PROF Robyn Eckersley

PROF Robyn Eckersley


  • Democratic theory and practice
  • Global politics; Environmental politics and policy (especially climate policy); Political theory (particularly theories of justice and democracy).
  • International and national politics of climate change
  • International relations
  • Trade and environment



  • Robyn Eckersley was educated at the University of Western Australia, Cambridge University (UK) and the University of Tasmania, and taught political science at Monash University from 1992-2001 before joining the University of Melbourne in 2002. She has published widely in the fields of environmental politics, political theory and international relations, with a special focus on the ethics and governance of climate change, including in journals such as Political Studies, European Journal of International Relations, Review of International Studies, Ethics and International Affairs and Global Environmental Politics. Her book The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty (2004) won the Melbourne Woodward Medal in 2005 for the best research in Humanities and Social Sciences and was runner up in the International Studies Association’s Sprout Award for 2005 for the best book on Environmental Studies. She was a Visiting Professor at the Research Center for Global Welfare, The Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Chiba University in Japan in 2008, a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, from August 2009 to January 2010; and served as Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo, November 2010 to January 2011. She was elected as Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 2007. She as also served as Chair of the Organising Committee of the Sixth Oceanic Conference on International Studies (OCIS VI), held at the University of Melbourne on 9-11 July 2014; Chair of the Oceanic Conference on International Studies Transition Committee and Co-convenor/Treasurer of the Australian Political Studies Association Environmental Policy and Politics Research Standing Group
    She has served as Director of the Master of International Relations Program 2011-2012



Member of

  • International Studies Association. International Studies Association 2007 -
  • American Political Science Association. American Political Science Association 2005 -
  • Australian Political Studies Association. Australian Political Studies Association 1993 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • • (with Dr Raymond Orr), Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute Seed Funding Scheme 2013 on ‘Climate Change Deniers: A Pilot Q Study’, ($11,417).
    • Australian Research Council Discovery Grant 2011-2014, ‘What Makes a Climate Leader? Developed Countries' Responsibilities Under the International Climate Regime ($376,000)
    • Australian Research Council Linkage Learned Academies Special Project (LASP) 2009, ‘Reconceptualizing Human Security: Its Uses and Limitations for Developing Australian Foreign Policy’ (Chief Investigator with Professor Dennis Altman (lead CI) and Professor Joe Camilleri, La Trobe University) ($120,000)
    • Australian Research Council Discovery Grant 2007-2009, ‘Regime Interplay: From Conflict to Integration in Overlapping International Regimes’ ($110,000)


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Tasmania 1990
  • MPhil, University of Cambridge 1984
  • LLB, The University of Western Australia 1980
  • BJuris, The University of Western Australia 1979

Awards and honors

  • Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, 2007
  • Joint runner up in the International Studies Association's Sprout Award for the best book in the field of environmental studies, 2005
  • Woodward Medal for the best research in Humanities and Social Sciences (Co-winner), University of Melbourne, 2005



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • I am currently supervising topics relating to:

    • Climate politics, policy and governance
    • Trade governance
    • Democratic theory
    • The anthropocene and the ethics of geoengineering
    • Green political theory and political economy

    Current Primary Supervisions 

    • Maryse Helbert, ‘Women in the Oil Zones: A Feminist Analysis of Oil Depletion, Conflict and Environmental Degradation’ (PhD)
    • Dean Coldicott ‘The Emergence of the World Trade Organisation: Power, Interests, Norm Formation and the Practices of Complex Multilateralism’ (PhD)
    • Peter Ferguson, ‘The State and the Growth Hegemony: Three Paths to a Post-growth Society’
    • Ben Parr, ‘Climate Policy in Australia and the Two-level Game’ (PhD)
    • Sophie Reid, ‘Public Interest Advocates and Democratic Representation he Accountability of Transnational NGOs’ (PhD)
    • Jeremy Baskin, ‘The Ethics of Geoengineering’ (PhD)
    • Rachael Robson, ‘Climate mitigation in the US: Subnational Programs’ (MA)

    Current Associate Supervisions 

    • David Walker (Leslie Holmes principal) ‘Any Nation so Conceived: Transition to Democracy in Weak or Failed States’ (PhD)
    • Ben Glasson (Adrian Little principal) ‘Antagonism, Co-optation, Fragmentation” Logics of Hegemony and Resistance in Green Political Struggle’ (PhD)
    • Lisa Arnaud, (Ruth Beilin, principal), ‘Fractured Identities, Fractured landscapes: A Case Study of Two Australian Regions and the Historical Power Relations Shaping Identity’ (PhD)