JCMS Editors’ Tribute to Professor John Peterson


We at JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies are deeply saddened by the news of the untimely death of Professor John Peterson, a former editor of the Journal. John was a dedicated scholar, supervisor, mentor and friend to many in the academic community in the UK, across the Atlantic and beyond. John had a significant impact on the current JCMS editorial team who had the privilege to work alongside him.

John was one of the most insightful observers of the transatlantic relationship and engaged extensively with the media to explain the country of his birth to those in his adopted country and the European Union to those in America.  The range of his scholarship included important contributions to understanding the EU’s role as a global actor and, particularly, on decision-making in the European Union.

Beyond his own work, John was a generous mentor to his students, including one of our Lead Co-Editors, Toni Haastrup. John supervised Toni’s doctoral thesis on the EU’s relationship with the African Union (2007-2010). From John, Toni learned the importance of criticality in engaging with and analysis the EU’s foreign and security policy and practices. John also mentored other junior scholars he adopted along the way, including one of our Co-Editors, Alasdair Young.  When Alasdair got his first job at Glasgow, John demonstrated by example and through advice how to be an excellent academic professional.  After John moved to Edinburgh, he and Alasdair enjoyed a fruitful and enriching partnership as co-authors.

Our other Lead Co-Editor, Richard Whitman, as a UACES Trustee, had the opportunity to work with John during editorial tenure with JCMS as well as enjoying his research and writing. His passion for advancing the study of the EU and his determination the highest standards for scholarship in JCMS was inspirational. John’s clarity of insight was also ever-present in his writing and, as importantly, he maintained a strong commitment to collaboration and co-wrote and co-published with a large number of his colleagues.

John was also a consummate provider of public goods and served as Head of Politics and International Relations at Edinburgh (2007-10).  We remain grateful to John’s editorship of JCMS with Iain Begg, a period that established JCMS as the premier journal for European Integration studies and saw the publications of ground breaking work in this area. At the time of his death, John was still bitten by the editorial bug and was Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Politics and International Relations.

John will be greatly missed.

JCMS Editors