Jennifer Welsh

Professor in International Relations at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Somerville College

Jennifer M. Welsh is Professor in International Relations at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Somerville College. She is a former Jean Monnet Fellow of the European University Institute in Florence, and was a Cadieux Research Fellow in the Policy Planning Staff of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs. Jennifer has taught international relations at the University of Toronto, McGill University, and the Central European University (Prague). She is the author, co-author, and editor of several books and articles on international relations. Her current research projects include the evolution of the notion of the ‘responsibility to protect’ in international society, the ethics of post-conflict reconstruction, the authority of the UN Security Council, and a critique of conditional notions of sovereignty. Jennifer was the Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Massey College (University of Toronto) in 2005, and is a recent recipient of a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship and a Trudeau Fellowship. In 2006, she joined the Board of Trustees of the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, and in 2008 became a member of the Editorial Board of the BISA Series in International Relations at Cambridge University Press. Jennifer has served as a consultant to the Government of Canada on international policy, and acts as a frequent commentator in Canadian media on foreign policy and international relations. She has a BA from the University of Saskatchewan, and a Masters and Doctorate from the University of Oxford (where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar).

Most Recent Posts

Where R2P Goes From Here

Where R2P Goes From Here

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August 21, 2013

An interview with Jennifer Welsh, who was recently appointed Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect, on the future of norm.

Summit in the Shadow of Syria

Summit in the Shadow of Syria

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June 17, 2013

It’s Russia against the West when it comes to what to do about Syria. And that division could overshadow the entire G8 summit says Jennifer Welsh.

Crime and Terrorism

Crime and Terrorism

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May 24, 2013

Jennifer Welsh on the frightening truth emerging from the killing in London: there isn’t always a network behind an act of terror.

Third Time’s An Alarm

Third Time’s An Alarm

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February 14, 2013

North Korea’s most recent nuclear test is a serious provocation. There’s a decent chance Kim Jong-un’s belligerency has cost him Xi Jinping’s support.

Targeted Killing on Trial

Targeted Killing on Trial

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February 8, 2013

Jennifer Welsh probes the U.S.’s practice of “targeted killing”, and argues increased scrutiny may not lead to greater transparency.

Solving Syria

Solving Syria

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January 4, 2012

Solving Syria: Welsh examines the tensions between regional and international organizations.

In Conversation on Libya

In Conversation on Libya

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August 25, 2011

André has provocatively questioned whether Canada’s involvement in the NATO-led air campaign in Libya really represents a new departure in our country’s foreign policy. Like him, I find it hard to believe that a Liberal government would really have responded differently to the circumstances that faced the international community in March 2011. To begin, the […]

Rights and responsibilities in a post-Qaddafi Libya

Rights and responsibilities in a post-Qaddafi Libya

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August 24, 2011

It’s become a common refrain in most commentary on the Libyan conflict: now that the rebels, (undoubtedly assisted by NATO’s firepower) are close to winning the war, attention must turn to ‘winning the peace’. Roland Paris will no doubt have much to say on this theme, having penned an influential book that studies a series […]

What’s Next for Capitalism?

What’s Next for Capitalism?

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August 16, 2011

While summer temperatures in Europe are lower than normal, the streets of its cities – particularly in Britain – are raging hot. The riots that have beset London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool are an uncomfortable reminder of the discontent that lies below the surface in a country renowned for its “civility.” John’s recent posting on […]

The Big Deal? The Big Distraction.

The Big Deal? The Big Distraction.

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August 2, 2011

Phew. Republicans and Democrats managed, at the 11th hour, to compromise on a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, and thereby avoid a default. Catastrophe has been averted. But has it? The fine print reveals that the deal only postpones further, more fever-pitched debate. The next round of the boxing match will occur in […]

Canada’s Bush?

Canada’s Bush?

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July 22, 2011

Roland is correct to question just what constitutes the “threat out there” that Stephen Harper seems so preoccupied with. The stark view of the world that the prime minister offers – between the good guys and the bad guys – is not only based on flimsy evidence (at least, in terms of what he told […]

Blame the Bobbies

Blame the Bobbies

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July 22, 2011

The scandal engulfing News of the World in the U.K. does, as André suggests, raise a host of questions about the role and freedom of the press in a democracy. Murdoch’s access to seats of power, and politicians’ tireless efforts to gain his favour, was well known. But the depth of corruption and foul play […]

In Defense of R2P

In Defense of R2P

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June 28, 2011

Roland and André have raised some important points about the limitations of the principle of R2P, and how these limitations manifest in the case of Libya. While I’m not necessarily trying to position myself as an ‘advocate’ of R2P per se, I think there are two issues worth raising in defense of the principle (and […]

Libya and R2P

Libya and R2P

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June 23, 2011

I have a piece in an upcoming issue of Ethics and International Affairs, which explores the implications of how NATO is approaching civilian protection in Libya. The international response to civilian deaths in Libya (and the imminent threat of mass atrocities) is unusual in three keys respects. First, Security Council Resolution 1973 authorized “all necessary measures” to protect civilians without […]

Question, Challenge, and Dispute

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June 20, 2011

Hello, fellow members of the Roundtable – and thank you for kicking things off, Roland!  I too am very much looking forward to having access to such a unique forum for debate about international affairs in Canada. Though I am based at the University of Oxford, I maintain deep ties to Canada and my home […]