Professor Erskine received a BA Honours (First Class) in Political Science from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, an MSc in Social and Political Theory (with Distinction) from the University of Edinburgh, and a PhD in Political Philosophy and International Relations from Trinity College, University of Cambridge, where she was Cambridge Commonwealth Scholar. After being awarded her PhD, she was British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge and Research Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge (1999-2002). She moved from Cambridge to the west coast of Wales in 2002 when she was appointed to a lectureship in the Department of International Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. She was promoted to Professor of International Politics in 2009 (with the award of a Personal Chair) and was Director of Research and Deputy Head of Department at Aberystwyth when she took up her current position of Professor of International Politics at UNSW in February 2013.
She is also currently Associate Director (Politics & Ethics) of UNSW’s Australian Centre for Cyber Security, Director of Research / Associate Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Convenor of the International Ethics Research Group at UNSW Canberra. She has been appointed to the Research Committee of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (from 2014), is past Chair of the International Ethics Section of the International Studies Association (2008-10), and recently served as an elected member of its Governing Council (2014-16) and as a member of its Executive Committee (2015-16). Professor Erskine is on the international editorial advisory boards of the following journals: International Theory; Journal of Political Philosophy; International Relations; Cambridge Review of International Affairs; and Journal of International Political Theory. She will join the international editorial advisory board of Ethics & International Affairs in Jan. 2018. She has been Lurie-Murdoch Senior Research Fellow in Global Ethics (2008-10) and Honorary Professor (2010-12) at RMIT University in Melbourne, Visiting Scholar at Sydney University (2011-12), Senior Research Associate in International Politics at Aberystwyth University (2013-14), and, most recently, Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford (May & June 2016). In 2016 she was awarded UNSW Canberra’s Dorothy Green Award 'for outstanding contributions to research by a female academic'.
Professor Erskine's research focuses on the following themes: moral agency and responsibility in relation to formal organisations in world politics (such as states, multinational corporations and intergovernmental organisations); the ethics of war; the responsibility to protect (R2P); cosmopolitan theories and their critics; norms and cyber security; joint action and collective responsibility; international relations theory; the ethics of intelligence collection; the role of luck in ethical analyses of international politics; and moral responsibility in relation to new technologies of war (particularly with respect to artificial intelligence). Her books include: Embedded Cosmopolitanism: Duties to Strangers and Enemies in a World of ‘Dislocated Communities’ (Oxford University Press, 2008), which was recipient of the ‘2008/2009 Notable Book Award in International Ethics’, International Studies Association; Tragedy and International Relations (ed. with Richard Ned Lebow; Palgrave Macmillan, 2012; paperback edition 2016), which was CHOICE outstanding academic title winner 2014; and International Relations Theory Today (ed. with Ken Booth; Polity, 2016). She is currently completing a single-authored monograph entitled Locating Responsibility: Institutional Moral Agency and International Relations.