people. He was a generous, kind and warm person, and lived his life on his terms. An example to many. May he rest in peace.

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Karin Eriksson published a comment .

This is very sad news. Nothing compared to those Friday lectures.
I am forever grateful.

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Caspar published a comment .

A great mind and a warm human being with a mischievous sense of humour.

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Thomas Ries published a tribute .

Professor Coker's untimely demise came as a bolt from a blue sky. And now that sky is so very very dark.

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Elke Schwarz published a tribute .

A tremedous loss, but Christopher Coker was one of the most inspiring humans I had the privilege to know. He did things his way, lived not by proclamation but by practice. Unusual, sharp and thoughtful. He's done good. Vale!

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Jc published a tribute .

RIP

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Rob Johnson published a tribute .

Oh Captain; My Captain. You've left us, but your observations of life, inspired by English and American literature are left to us;
So, Muse, you have gone, with a heroism befitting your beloved Greeks.
Farewell, dear friend.
Now rest.

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Professor Janne Haaland Matlary, Norwegian Command And Staff College And University Of Oslo published a tribute .

Christopher was an absolutely brilliant scholar, the greatest of wits and the kindest of men. He was a true friend whom one could always trust completely and a colleague one was proud to know. He came to Norway quite often and contributed to several of my edited volumes, and we went to the Ratiu Foundation in Turda, a place of great culture and pleasant conversation. Christopher also loved dogs, and once in oiur house in Oslo he sat down in the dog's favourite chair - whereupon the dog, a feisty Bedlington terrier, stood up and stared hard at him. Christopher loved him for that, and remarked, erudite as always, that his name Rufus did not befit a grey dog. - We are many in Norway that mourn the loss of such a great scholar and gentleman. My next book on the Russian war in Ukraine (with Robert Johnsen, Oxford) will be dedicated to Christopher - although he hardly needs more publications....

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Zach Wolfraim published a tribute .

As reflected by so many others Christopher was a generous, interested professor who inspired myself and many others to tackle complex, serious topics creatively, critically, and above all with good humour. He was instrumental in helping me find my way to my PhD long after I had been his student. A sad loss.

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Mary Kaldor published a comment .

I read Hegel after hearing a talk by ChrIstopher when we were both in our twenties! I was so taken by the way that he situated the study of war in a philosophical context. Christopher was a gentlemen scholar. He has been unfailingly kind and supportive to our conflict and civicness research group. His death is a huge loss to us in LSE IDEAS , to LSE, and to the war studies community.

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Marko Suica published a tribute .

Еven though we only met recently, the time we spent in inspiring conversations about history, politics and life in general will remain in my memory as the most precious one. Christopher's departure is a great loss. His vibrant spirit will remain with us.

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Bernard Loo published a tribute .

Professor Coker was a long-time friend of the Rajaratnam School of International Studies; he had contributed to projects undertaken by a number of faculty members, he visited several times to speak at various fora organised by the School, and he was a friend and mentor to a number of faculty members who were then starting their academic careers. Those of us who were privileged to have spent time with him will always remember his acerbic yet gentle wit, his enthusiasm, his wisdom and most of all his generosity of spirit. On behalf of Ambassador Ong Seng Yong, the Executive Chairman of the Board of Governors of RSIS, and Professor Kumar Ramakrishna, Dean of RSIS, I extend the School's deepest condolences to LSE. A great strategic mind has been lost, at a time when the world needed it the most.

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Bernard Loo published a comment .

My apologies, it is Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, not Ong Seng Yong

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Anthony Oruna-Goriainoff published a tribute .

My very dear professor,
What sad news to hear you have departed. I still remember the day I attended your first lecture. I couldn't take notes fast enough! The knowledge pouring from your mind was astounding. Amazing. Remarkable.

Never had I come across such a broad and remarkable source of understanding, discernment and insight. And never have I come across it since.
I still remember your unique perspectives, your dark sense of humor, your command of international affairs as well as your opinions on the subject.
I recall being in your office one day at the height of the--on again, off again--India and Pakistan nuclear war threat. I tentatively asked you: "Do you think there will be a war?"
I will never forget your reply: "We should be so lucky!"
And the smirk. And I realised that was just the modern version of that infamous sabre rattling of old.
That moment, and countless others, have forever stayed with me, as will your kindness and graciousness.
You have always been a guiding light and a mentor. Even in silence you remain thus.
Godspeed, Professor
Y hasta siempre

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Timucin published a tribute .

