Professor Janina Dill has been appointed to the inaugural Dame Louise Richardson Chair in Global Security.

The Dame Louise Richardson Chair in Global Security, based at the Blavatnik School, will build on the School’s expertise in international law, economics, philosophy and government, and its wide-ranging engagement with leading scholars and practitioners on issues from cyber security to reducing state fragility.

Focused on critical priorities in global security such as the proliferation of nuclear weapons, terrorism, ethics of warfare and international law, the Chair will lead global collaborative research and build on the School’s growing outreach to current public leaders through short courses and global workshops.

Janina is a Fellow at Trinity College and Co-Director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict (ELAC).

Professor Dill said:

“I am delighted to have been appointed the inaugural Dame Louise Richardson Chair in Global Security. This is a school of government, and while governments are the greatest producers of global insecurity, they are also uniquely placed to improve global security to make a difference. I am excited to build a teaching programme at the School.”

Dean Ngaire Woods said:

“Janina’s appointment will enable the University more powerfully to bring together research across departments to contribute to global security policy. We are absolutely delighted to welcome Janina to the School.”

Professor Dill plans to explore three research streams: the protection of civilians in armed conflict; how law and ethics can constrain deterrence and prevent nuclear use; and the psychology of decision-making on the use of force.


Janina Dill is a Professor at the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) of the University of Oxford, a Fellow at Trinity College and Co-Director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict (ELAC).

Janina’s research concerns the role of law and morality in international relations, specifically in war. In one strand of research, she develops legal and philosophical theories about how international law can be an instrument of morality in war, albeit an imperfect one. This work speaks to debates in just war theory and international law.

Another strand of Janina’s research seeks to explain how moral and legal norms affect the reality of war. She contributes to debates about the capacity of international law to constrain military decision-making. She also studies how normative considerations can shape public opinion on the use of force and the attitudes of conflict-affected populations, for instance, in Afghanistan, Ukraine and Iraq.

In 2021, Janina won a Philip Leverhulme Prize for researchers "whose work has had international impact and whose future research career is exceptionally promising." She will use the prize to conduct further research on the moral psychology of decision-making in war. 

In 2022-2024, Janina co-convened (with Scott Sagan) a research project on the "Law and Ethics of Nuclear Deterrence," which is part of the Research Network on Rethinking Nuclear Deterrence, funded by the MacArthur Foundation and hosted by the Harvard Belfer Centre. 

Starting in 2024, Janina will also work on a three-year project entitled "Cumulative Civilian Harm: Addressing the Hidden Human Cost of the Law's Blind Spot", which is funded by a joint grant from the ESRC and the National Science Foundation. 

Her research was recently cited in The GuardianThe Economisttwice in The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and Pravda (Slovakia).