Toni Erskine

Professor Toni Erskine

School Director


BA Honours in Pol Sci (UBC), MSc in Social & Political Theory (Edinburgh), PhD in Pol Philosophy & Int Relations (Cambridge)

Contact details
+61 2 6125 1233
Room: 3.54
Building: Hedley Bull Building
Professor Toni Erskine

Toni Erskine is Professor of International Politics and Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University (ANU). She is also Editor of International Theory: A Journal of International Politics, Law, and Philosophy, Associate Fellow of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge, and one of the Chief Investigators on the ‘Humanising Machine Intelligence’ Grand Challenge Research Project at ANU.

Professor Erskine received a BA Honours (First Class) in Political Science from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, an MSc in Social and Political Theory (with Distinction) from the University of Edinburgh, and a PhD in Political Philosophy and International Relations from Trinity College, University of Cambridge, where she was Cambridge Commonwealth Scholar. After being awarded her PhD, she was British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge and Research Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge (1999-2002). She moved from Cambridge to the west coast of Wales in 2002 when she was appointed to a lectureship in the Department of International Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. She was promoted to Professor of International Politics in 2009 (with the award of a Personal Chair) and was Director of Research and Deputy Head of Department at Aberystwyth when she took up the position of Professor of International Politics at UNSW Canberra in February 2013.

In addition to Professor of International Politics at UNSW Canberra, until July 2018 she was Associate Director (Politics & Ethics) of UNSW’s Australian Centre for Cyber Security, Director of Research for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Convenor of the International Ethics Research Group. She has been appointed to the Research Committee of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (from 2014), is past Chair of the International Ethics Section of the International Studies Association (2008-10), and has served as an elected member of its Governing Council (2014-16) and as a member of its Executive Committee (2015-16). She has been Lurie-Murdoch Senior Research Fellow in Global Ethics (2008-10) and Honorary Professor (2010-12) at RMIT University in Melbourne, Visiting Scholar at Sydney University (2011-12), Senior Research Associate in International Politics at Aberystwyth University (2013-14), and Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford (2016). In March 2016 she was awarded UNSW Canberra’s ‘Dorothy Green Award for outstanding contributions to research by a female academic’.

Professor Erskine is on the international editorial advisory boards of the following journals: International Theory; Journal of Political Philosophy; International Relations; Cambridge Review of International Affairs; and Journal of International Political Theory. She is currently participating in the collaborative, Google-funded research project ‘AI for Everyone: Benefitting from and Building Trust in the Technology’, administered by the Association for Pacific Rim Universities (APRU).

Research Interests

Professor Erskine’s research focuses on the following themes:

  • moral agency and responsibility in relation to formal organisations in world politics (such as states, multinational corporations and intergovernmental organisations);
  • the ethics of war;
  • the responsibility to protect (R2P);
  • cosmopolitan theories and their critics; norms and cyber security;
  • joint action and shared responsibility;
  • international relations theory;
  • the ethics of intelligence collection;
  • the role of luck in ethical analyses of international politics;
  • and moral responsibility in relation to new technologies of war, particularly with respect to artificial intelligence.

Her books include:

  • Embedded Cosmopolitanism: Duties to Strangers and Enemies in a World of ‘Dislocated Communities’ (Oxford University Press, 2008), which was recipient of the ‘2008/2009 Notable Book Award in International Ethics’, International Studies Association;
  • Tragedy and International Relations (ed. with Richard Ned Lebow; Palgrave Macmillan, 2012; paperback edition 2016), which was CHOICE outstanding academic title winner 2014; and International Relations Theory Today (ed. with Ken Booth; Polity, 2016).

She is currently completing a single-authored monograph entitled Locating Responsibility: Institutional Moral Agency and International Relations.

Dual-degree official opening ceremony in Japan

Last month, Ritsumeikan University celebrated the launch of the dual degree program between ANU Coral Bell School and Ritsumeikan’s College of Global Liberal Arts.

Prof Toni Erskine, Prof David Welch, and Prof Stefano Guzzini

New editorial team for ‘International Theory’ journal includes Bell School Director

Congratulations to our School Director, Professor Toni Erskine, who has been announced as one of three new Editors of International Theory - a journal of International Politics, Law, and P

A time of celebration for our 2018 graduates

On Friday, 14 December, the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs bid a fond farewell and good luck to 118 new graduates.

Meet the new Director of the ANU Coral Bell School

Highly respected Professor of International Politics Toni Erskine has joined The Australian National University (ANU) Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs as its new Director and hit the groun

Bell School signs MoU with Cambridge University AI centre

A new MOU has been signed between the ANU Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs and Cambridge University’s Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI).

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