Personal profile


Dr Jess Gifkins has worked at the University of Manchester since 2017, having previously worked at universities both in the UK and in Australia. Her research is on the everyday enactment of international politics with two primary strands. First, on decision-making within the United Nations, where she has researched legitimation practices, penholding, and language within the UN Security Council, and early warning within the UN Secretariat. Second, on the ‘responsibility to protect’ (or ‘R2P’ as it is known) where she has researched case study responses to conflicts in Darfur, Syria, and Libya, and the increasing persecution of LGBT+ people in Europe and elsewhere and has recently published a report on Queering Atrocity Prevention in collaboration with Dr Dean Cooper-Cunningham and Protection Approaches. She is the Queering Atrocity Prevention Research Fellow with Protection Approaches. 

Dr Gifkins has published widely within International Relations, including publications on the UN Security Council and R2P in the European Journal of International RelationsCooperation and Conflict, Global Governance, Global Responsibility to Protect, the Australian Journal of International Affairs, and Global Change, Peace & Conflict, as well as chapters in books on R2P, the United Nations and Genocide, and Civilian Protection. Dr Jess Gifkins and Professor Jason Ralph were awarded a prize for 'Best article in the European Journal of International Relations' in 2017 for their article 'The Purpose of United Nations Security Council Practice'.

Her recent project on Brexit and the reputation of the UK in the United Nations was funded by the British Academy and included articles in International Affairs, and the British Journal of Politics and International Relations, as well as a report published by the United Nations Association of the UK titled ‘Global Britain in the United Nations‘.This project was a collaboration with Professor Jason Ralph and Dr Samuel Jarvis  and was featured in The Guardian and The Economist. 


Dr Jess Gifkins' current reserach projects

1) Legitimation practices in UN Security Council decision-making. This project includes a forthcoming mongraph 'Inside the UN Security Council: Legitimation Practices and Darfur' which is under contract with Oxford University Press and an article in Global Governance.

2) Queering the Responsibility to Protect. This project is a collaboration with Protection Approaches in London and Dr Dean Cooper-Cunningham at the University of Sheffield. 

3) Early Warning in the UN Secretariat. This project is funded by the British Academy and is a collaboration with Dr Stephen McLoughlin at Coventry University. 

For more detail see my personal website


Dr Jess Gifkins' teaching

Convening: 'The United Nations Security Council in Practice' at 3rd year level

Convening: 'The United Nations and International Security' at MA level

Team-teaching: 'The Politics of (In)Security' at 2nd year. 


She welcomes applications from prospective PhD students on: the United Nations; practices; and the Responsibility to Protect. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, International Relations, University of Queensland

Award Date: 25 Nov 2013

Master of Arts, International Development, University of New South Wales

Award Date: 1 Feb 2008

Bachelor of Arts, Critical and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University

Award Date: 1 Jul 2004

External positions

Board member for Global R2P Journal

31 May 2021 → …

Honorary Research Fellow, University of Queensland

1 Jul 201330 Jun 2018

Areas of expertise

  • JZ International relations
  • United Nations
  • the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
  • Global governance
  • Constructivism
  • Practice Theory
  • Darfur
  • Brexit


  • United Nations
  • Global governance
  • Responsibility to Protect
  • Brexit
  • Darfur


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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