RIP, dear Professor.

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Oliver Cook published a tribute .

So sad to hear the passing of Professor Christopher Coker. I remember fondly his lectures and as my academic advisor for a year meetings in his treasure trove of a study that could easily have been a museum. He will be missed

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Ipek Ruacan published a tribute .

I am so sorry to hear this, I was his student in the 'Strategic Aspects of International Relations' MSc course in 2001-2002. I learnt so much from him. After more than years, I still remember most of what he taught us and even remember some of the jokes that he made while lecturing. I send my deepest condolences to his family and to the LSE community.

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Karsten Friis published a tribute .

RIP Christopher. A huge loss for academia, intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, war studies, and cynical perspectives on, well, everything.
You will be missed!

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Aram Araratyan published a tribute .

Still trying to grasp the news. Professor Coker's intellectual depth, combined with that unique hint of pessimism that resonates so personally with me, made every lecture and interaction with him at LSE IDEAS unforgettable. Engaging in discussions with him has not only enriched me professionally, but has also broadened my perspective as a human being. I was looking forward so much to our next meeting this December for graduation. Farewell, Professor, you will be greatly missed.

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Zachary Wong published a tribute .

Prof Coker was my academic mentor when I was pursuing my BSc in Politics and International Relations.

He was nurturing and caring and was genuinely concerned about the well being of his students. He went beyond his duty to ensure that my academic needs were well taken care of. I truly appreciated my conversations with him.

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Zachary Wong published a comment .

Am truly saddened by his passing

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Edmund Wilson published a tribute .

In the early summer of 2017 I did a week’s work experience for Professor Christopher Coker researching scenarios for U.S.-China conflict, producing two large ring-binders of material for his recent work, including the subsequently published The Civilizational State. His passing brings great dismay to me; it comes as a shock. The foremost scholar on the rise of China passes away, and the world turns a blind eye. This tragedy will bear on my mind for years to come. Rest in peace professor

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Kevin Goh published a tribute .

I’m shocked and saddened to learn of his passing. He was such a great mentor and friend, and we often kept in touch even after I had graduated from the LSE. I will miss his dry humour and wit, and his candid shadings about life and politics. Rest in Peace Professor.

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Yee-Kuang Heng published a tribute .

Absolutely devastating and heartbreaking news. Christopher was my inspiration to complete a PhD under his brilliant supervision. He was a shining light and academic role model in my own academic career. His giant intellect, wit and humour, and self-depracating nature was one of a kind. He would so generously spare time to catch up over long lunches and dinners whenever I popped by to see him in London. That sense of loss can never be replaced. The study of war has not only lost one of its most sophisticated and elegant thinkers, but an awe-inspiring mentor to his students. He will never be forgotten.

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Lutfey Siddiqi published a tribute .

It’s shocking. I’m so grateful that I was able to have a wonderful, unscheduled catch up with Chris just a couple of months ago in London. He was his usual self: cracking dry jokes with a slightly mischievous glint.
I've been a beneficiary of his kindness from when he was director of the centre for international studies. We will all miss him.

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Ignacio Morales published a tribute .

This is just one of many examples of Christopher’s fantastic personality. Many years ago, after one of our many dinners, I asked him to sign my copy of ‘Can War be Eliminated?’ he looked surprised and asked me: ‘But what do you want me to write?’ We laughed, and I said: ‘Well, whatever!’ Of course, he wouldn’t miss the chance to say something funny. That was him, a British gentleman with an amazing sense of humour. He just wrote: ‘Whatever! Chris’
As a former student and a friend, I will never forget him. Rest in peace, Professor.

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Ivan Lidarev published a tribute .

I am very saddened by the passing of Prof. Christopher Coker. Although our acquaintance was brief, I was impressed by his kindness, erudition, diverse intellectual interests, and very British sense of humour. RIP, Christopher!

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Ali Hawks published a tribute .

