20002022

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Qualifications

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

Biography

Toni Erskine is Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs and Professor of International Politics at The Australian National University (ANU). She is also Editor of the journal International Theory: A Journal of International Politics, Law, and Philosophy and Associate Fellow of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at Cambridge University. She currently serves as Academic Lead for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP)/APRU ‘AI for the Social Good: Strengthening Capabilities and Government Frameworks in Asia and the Pacific’ Research Project and in this role works closely with government departments in Thailand and Bangladesh. She is also Chief Investigator and a Founding Member of the ANU ‘Humanising Machine Intelligence’ Grand Challenge Research Project. She was recently awarded a research grant from the Australian Department of Defence for a two-year (2023–2025) project on AI, Automated Systems, and Future Use-of-Force Decision Making and will co-convene an international workshop in June 2023 with Professor Steve Miller (Harvard University) as part of this project.

Professor Erskine’s work sits at the intersection of International Relations, Politics, and Moral and Political Philosophy.  Her research interests include the moral agency and responsibility of formal organisations in world politics; the ethics of war; the responsibility to protect (R2P); joint purposive action and informal coalitions; and the impact of new technologies on organised violence.  She is currently completing a book entitled Locating Responsibility: Institutional Moral Agency in a World of Existential Threats.

She is on the international advisory boards of the following academic journals:

  • Journal of Political Philosophy
  • Ethics and International Affairs
  • International Relations
  • Journal of International Political Theory
  • Australian Journal of Defence and Strategic Studies

Before moving to Australia, she was British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and Clare Hall Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and held a Personal Chair in the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University until 2013. Prior to joining ANU in 2018, she was Professor of International Politics at UNSW.

 

RECENT JOURNAL ARTICLES:

Research interests

Professor Erskine’s research sits at the intersection between International Relations (IR), International Security, and Moral and Political Philosophy. Her areas of research focus include the following:

  • International Relations (IR) theory;
  • moral agency and responsibility in relation to formal organisations in world politics (such as states, multinational corporations and intergovernmental organisations);
  • the idea of institutional learning;
  • the ethics of war;
  • moral responsibility in relation to new technologies of war, particularly with respect to artificial intelligence;
  • the effects of AI-enabled tools on resort-to-force decision making
  • the responsibility to protect (R2P);
  • cosmopolitan theories and their critics;
  • norms in international politics (including those that relate to cyber space);
  • joint action and shared responsibility;
  • the ethics of intelligence collection;
  • the role of luck in international politics

 

Biography

Toni Erskine is Professor of International Politics and has been Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University (ANU) since 2018. 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’ (HMI) Grand Challenge Research Project at ANU. She was Chair of the 2020 Oceanic Conference on International Studies (OCIS), which was hosted by the Coral Bell School, and serves on the Research Committee of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) and the Advisory Group for the Google/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) ‘AI for the Social Good’ Research Network.

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. She moved from Cambridge to the west coast of Wales to take up a lectureship in the Department of International Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and was promoted to Professor of International Politics in 2009 (with the award of a Personal Chair). She was Director of Research and Deputy Head of Department at Aberystwyth when she was appointed Professor of International Politics at UNSW Canberra in February 2013.

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