Jennifer Welsh’s Visit

On Monday March 20, 2017, Dr. Jennifer Welsh, author of the #1 Bestseller, The Return of History, gave a talk to our Department as part of the Mark Zacher Distinguished Visitor Program.

Watch the full talk now

Dr. Welsh’s talk on norm robustness and the Responsibility to Protect covered four major components:

  1. The study of norms and the evolution of the literature on norms
  2. The particular nature of R2P as a norm
  3. How we should assess the strengths of this norm, and the ‘false tests’ that counter it
  4. A framework for how we might assess its robustness

Her talk focused on a narrow component of a larger, 5-year, interdisciplinary research project that she is co-directing, on the individualization of war. This project is contributing to the larger area of study on the changing nature of armed conflict and the growing emphasis on individuals as both subjects and objects in armed conflicts.


JENNIFER WELSH is the 2017 Mark Zacher Distinguished Visitor (click here to read more). She is Professor and Chair in International Relations at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy) and a Fellow of Somerville College, University of Oxford. From 2013 until 2016, she was the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on the Responsibility to Protect. She co-founded the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, and has taught international relations at the University of Toronto, McGill University, and the Central European University (Prague). Welsh is the author, co-author, and editor of several books and articles on international relations, the changing character of war, and Canadian foreign policy. She was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, and is of Metis descent. She now lives in Italy, with her husband and two children.

Select Recent Publications:


‘Civilian Protection in Libya: Putting Coercion and Controversy back into RtoP’ (2011) in Ethics and International Affairs, Vol. 25, No. 3, pp. 255-262

A Normative case for pluralism: Reassessing Vincent’s views on humanitarian intervention‘ (2011), in International Affairs, Vol. 87, No. 5

‘Who Should Act? Collective Responsibility and the Responsibility to Protect’, (2012), in The Routledge Handbook on the Responsibility to Protect, edited by Frazer Egerton and Andy Knight (New York: Routledge).

Implementing the “Responsibility to Protect”: Where Expectations Meet Reality‘ (2010) Ethics & International Affairs 24. 4 (Winter 2010): 415-430


2016 Author, The Return of History (Anansi Press)

2008 Co-editor (with Vaughan Lowe, Adam Roberts, and Dominik Zaum), The United Nations Security Council and War: The Evolution of Thought and Practice since 1945 (Oxford University Press)

2007 Co-editor (with Ngaire Woods), Exporting Good Governance: Temptations and Challenges in Canada’s Aid Program (Wilfred Laurier University Press)

2004 Editor, Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations (Oxford University Press)

2004 Author, At Home in the World: Canada’s Global Vision for the 21st Century (HarperCollins) ***Nominated for the Annual Canadian Political Science Association 2005 book of the year***