A profound loss. Christopher was my viva examiner, and spent many hours helping me understand and navigate theory with grace, warmth and wit. He was loved by so many, and delighted everyone. His expansive knowledge was legendary and he was known for always giving time for anyone that need to explore something just a little bit more. He will be sorely missed and forever cherished.

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Sean Mcfate published a tribute .

Sad news that Professor Christopher Coker has passed. He was my doctoral advisor, mentor, and friend. Last of a breed of old-school war scholars and Victorian gentleman. Memories of Travellers, martinis, cigars, and ideas. And ofcourse his tribe of Cokerites. Fare thee well, Christopher. You are cherished forever by all the minds you touched. Sean McFate Phd 2012

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Saqib Qureshi published a tribute .

A 30 year friendship comes to an end. He taught me in my undergrad, supervised my PhD, and we worked on several LSE initiatives since including most recently the Jinnah Fellowship. I’m so sad to learn of his passing away - he was incredibly intelligent, kind and funny. I will miss him a lot.

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Katri Kemppainen-Bertram published a tribute .

Christopher Coker inspired me during my first LSE MSc IR week in 2000 with his philosophical, hilariously funny lecture on security policy to shift my planned focus 180 degrees. Grateful for his lectures, our seminars, his books, and his support as my PhD supervisor. May he rest in peace.

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Gela Pochkhua published a tribute .

Very saddened with this news:( professor Coker was no doubt one of the best individuals I had a privilege to meet. Academia has lost a true legend with his passing.. my deepest sympathies and condolences to the family, friends and loved ones.

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Iver B. Neumann published a tribute .

When I took up my chair at the IR Department at the LSE, the one colleague who made a point of welcoming me not only to the LSE, but also to London and to his club, was, wholly unexpectedly given certain professional differences, was Christopher. Many a dinner has been consumed since then. It is almost unbearable to know that the one in Turin last spring will be the last one. RIP.

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Max Castroparedes published a tribute .

Rest in Peace, Christopher. You were a force! A force to be reckoned with. You will be missed so dearly. You were an inspiration to me as a young student from the US from this funny place called Texas who shared a common interest in learning more about our complicated world. Cheers to you, Christopher. Your many friends will miss you.

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Christopher Dandeker published a tribute .

A sad time for so many people who loved and respected him and his work. His knowledge was deep and wide ranging - from all the areas of international relations and war studies to literature. He could quote Dickens and Shakespeare and I was struck by his observation that Paul Scott was the Tolstoy of British India.
For an intensely private man he was gregarious fun loving with a wonderful ability to bring people together to think about issues of the day in a convivial environment. He was a genuinely interdisciplinary man. He loved to provoke debate but always did so with charm and humour.
Like the best of academics he believed in his students and supported them.as they pursued their careers. Many will acknowledge their debt to him. Christopher was clubable and enjoyed food drink and good company.
Christopher was a genuine polymath - not for him narrow specialisation. He was a brilliant author and lecturer. He could command a room and make an audience think. He loved debate and pushing boundaries. He loved travel (one of his clubs was The Travellers) and the surprises that would ensue from it. In recent months I joined him in debates in Romania and Cyprus. He loved to bring people together and to see what would emerge from the interplay of lively minds. A private man who gave such a great deal for collective life.
It was a privilege to know him. We would swap things we felt each should read. His enthusiasm for debate and finding the truth no matter how inconvenient remained undimmed
I find it hard to believe that I won't see him in Pall Mall or hear his melodious,witty and authoritative voice again.
Christopher did not duck anything. He asked us to think and think hard about difficult questions but to make sure we had a good time while doing so. He was a gentle gentleman with a great mind and a generous heart.
I will miss him.

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Dave Herndon published a tribute .

Very thoughtful, nice, funny, and wise man. Beyond insightful. Extremely sad to hear of his passing. He is a force even after his passing. He will be missed, but not forgotten.

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Sarjan Shah published a tribute .

This is such heartbreaking news. My professor for the third year Strategic affairs of IR course, and an absolutely critical mentor outside of the classroom for me. Many a dry martini and freshly rolled cigar were consumed while some of the most original thinking on this planet was casually bandied about. I’ll miss you Prof.! Rest in peace.

