Professor Sir Adam Roberts, KCMG, FBA, is President of the British Academy. He is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, and an Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. His main academic 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 married with two grown-up children, and lives in Oxford. His interests include rock-climbing and general mountaineering.

He was born in Penrith, England, on 29 August 1940. His first degree was at Oxford University in Modern History. His main academic jobs have been:

  • 1968-81, Lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
  • 1981-6, Alastair Buchan Reader in International Relations at Oxford University, and Fellow of St Antony's College.
  • 1986-2007, Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, and Fellow of Balliol College.

He was a Member of the Council of Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs), London, 1985-91. Governor, Ditchley Foundation, 2001- . Member of the Council, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, 2002-8. Member, UK Defence Academy Advisory Board (DAAB), 2003- . In 1990, elected Fellow of the British Academy (FBA). In 2002, appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG). He is an Honorary Fellow of LSE and of St Antony's College, Oxford.

Principal Publications

(ed.) The Strategy of Civilian Defence: Non-violent Resistance to Aggression, Faber, London, 1967.

(with Philip Windsor) Czechoslovakia 1968: Reform, Repression and Resistance, Chatto & Windus for Institute for Strategic Studies, London, 1969.

(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 edn., Macmillan for International Institute for Strategic Studies, 1986.

(ed., with Hedley Bull and Benedict Kingsbury) Hugo Grotius and International Relations, Oxford University Press, 1990.

Civil Resistance in the East European and Soviet Revolutions (Einstein Institution Monograph Series no. 4), The Albert Einstein Institution, Cambridge, Mass., 1991.

(ed., with Benedict Kingsbury) United Nations, Divided World: The UN's Roles in International Relations, 2nd edn., Oxford University Press, 1993.

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.

(ed., with Richard Guelff) Documents on the Laws of War, 3rd edn., Oxford University Press, April 2000.

‘Transformative Military Occupation: Applying the Laws of War and Human Rights', American Journal of International Law, Washington DC, vol. 100, no. 3, July 2006.

(ed., 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, 2008.

(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, 93 pp.

(ed., with Timothy Garton Ash) Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present, Oxford University Press, 2009.

(chapter) ‘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, forthcoming 2009.


He has published articles in numerous journals, including British Year Book of International Law, International Affairs, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, International Security, Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Review of International Studies, Survival, The Times Literary Supplement, and The World Today; and also in various newspapers.

Profile is available on website of Oxford University's Department of Politics and International Relations:

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2017, 5:14pm