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Adam Roberts (scholar)

For other people with this name, see Adam Roberts (disambiguation).

Sir Adam Roberts, KCMG, FBA (born 29 August 1940 in Penrith, England[1]) is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, a Senior Research Fellow in Oxford University's Department of Politics and International Relations, and an Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.


Roberts is the son of the poet and teacher Michael Roberts and the writer and editor Janet Adam Smith. He went to Westminster School, London, 1953–8. He studied Modern History at Oxford University (Magdalen College), 1959–62, winning the Stanhope Historical Essay Prize, 1961.


Assistant Editor, Peace News, London, 1962–5. Noel Buxton Student in International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), 1965–8. Lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, 1968–81. Alastair Buchan Reader in International Relations at Oxford University, 1981–6. Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, 1986–2007.

With interests in civil resistance, international law, the United Nations, and strategic studies, his publications include works on the United Nations and on Hugo Grotius jointly edited with Professor Benedict Kingsbury. Roberts was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (the UK's national academy for the humanities and social sciences) in 1990, serving as its President (2009–13).[2] He served on the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (2002–08); on the Council for Science and Technology (2010–13); and on the United Kingdom Defence Academy Advisory Board (2003–15).

In 2002, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George for services to the study and practice of international relations.[2] He is an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics & Political Science, of St Antony's College, Oxford, and of Cumbria University. He has a Guest Professorship at Nankai University, Tianjin, China (2012); and is Honorary Professor, Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St Andrew's University (2013- ). He has been awarded honorary doctorates by King's College London (2010); Aberdeen University (2012); Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo (2012), and Bath University (2014). He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 2011; and a Member, American Philosophical Society, 2013. His interests include mountaineering and cycling.

He has published articles in numerous journals, including American Journal of International Law, British Year Book of International Law, International Affairs, International Security, Review of International Studies, Survival and The Times Literary Supplement. His publications include:

Recent articles and book chapters

  • ‘The Long Peace Getting Longer’, Survival, London, vol. 54, no. 1, February–March 2012, pp. 175–83. Print edition ISSN: 0039-6338. Online ISSN: 1468-2699. Available at [1]. (Review essay on Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of our Nature.)
  • ‘Simon Frederick Peter Halliday, 1946–2010’, Proceedings of the British Academy, vol. 172: Biographical Memoirs of Fellows no. X, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011, pp. 143–69. ISBN 978-0-19-726490-4. ISSN: 0068-1202. Available at [2].
  • ‘The Civilian in Modern War’, in Hew Strachan and Sibylle Scheipers (ed.), The Changing Character of War, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011, pp. 357–80. ISBN 978-0-19-959673-7 (hardback).
  • ‘The Civilian in Modern War’, Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, vol. 12, 2009, T.M.C. Asser Press, The Hague, 2010, pp. 13–51. ISBN 978-90-6704-335-9; ISSN 1389-1359.
  • ‘Lives and Statistics: Are 90% of War Victims Civilians?’, Survival, London, vol. 52, no. 3, June–July 2010, pp. 115–35. Print edition ISSN 0039-6338. Online ISSN 1468-2699. Available at [3].
  • ‘Detainees: Misfits in Peace and War’, in Sibylle Scheipers (ed.), Prisoners in War, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010, pp. 263–80. ISBN 978-0-19-957757-6.
  • ‘An “Incredibly Swift Transition”: Reflections on the End of the Cold War’, in Melvyn P. Leffler and Odd Arne Westad (eds.), The Cambridge History of the Cold War, vol. III, Endings, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2010, pp. 513–34. ISBN 978-0-521-83721-7.
  • ‘The Equal Application of the Laws of War: A Principle under Pressure’, International Review of the Red Cross, Cambridge, vol. 90, no. 872, December 2008, pp. 931–62. ISSN 1816-3831. EISSN 1607-5889. Available at [4].
  • ‘Doctrine and Reality in Afghanistan’, Survival, London, vol. 51, no. 1, February–March 2009, pp. 29–60. Print edition ISSN 0039-6338. Online ISSN 1468-2699.
  • ‘Torture and Incompetence in the “War on Terror”’, Survival, London, vol. 49, no. 1, Spring 2007. (Review article.) Print edition ISSN 0039-6338. Online ISSN 1468-2699. Available at [5].
  • ‘Transformative Military Occupation: Applying the Laws of War and Human Rights’, American Journal of International Law, Washington DC, vol. 100, no. 3, July 2006. ISSN 0002-9300. Available at [6].
  • ‘The Laws of War in the War on Terror’, in Fred L. Borch and Paul S. Wilson (eds.), International Law and the War on Terror (US Naval War College, International Law Studies, vol. 79), Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, 2003. Available at [7].


  • (with Benedict Kingsbury) eds. 全球治理:分列世界中的联合国 (Global Governance: United Nations in a Divided World), trans. Zhicheng Wu and colleagues at Nankai University, Central Compilation & Translation Press, Beijing, 2010. ISBN 978-7-5117-0220-3. (A specially adapted version of United Nations, Divided World: The UN's Roles in International Relations, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 1993, and incorporating a new introduction by the editors, revised/new appendices, and Foreword by Professor Wang Jisi of Peking University.)
  • (with Lawrence Freedman and others). Terrorism and International Order, Routledge & Kegan Paul for Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, 1986<span />.  ISBN 0-7102-1141-4.
  • (with Philip Windsor). Czechoslovakia 1968: Reform, Repression and Resistance, Chatto & Windus for Institute for Strategic Studies, London, 1969<span />.  ISBN 0-7011-1498-3 (paperback).
  • <span />Ed. The Strategy of Civilian Defence: Non-violent Resistance to Aggression, Faber, London, 1967<span />.  (Also published as Civilian Resistance as a National Defense, Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, US, 1968; and, with a new Introduction on 'Czechoslovakia and Civilian Defence', as Civilian Resistance as a National Defence, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, UK, and Baltimore, US, 1969. ISBN 0-14-021080-6.)



External links

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