BA (Politics and History), Hons (International Relations) (UNSW), PhD (International Relations) (St Andrews)

Political science

Professor Renée Jeffery has made significant contributions to two main areas in the study of International Relations: i) emotions in international relations and ethics, and ii) conflict, justice and human rights in the Asia-Pacific.

Professor Jeffery’s 2014 book, Reason and Emotion in International Ethics (Cambridge University Press) established her reputation as a leading scholar of the emotions in international relations. In that work, and a series of related articles, she demonstrated that emotions have a legitimate and necessary role to play in making ethical decisions in international relations. By drawing on recent developments in the neurosciences, this radical intervention has challenged the key underlying assumptions of a field of study and practice dominated by rationalist accounts, contributed to the growing acceptance of the emotions in international relations, and provided new understandings of how global ethical problems, such as world poverty, might be addressed more effectively.

Since publication, Reason and Emotion in International Ethics has been reviewed or included in review articles in prominent international journals including International Affairs, International Studies Review, and Millennium. It has been described as ‘a path-breaking contribution to the cutting-edge literature on emotion,’ ‘essential reading for scholars concerned with questions of ethics or emotions in international relations’ (Fierke, International Studies Review, 2016), ‘a book that demands to be read’ (Brown, Millennium, 2016), and a ‘powerful provocation’ (Ross, International Affairs, 2016) as well as being widely praised for its interdisciplinarity.

She has also established an international reputation as one of a small number of people with cross regional expertise working on conflict, justice, and human rights in the Asia-Pacific. Her work has contributed to new knowledge concerning post-conflict justice processes in Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Nepal, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, Aceh Indonesia, and India, with ongoing research underway on the cases of Taiwan and Sri Lanka. By conducting extensive fieldwork, she has contributed detailed, in-depth and original country-specific empirical knowledge of post-conflict human rights practices in these cases, insights that would otherwise not be available to scholars of human rights and transitional justice.

The impact of her work in this area has been both scholarly and practical. In scholarly terms, her 2014 book Amnesties, Accountability and Human Rights (University of Pennsylvania Press) examines how and why amnesties have persisted in the face of mounting pressure to prosecute those responsible for human rights violations. It has been widely reviewed in leading journals including International Affairs (Bentley 2015) and praised as ‘a compelling read’ (Hillebrecht, Perspectives on Politics, 2015). One reviewer wrote of it: ‘If there is a future for the field of transitional justice, it is in contributions to the literature like this one: which add rigour to our definitions, precision to our inquiries, and insight into our current ethical dilemmas in post-conflict justice’ (Harris-Rimmer, Australian Outlook, 2016). This research is also having an impact in the realms of policy and practice where Professor Jeffery has provided advice to human rights lawyers and civil society organisations, and the staff of transitional justice institutions across the region.

2015 - Professor of International Relations, School of Government and International Relations, Griffith University

2014 Associate Professor/ Deputy Director (Research), School of International, Political and Strategic Studies, Australian National University

2009 - 2011 Research Fellow/Senior Research Fellow Griffith Asia Institute/ Center for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University

2007 – 2009 Lecturer (Level B)/Senior Lecturer (Level C), University of Adelaide

2005 – 2007 Lecturer (Level B), La Trobe University

Australian Institute of International Affairs Boyer Prize for the best article in the Australian Journal of International Affairs (2015)

1. Jeffery, R. 2014. Amnesties, Accountability and Human Rights, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

2. Jeffery, R. 2014. Reason and Emotion in International Ethics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

3. Jeffery, R. 2012. ‘Amnesty and Accountability: The Price of Peace in Aceh’, International Journal of Transitional Justice 6(1): 1-23.

4. Jeffery, R. 2013. ‘Enduring Tensions: Transitional Justice in the Solomon Islands’, Pacific Review 26(2): 153-175.

5. Jeffery, R. 2017. ‘Nepal’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement: Human Rights, Compliance and Impunity a Decade On,’ International Affairs 93(2): 343-364.