Home institution: Centre for International Studies
Affiliation: International Relations
Post: Senior Research Fellow
E-mail: adam.roberts [AT] balliol.ox.ac.uk
College: Balliol College
Research Interest Areas:
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Professor Sir Adam Roberts
Post: Senior Research Fellow
Adam Roberts is Senior Research Fellow of the Centre for International Studies in Oxford University's Department of Politics and International Relations. He is also Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Oford University, and Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.
His main research interests are in the fields of international security, international organizations, and international law (including the laws of war). He has also worked extensively on the role of civil resistance against dictatorial regimes and foreign rule, and on the history of thought about international relations.
He is not able to act as supervisor for new graduate students.
He was President of the British Academy (2009-13). He is an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics & Political Science, and of St Antony's College Oxford. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by King's College London (2010), Aberdeen University (2012), and Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo (2012). He is a Foreign Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011- ), and a Member of the American Philosophical Society (2013- ). He was a member of the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London (2002-8). He is a member of the UK Defence Academy Advisory Board (2003- ).
He was born in Penrith, England, on 29 August 1940. His first degree was at Oxford University in Modern History. His interests include mountaineering and cycling.
Research Areas and Interests
His ongoing research activities include work on books and articles related to the following two externally-funded research projects at Oxford University:
- Oxford University Programme on the Changing Character of War, January 2004- . Website: http://ccw.modhist.ox.ac.uk. (Member of Steering Committee, 2003-9, Senior Research Associate 2009- .) Several publications listed below, including the edited book on The UN Security Council and War, are products of this programme.
- Oxford University Project on Civil Resistance and Power Politics, January 2005- . Website: http://cis.politics.ox.ac.uk/research/Projects/civ_res.asp. (Chair, Organizing Committee, January 2005- .) The jointly-edited book Civil Resistance and Power Politics, listed below, is the main product of this project. He is now working on a second jointly edited book, on civil resistance in the Arab Spring.
Also working on a book on Liberal International Order.
Previous Posts Held
- Montague Burton Professor of International Relations, Oxford University, and Fellow of Balliol College, 1986-2007.
- Alastair Buchan Reader in International Relations, Oxford University, and Professorial Fellow of St Antony’s College, 1981-86.
- Lecturer in International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science, 1968-81.
See lists of research interests and publications.
Selective List of Publications
(editor) Democracy, Sovereignty and Terror: Lakshman Kadirgamar on the Foundations of International Order, I.B. Tauris, London, 2012. ISBN 978 1 84885 307 2. Information at Google Books website.
‘The Long Peace Getting Longer’, Survival, London, vol. 54, no. 1, February-March 2012, pp. 175–83. (Review essay on Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of our Nature.)
(edited with Timothy Garton Ash) Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present, paperback edition with a new foreword on the Arab Spring, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011, xxv + 407 pp. (Hardback edition published in 2009.) ISBN 978-0-19-969145–6. Information at OUP Oxford website and OUP-USA website.
Foreword to Gene Sharp, Sharp’s Dictionary of Power and Struggle: Language of Civil Resistance in Conflicts, Oxford University Press, New York, 2011, pp. ix-x. ISBN 978-0-19-982989-7 (hardback); 978-0-19-982988-0 (paperback). Details at OUP Oxford website and OUP-USA website.
‘Refugees and Military Intervention’, in Alexander Betts and Gil Loescher (eds.), Refugees in International Relations, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011, pp. 213–35. ISBN 978-0-19-958074-3 (hardback); 978-0-19-959562-4 (paperback). Details at OUP Oxford website.
‘The Civilian in Modern War’, in Hew Strachan and Sibylle Scheipers (ed.), The Changing Character of War, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011, pp. 357–80. ISBN 978-0-19-959673-7 (hardback). Details at OUP Oxford website.
‘Detainees: Misfits in Peace and War’, in Sibylle Scheipers (ed.), Prisoners in War, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010, pp. 263–80. ISBN 978-0-19-957757-6. Details at OUP Oxford website.
'Lives and Statistics: Are 90 Percent of War Victims Civilians?', Survival, London, vol. 52, no. 3, June-July 2010.
‘An “Incredibly Swift Transition”: Reflections on the End of the Cold War’, in Melvyn Leffler and Odd Arne Westad (eds.), The Cambridge History of the Cold War, vol. III, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2010.
'People Power: Berlin to Burma', The World Today, London, vol. 65, no. 11, November 2009.
'Changing War, Changing Law' (on 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions), The World Today, London, vol. 65, no. 8–9, August/September 2009.
