John G. Winant Associate Professor of U.S. Foreign Policy
Research Interests: U.S. military practices, International humanitarian law, Just war theory, Changing character of war, Theories of international relations
I research the evolving strategic reality, the moral, and the legal implications of armed conflict. I focus in particular on U.S. military practices and the use of armed force as a tool in U.S. foreign policy making. I am also interested in constructivist IR theory, analytical just war theory, and normative jurisprudence. My current projects rely on a variety of methods, including interviews with victims of U.S. air strikes and military practitioners, survey experiments, normative theorizing and legal exegesis.
My first book, entitled Legitimate Targets? International Law, Social Construction and US Bombing, proposes a constructivist theory of international law and highlights tensions between a legal and a moral definition of a legitimate target of attack. It appeared with Cambridge University Press as part of the series Cambridge Studies in International Relations in 2015.
My second book, entitled Law Applicable to Armed Conflict (co-authored with Ziv Bohrer and Helen Duffy), proposes a moral division of labour between human rights and humanitarian law and examines under what empirical circumstances each body of law should prevail over the other. It appeared in January 2020 with Cambridge University Press.
Before joining Nuffield, I was an Assistant Professor at the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Alongside my current appointments, I am a co-director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) and a Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute.