Professor Janina Dill

Dame Louise Richardson Chair in Global Security


Janina Dill is a Professor of Global Security at the Blavatnik School of Government of the University of Oxford. She is also a Fellow at Trinity College and Co-Director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict (ELAC).

Her 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 her 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, she 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, she co-convenes (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, she 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 commentary/research was recently cited in The New York Times (also here), The GuardianThe EconomistThe Frankfurter Allgemeine ZeitungPravda, and Sky News. Please see Media page for details. She has appeared on NPR, BBC radio and TV.

(Image: John Cairns)


  • Just war theory / the morality of war
  • International law and war
  • International law and public opinion
  • Public opinion and war
  • The role of international law in international relations

Media experience

I have appeared on several different BBC radio programmes, on NPR, on BBC (TV) news and my commentary has been cited in several news outlets, see links above.


English and German