Josephine Jackson

Associate Lecturer (Education Focused) in Foundation History and International Relations

Thesis title: U.S. and UK Approaches to ‘Responsibility to Protect’: Perceptions and Realities From the Libyan and Syrian Case Studies

School of IR profile


Josephine Jackson is an Associate Lecturer (Education Focused) in Foundation History and International Relations in the International Education Institute (IEI) at the University of St Andrews. Prior to her Associate Lecturer role, Jackson completed a Ph.D. dissertation which utilized the 2011 outbreaks of state-sponsored mass atrocities in Libya and Syria as case studies for assessing two interrelated strands of policy: (1) How or whether senior-level U.S. and U.K. political, diplomatic, and military actors understood the role that the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P) – an international norm to prevent and stop mass atrocity crimes – plays in the international community; and (2) Whether that knowledge impacted their decisions to intervene in Libya, and not intervene in Syria.

Apart from academic teaching, Jackson’s research interests include International Relations (theory and practice); U.S. and U.K. foreign policy and national security; international human rights (laws, norms, regimes, institutions, and intervention(s)); the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine (R2P); global governance and ethics; and issues of nationalism (e.g., societal diversity, identity politics, gender roles, and national autonomy). Jackson’s current roles at the University of St Andrews include being a Fellow at the Centre for Global Law and Governance and a member of the Institute for Middle East, Central Asian and Caucasus Studies. Jackson also currently serves as a Carnegie ‘New Leader’ at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. In this role, Jackson explores the ethical dimensions of contemporary global issues of concern with leaders and experts in foreign policy, business, academia, and tech.


Jackson, J. (2019). “The United States’ Perceptions of the R2P in Libya and Syria: To Militarily Intervene or Not to Intervene?” In Sancin, Vasilka, (ed.), Responsibility to Protect: Lessons Learned and The Way Forward, 89-105. Faculty of Law, University of Ljubljana: Ljubljana, Slovenia.