Robin Dunford's research addresses humanitarian intervention, the responsibility to protect, human rights, decolonial ethics and the politics of resistance.
1. Civilian Protection, Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect
With Michael Neu (University of Brighton), Dunford is the author of Just War and the Responsibility to Protect: A Critique. This book argues that debates on Just War and the Responsibility to Protect fail to consider already existing forms of intervention – including arms trading, attempts to stoke ethnic tension, and measures that destroy the environment – that contribute to the emergence of humanitarian crises including genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes. Dunford and Neu co-ordinate an emerging network which looks at how nonviolent approaches offer a more effective and justifiable alternative for protecting civilian victims of atrocity crimes.
2. Human Rights and the Politics of Resistance
Dunford has written on social movement claims for human rights, focusing in particular on recent moves towards a United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. Through a series of articles and a monograph entitled The Politics of Transnational Peasant Struggle, he has called for greater recognition within the Human Rights Council of the new collective rights demanded by activists. In collaboration with Dr Sumi Madhok (LSE) he has also reflected on how transnational rights claims disrupt West-centric analyses of how human rights travel.
3. Decolonial Ethics
The third project shows how a Decolonial ethics centred on the idea of ‘pluriversality’ – a world in which many worlds fit – offers a persuasive alternative to the cosmopolitan perspective that sits at the centre of contemporary Global Ethics. Having outlined central features of a decolonial global ethics in an article in the Journal of Global Ethics, Dunford is now exploring how a decolonial perspective can reframe debates concerning environmental ethics, food justice, and development ethics.
4. Law, Ethics and Democracy
With Dr Lara Montesinos Coleman, Dunford co-ordinates the Law, Ethics and Democracy Collective: an action-research initiative between scholars at the Universities of Brighton and Sussex. The Project, which was founded in 2016, aims to bring together work in applied philosophy and political theory with struggles against the increasingly fascistic, anti-democratic and dubiously-legal forms of economy and government we encounter today.
Dunford is co-lead of the Applied Ethics strand of the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics’. Together with Professor Professor Bob Brecher and Dr Michael Neu, he edits a book series with Rowman and Littlefield. Off the Fence: Morality, Politics, Society publishes short, sharply argued texts in applied moral and political philosophy, with an interdisciplinary focus. Robin is also co-convenor of the British International Studies Association's Ethics and World Politics working group.