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

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.

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 (with the award of a Personal Chair) in 2009. 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.

While at UNSW Canberra, she was also Associate Director (Politics & Ethics) of UNSW’s Australian Centre for Cyber Security, Director of Research and Associate Head of School for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Convenor of the International Ethics Research Group. She 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 Professor at Sydney University (2011), Senior Research Associate in International Politics at Aberystwyth University (2013-14), Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford (2016), and Visiting Professor at the WZB Berlin Social Sciences Center (2022). In 2016 she was awarded UNSW Canberra’s Dorothy Green Award for ‘outstanding contributions to research by a female academic’. She was Chair of the Oceanic Conference in International Studies (OCIS) in 2020, which was hosted by the Coral Bell School.

Professor Erskine is currently on the International Editorial Boards of the following journals: Journal of Political Philosophy; Ethics & International Affairs; International Relations; Journal of International Political Theory; and Australian Journal of Defence and Strategic Studies.

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

Anticipating the Future of War: AI, Automated Systems, and Resort-to-Force Decision Making

The use of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automated systems has already changed the nature of the battlefield.

Updated:  3 June 2023/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team