Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Manchester

Dr Jess Gifkins is interested in how international relations are enacted on a day-to-day basis. Her research centers around two different themes. First, decision-making within the United Nations, where she has researched legitimation practices, penholding, sanctions, and peacekeeping within the UN Security Council, and early warning mechanisms within in the UN Secretariat. Second, the implementation of the ‘responsibility to protect’ (or ‘R2P’, as it is known) where she has researched language, case studies on conflicts in Darfur, Libya, and Syria, and the relationship between persecution of LGBTQI+ people, hate crimes, and atrocity crimes.

Her research on the UN and R2P has been published in the European Journal of International Relations, Cooperation and Conflict, Global Responsibility to Protect, the Australian Journal of International Affairs, Global Governance, and Global Change, Peace & Conflict, as well as chapters in books on R2P, the United Nations and Genocide, and Civilian Protection. Dr Jess Gifkins and Professor Jason Ralph were awarded a prize for ‘Best article in the European Journal of International Relations’ in 2017 for their article ‘The Purpose of United Nations Security Council Practice‘.

Her recent project on Brexit and the reputation of the UK in the United Nations was funded by the British Academy  and included articles in International Affairs, and the British Journal of Politics and International Relations, as well as a report published by the United Nations Association of the UK titled ‘Global Britain in the United Nations‘. This project was a collaboration with Professor Jason Ralph and Dr Samuel Jarvis.

Jess Gifkins’ current research projects are on:

  1. Legitimation practices in UN Security Council decision-making. This project includes a monograph under contract with Oxford University Press titled ‘Inside the UN Security Council: Legitimation Practices and Darfur’ and an article in Global Governance. 
  2. Queering the Responsibility to Protect. This project is a collaboration with Protection Approaches in London and Dr Dean Cooper-Cunningham at the University of Sheffield. Jess is the Queering Atrocity Prevention Research Fellow with Protection Approaches and has recently published a co-authored report titled ‘Queering Atrocity Prevention‘.
  3. Early Warning in the UN Secretariat. This project is funded by the British Academy (2022-2023) and is a collaboration with Dr Stephen McLoughlin at Coventry University.

Jess was Associate Editor of Critical Military Studies from its founding in 2013 until 2020, and she has been on the Editorial Board for the Global Responsibility to Protect journal since 2020. She was Co-convener of the British International Studies  Association Working Group on Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect (2016-2018), and Co-Chair of EISA Section ‘A Palace of Hope? The Prospects, Fragilities and Legitimacy of the United Nations‘ in 2018.

She did her PhD within the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect at the University of Queensland, where she retains a position as Honorary Research Fellow.

Jess works at the University of Manchester, and has previously taught at Leeds Beckett University, the University of Exeter, the University of Queensland, and the University of New South Wales.


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