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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Andrea Birdsall

Andrea Birdsall
Dr Andrea Birdsall
Senior Lecturer in International Relations
4.25 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44(0)131 650 6974
Research Interests
Human rights, International Relations, International Law & International Relations, Humanitarian intervention, Norms, Counterterrorism

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Mondays 9.00 - 11.00 a.m.

Director of Undergraduate Teaching


  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • PhD (Edinburgh)
  • MSc by Research (Edinburgh)
  • MA (Leeds)
  • Dipl.-Kauffrau (University of Cologne, Germany)

Biographical Statement 

Andrea is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Director of Undergraduate Teaching for PIR. She is also the Co-Director of the MSc in Global Crime, Justice and Security.

Andrea completed her Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh on the international politics of judicial intervention. Her main research and teaching interests lie in the interplay between International Relations and International Law with a particular focus on human rights, international criminal justice and global governance. Her current research focuses on issues related to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as well as the position of the Court in the global order. She is also interested in the impact of human rights on national and international security considerations by looking at contentious practices related to the so-called ‘war on terror’.  Andrea is currently working on issues surrounding the use of drones in counterterrorism efforts and particularly their implications for International Law and normative change.

Andrea teaches and convenes the MSc course Human Rights, Global Politics & International Law as well as the honours course Human Rights in International Relations. She also teaches on the Responding to Global Crime and Insecurity course.

Andrea is co-chair of the British Studies Association's (BISA) International Law and Politics Working Group. She is a steering group member of the Centre for Security Research (CeSeR) and a member of the Global Justice Academy.



Birdsall, Andrea The International Politics of Judicial Intervention: Creating a more just order London: Routledge, 2009 (paperback January 2012)


Birdsall, Andrea and Rebecca Sanders 'Trumping International Law?' International Studies Perspectives, advance view

Birdsall, Andrea 'Drone Warfare in Counterterrorism and Normative Change: US Policy and the Politics of International Law' Global Society, vol. 32, No. 3, 2018, pp. 241-262

Birdsall, Andrea 'But we don’t call it ‘torture’! Norm contestation during the US ‘War on Terror’ International Politics, vol. 53, No. 2, 2016, pp. 176-197

Birdsall, Andrea 'The Responsibility to Prosecute and the ICC: A Problematic Relationship?' Criminal Law Forum, vol. 26, No. 1, 2015, pp. 51-72

Birdsall, Andrea 'The "Monster That We Need to Slay?" Global Governance, the United States, and the International Criminal Court' Global Governance, vol. 16, No. 4, 2010, pp. 451-470

Birdsall, Andrea ''A monstrous failure of justice'? Guantanamo Bay and national security challenges to fundamental human rights' International Politics, vol. 47, No. 6, 2010, pp. 680-697

Birdsall, Andrea 'Creating a more 'just' order - the Ad Hoc International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia' Cooperation & Conflict, vol. 42, No. 4, 2007, pp. 397-418

Birdsall, Andrea 'The International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia - Towards a More Just Order' Peace, Conflict & Development, vol. 8, 2006, pp. 1-24

Book Chapters

Lang, Anthony F. Jr. and Birdsall, Andrea 'Justice and (Global) Constitutionalism: The International Criminal Court in the Global Order' in Melissa Labonte and Kurt Mills, (eds.) Accessing and Implementing Human Rights and Justice, Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2019, pp. 18-38

Birdsall, Andrea 'International law and ethics', in Brent J. Steele and Eric A. Heinze, (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Ethics and International Relations, London and New York: Routledge, 2018, pp. 289-298

Birdsall, Andrea and Anthony F. Lang, Jr. ‘The International Criminal Court and Global Constitutionalism’, in Anthony F Lang, Jr and Antje Wiener, (eds.) Handbook on Global Constitutionalism, London: Edward Elgar, 2017, pp. 383-394

Birdsall, Andrea ' The International Criminal Court' The Oxford Encyclopaedia of American Military and Diplomatic History, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 515-517

Peterson, John and Birdsall, Andrea 'The European Commission: Enlargement as Reinvention?' in: Edward Best, Thomas Christiansen and Pierpaolo Settembri (eds.) The Institutions of the Enlarged European Union: Continuity and Change, Edward Elgar, 2008, pp. 54-81

Book Reviews

Birdsall, Andrea 'Coming to terms with a difficult past', The Political Quarterly, vol. 91, No. 1, pp. 260-261

Birdsall, Andrea 'Review - Norms Without The Great Powers by Adam Bower', E-International Relations, January 2018

Birdsall, Andrea 'Norms among states: Review of Ian Clark's International Legitimacy and World Society' The Review of Politics, vol. 71, No. 1, 2009

Birdsall, Andrea 'Book Review: David Chandler: From Kosovo to Kabul and Beyond: Human Rights and International Intervention' Millennium, vol. 36, No. 2, 2008

Topics interested in supervising

I am particularly interested in supervising dissertations that deal with the interplay between International Relations and International Law and issues related to Human Rights.

If you are interested in being supervised by Andrea Birdsall, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Politics; MSc (R) Politics