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David Ucko published a tribute .

Yesterday, I learned that Christopher Coker had passed away. The news was like a blow to my very soul, leaving first a stunned sense of disbelief and then a void that I suspect will never really be filled. Christopher was a mentor, a friend, and even something of a legend, certainly within the strategic-studies community. I was an undergraduate student at LSE when I first met him. Following one of his many engrossing lectures on 'the strategic aspects of international relations', I visited his office wondering where I could learn more. His generosity with time and advice was remarkable - and I was by no means the only student knocking on his door.

I am glad to say that we then developed a friendship. I think back fondly to the many evenings out and stories shared - memories blurred only somewhat by the typically boozy nature of these encounters. Christopher was wickedly funny and profoundly well read, but he was also very kind -- a rare combination. He was, in a word, a Mensch, more interested in stimulating discussion and friendship than in status and fame.

For those of you who never heard of Christopher Coker or never had the pleasure of meeting him, I highly recommend picking up one of his many (many!) books. The Rise of the Civilizational State is perhaps my recent favorite, though I was very taken with Humane Warfare when it first came out. Why War? was also very engaging. Really, you can't go wrong. Or watch one of his lectures and, I hope, you'll notice the same magnetism and intellectual depth that made Christopher so unique. For me, his passing instantly makes the world a less interesting place and I already miss him greatly.

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Ameya Pratap Singh published a tribute .

He was such an important influence. Was lucky to have him as a lecturer at LSE and later as a mentor. So generous with his time and insights. May he rest in peace.

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Derek West published a tribute .

Christopher was the preeminent scholar on war of our times. He was a faithful correspondent, mentor and gracious friend. He is terrible missed. Photo is of us having scotch and cigars in Berlin, 19 Nov 2019.

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Vuk published a tribute .

I never attended Christopher's courses but every drink and meal with him was a lecture. Tendency to enjoy finer things in life, intellect, cynical humour, not showing emotions but still being a friend that is always there for you made him the type of character you believed only existed in books and popular culture. He was there for me when I needed it both personally and professionally. My perception of London and LSE is no longer the same knowing you are not around. Rest in peace, Christopher. You will not be forgotten.

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Nathaniel Ocquaye published a tribute .

An absolute brilliant academic! Professor Coker, in my opinion, was in person a simple and kind man.
I still remember when he invited me to join him for drinks at an exclusive bar on Aldwych.
He would later give me a figurine of Nancy Pelosi from his vast collection of figurines from around the world!
You will be dearly missed Chris!

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Divine Agbeti published a tribute .

Professor Coker, my friend, my mentor and my teacher!! You left without a word. Not even another debate over future wars. Thanks for the books; thanks for the mentorship; thanks for your support and guidance throughout my PhD, I was hoping to complete and invite you to my viva; thanks for the countless drinks and dinners at Aldwych; and thanks for imparting me with knowledge and love for the study of war. I remain your disciple even in eternity. Rest well my Professor.

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Aldo published a tribute .

Prof. Coker supported me as a mentor across the MSc and the initial years of the Phd. He saw talent where others failed. He always believed in me and pushed me to be a better person. I am heartbroken, but I feel better when thinking that he will always be part of me. Goodbye Prof. Coker!

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Doug Li published a tribute .

In a dinner organized by LSE IDEA, I, as a student of International Strategy & Diplomacy, class 2018-19, sat beside Prof. Coker. We talked about his new book, and he invited me to critic his new book. After listening to my comments, he, looking at my eyes seriously (his typical facial expression) asked, 'What else?" I said, “ Your photo on the book looks younger." He couldn't help laughing. Yeah, not easy to make him laugh. RIP Prof. Coker. I'll always remember the way you look at me.

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Christopher Ankersen published a tribute .

Christopher Coker was a rare combination of genius, generosity, & genuineness. The study of war in the contemporary world has benefited from his curiosity & insight. His colleagues & students, of which I am proud to call myself one, were privy to glimpses of awe & wonder.

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Ben H published a tribute .

His brilliant mind and wit will surely be missed. He always had an open door for his students and alumni. His lectures were legendary, so much so that at a party an alumni asked me whether I had made a recording of one of his lectures. His legacy will live on. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.

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