‘Doctrine and Reality in Afghanistan’, Survival, London, vol. 51, no. 1, February-March 2009. Extracts etc. available at IISS website.
‘The Equal Application of the Laws of War: A Principle under Pressure’, International Review of the Red Cross, Cambridge, no. 872, December 2008. Text available at ICRC website.
(with Dominik Zaum) Selective Security: War and the United Nations Security Council since 1945 (Adelphi Paper no. 395 of International Institute for Strategic Studies, London), Routledge, Abingdon, July 2008. Available on IISS website and Routledge website.
(edited with Vaughan Lowe, Jennifer Welsh and Dominik Zaum), The United Nations Security Council and War: The Evolution of Thought and Practice since 1945, Oxford University Press, June 2008. (Paperback edition April 2010.) Details available on OUP Oxford website and OUP-USA website.
'International Relations after the Cold War’, International Affairs, London, vol. 84, no. 2, March 2008. This article is extracted and adapted from valedictory lecture delivered at St Antony’s College, Oxford, 23 October 2007.
'Torture and Incompetence in the "War on Terror"', Survival, London, vol. 49, no. 1, Spring 2007.
'Air Power, Accuracy, and the Law of Targeting: Why No Brave New World?', in Richard B. Jaques (ed.), Issues in International Law and Military Operations (US Naval War College, International Law Studies, vol. 80), Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, 2006.
'Transformative Military Occupation: Applying the Laws of War and Human Rights', American Journal of International Law, Washington DC, vol. 100, no. 3, July 2006.
'The War on Terror in Historical Perspective', Survival, London, vol. 47, no. 2, Summer 2005.
'The End of Occupation: Iraq 2004’, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, London, vol. 54, no. 1, January 2005.
’Law and the Use of Force After Iraq’, Survival, London, vol. 45, no. 2, Summer 2003.
'The Laws of War in the War on Terror', in Fred L. Borch and Paul S. Wilson (eds.), International Law and the War on Terror (US Naval War College, International Law Studies, vol. 79), Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, 2003, pp. 175-230. [Also published in Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, vol. 32.]
'The Laws of War After Kosovo', in Andru E. Wall (ed.), Legal and Ethical Lessons of NATO’s Kosovo Campaign (US Naval War College, International Law Studies, vol. 78), Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, 2002. [Also published in Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, vol. 31.]
'The So-called "Right" of Humanitarian Intervention', Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, vol. 3, 2000, T.M.C. Asser Press, The Hague, 2002.
'Implementation of the Laws of War in Late-Twentieth-Century Conflicts', in Michael N. Schmitt and Leslie C. Green (eds.), The Law of Armed Conflict: Into the Next Millennium (US Naval War College, International Law Studies, vol. 71), Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, 1998. [Also published in two parts in Security Dialogue, Oslo, vol. 29, nos. 2 and 3, June and September 1998.]
Humanitarian Action in War: Aid, Protection and Impartiality in a Policy Vacuum (Adelphi Paper no. 305 of International Institute for Strategic Studies, London), Oxford University Press, December 1996.
'Environmental Issues in International Armed Conflict: The Experience of the 1991 Gulf War', in Richard J. Grunawalt, John E. King and Ronald S. McClain (eds.), Protection of the Environment During Armed Conflict (US Naval War College, International Law Studies, vol. 69), Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, 1996.
(edited with Benedict Kingsbury) United Nations, Divided World: The UN’s Roles in International Relations, 2nd edn., Oxford University Press, 1993. [First published 1988.] Details available on OUP Oxford website and OUP-USA website.
Civil Resistance in the East European and Soviet Revolutions (Einstein Institution Monograph Series no. 4), The Albert Einstein Institution, Cambridge, Mass., 1991.
'Prolonged Military Occupation: The Israeli-occupied Territories since 1967', American Journal of International Law, Washington DC, vol. 84, no. 1, January 1990.
(joint author) Terrorism and International Order, Routledge & Kegan Paul for Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, 1986.
Nations in Arms: The Theory and Practice of Territorial Defence, 2nd rev. edn., Macmillan for International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, 1986. [First published 1976.]
’What is a Military Occupation?’, The British Year Book of International Law 1984, Oxford University Press, 1985.
(with Philip Windsor) Czechoslovakia 1968: Reform, Repression and Resistance, Chatto & Windus for Institute for Strategic Studies, London, 1969.
(editor) The Strategy of Civilian Defence: Non-violent Resistance to Aggression, Faber, London, 1967.
Numerous articles published in Survival, International Affairs, The World Today, The Times Literary Supplement, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, International Security, Internationale Politik, Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Arab Affairs and other journals.