Researcher biography

The duties of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor fall broadly into three areas of activity. As the standing deputy to Professor Aidan Byrne, UQ’s Provost and Senior Vice-President, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor will act for him in his absence as well as support and drive initiatives led by his Office. A second dimension to the role relates to strategy and planning. The PVC is the academic lead in relation to the activities of the Planning and Business Intelligence team. A priority in this area is to develop data analytics to assist decision-makers in aligning their organizational units’ priorities with the overall strategy of the University. The final dimension to the role is connected to people and culture. The PVC is the relevant senior executive for matters relating to staffing and employee relations, including involvement in enterprise bargaining, staff development, and staff conduct and performance: related, developing and shaping policies and procedures that promote excellence, enhance capability, value diversity, and improve the culture of UQ as a place to work. The position of Pro-Vice-Chancellor reports to the Provost and is a member of the University’s Executive and Academic Board.


Tim brings to the role 25 years of experience as researcher, educator and academic leader. His most recent appointment was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at The University of Queensland (UQ). Tim was the first Dean of the new Faculty after its inauguration in 2014; under his leadership, the Faculty has established itself as among the very best in Australia and competitive internationally across many disciplinary areas. Prior to his four-year term as Dean, Tim was the Director of UQ’s Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) as well as Professor of International Relations in the School of Political Science (which has remained his substantive position since he joined UQ in 2010). He previously held discipline and faculty-level leadership roles at the University of Exeter (UK). Tim began his career at Aberystwyth University in Wales, which is famous for having the oldest and one of the best departments of International Relations in the world. His graduate training was completed at the University of Oxford.

He is internationally recognised for his work on human rights protection and foreign policy-making in a changing world order. He has written and co-edited eleven books, including Human Rights in World Politics (1999), Worlds in Collision (2002), and Terror in our Time (2012). Most recently he has collaborated with colleagues in the School of Political Science and International Studies to produced two significant edited volumes: The Oxford Handbook of the Responsibility to Protect (2016) co-edited with Alex Bellamy, and The Globalization of International Society (2017) co-edited with Christian Reus-Smit. Tim has extensive experience as a co-editor of leading journals, including the European Journal of International Relations (2009-2013) and the Review of International Studies (1998-2002). His current research projects include a re-issue of the edited classic Diplomatic Investigations: Essays in the Theory of International Politics; the new edition has been put together with Ian Hall at Griffith University and will be published by Oxford University Press in 2018. Additionally, he is working with Richard Devetak, Head of Political Science at UQ, on an innovative and multi-disciplinary project called ‘The Rise of the International’. In recognition of his scholarly contribution, Tim was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia in 2016.

Tim brings a strong commitment to teaching and learning exemplified by his engagement in professional training of diplomats and senior armed forces in Europe, Africa and Australia. He is looking forward to teaching a new Masters course on ‘humanitarian emergencies’ with Constance Duncombe, scheduled for Semester 1 2018. In addition to traditional academic publications, Tim has been a regular contributor to high profile websites and newspapers. He is active in social media. To follow Tim on Twitter: @timdunneAPR2P

Research Interests

  • Human rights, Human Protection and the Responsibility to Protect
    Tim's research seeks to bridge normative theory and foreign policy. Recent research has focused on the development of the responsibility to protect norm. From 2010 to 2014, Tim was Director of the Doctrine and Concepts research program at UQ's Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect; he continues to engage with research in this area, including the publication of The Oxford Handbook of the Responsibility to Protect (co-edited with Alex Bellamy), which will be out in mid-2016. Other outputs in this area include collaborations with many UQ staff (and former PhD students), including Jess Gifkins, Jocelyn Vaughn, Eglantine Staunton, and Katharine Gelber.
  • The Globalisation of International Society
    With Chris Reus-Smit, in the School of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS), Tim completed a project on The Globalization of International Society which was published by Oxford University Press in February 2017. The project was assisted by two funded workshops, one by the Academy of the Social Sciences Australia, the other by the International Studies Association. Contributors to the book include: Mark Beeson and Stephen Bell, Barry Buzan, Ian Clark, Neta Crawford, Richard Devetak and Emily Tannock, Lene Hansen, Hun Joon Kim, Paul Keal, Audie Klotz, Jacinta O’Hagan, Andrew Phillips, Heather Rae, Gerry Simpson, Hendrik Spruytt, Sarah Teitt, Ann Towns, Jennifer Welsh and Yongjin Zhang.
  • International terrorism and World order
    With Ken Booth, Tim has written and edited two books (2002, 2012) that examine how far 9/11 changed the configuration of world order. Rather than viewing terrorism in a reductive manner, commonly found in the terrorism studies literature, my work in this area has focused on the systemic character of international terrorism.
  • International Relations Theory
    Tim's early research has advanced the claim – now widely accepted – that the study of international society constitutes a distinct perspective in the field (see his 1998 book). He continues to write about how the normative order has evolved, and particularly, the impact of the decline of American power on the liberal project. This theme was explored in the Oxford University Press book on Liberal World Orders (2015) that was co-edited with Trine Flockhart. His most recent edition of the bestselling Oxford textbook on International Relations Theory (co-edited with Steve Smith and Amelia Hadfield) was published by Oxford University Press in 2016.
  • International Peace and Security

Research Impacts

The principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has proved materially important in shaping coercive and non-coercive interventions, for human protection purposes, around the world. As the only regional centre of its kind specifically dedicated to advancing the R2P principle through research and policy dialogue, The Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (AP R2P) seeks to promote a shared consensus on the value of R2P and generate creative policy recommendations to move forward important debates about the applicability and implementation of R2P.

From 2010 to 2014 Tim was Director of the Centre as well as Program Convenor for its Doctrine, Concepts and Inter-Agency Coordination research stream. Researchers attached to this stream sought to advance our understanding of the type of evidence needed to determine credible threat of mass atrocities, what analysis should be undertaken to justify that enforcement measures are a necessary last resort, and guidelines for overseeing responses to imminent atrocities.

In addition to traditional academic publications, Tim also seeks to have a wider impact beyond academia by contributing highly relevant and timely interventions into public discourse on R2P and the protection of civilians in conflicts. He has explored a variety of alternate means of disseminating research including through the social media and by placeing op-eds and blogs in high profile outlets. Tim has contributed a number of policy briefs, papers, and talks on a variety of related topics, including: Syria (with Alex Bellamy), Libya (with Jess Gifkins), and global peace and security. Also, blogs have appeared in Open Democracy (London), The Interpreter (Sydney), Duck of Minerva (Washington DC), and the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs (New York). He has also published editorials in The Australian and The Guardian and given interviews on ABC’s Religion and Ethics Report and The Wire (among other radio and TV outlets).


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Oxf.
  • Master of Philosophy, Oxf.


Connect with Tim via Twitter: