The global security order appears to be increasingly dynamic and destabilised. The armed conflicts in Syria, Yemen, the DRC, Ukraine and Afghanistan, renewed risks of nuclear confrontation, terrorism, massive flows of refugees, escalating cyber incidents, and rising climate and food insecurity are testaments to this reality. At the same time, international institutions designed to address these challenges have come under pressure in the wake of an ongoing backlash against globalisation and multilateralism. The rise of non-state actors on the world stage, including private security contractors, organized armed groups and transnational crime create further challenges to global and transnational security law. Against the backdrop of the global security turmoil, our staff aim to develop new ideas for a security order capable of navigating the dynamic and inter-connected global security environment of the 21st century.

Highlights from our work in this area:

Oxford Handbook on the International Law of Global Security (Forthcoming)

Co-edited by Professors Robin Geiß and Nils Melzer, the Oxford Handbook on the International Law of Global Security provides for the first time a comprehensive mapping of the international legal security architecture and explores the relationship between international law and security. Pursuing both a global and an interdisciplinary approach, the Handbook brings together some sixty eminent practitioners and scholars of international law, security studies and international relations from all parts of the world. The first comprehensive Handbook on international law and security, it is a truly unique contribution to the literature of international law and international relations.  


Editors: Professor Robin Geiß and Professor Nils Melzer

Assistant Editors: Ms Eleni Methymaki and Dr James Devaney

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Expected publication date: 2019/2020

Visions of Global Order: Peace, Law and Security After the First World War

The ‘Great War’ of 1914-18 has dominated academic and popular debate over the past decade. Yet post-war attempts at peace-making may yield more important insights and lessons for contemporary debates about global order and attempts to forge a ‘rules-based international system’. The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 has attracted intense interest from both historians of international relations and international lawyers. But the research that has resulted is characterised by a striking lack of dialogue between the two disciplines.   Funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the core objective of this project is therefore to make a significant and original contribution to existing scholarship on the Paris Peace Conference by marrying research questions and methodological approaches from the disciplines of international law and international history. To achieve this we have established a multi-disciplinary network of leading international experts in these disciplines. This network will consolidate existing collaborative relationships in these fields and extend them through sustained interdisciplinary dialogue. The network held its first workshop in Glasgow in November 2018. A wider conference will be held in May 2019. For more information on the project please click here.