Janina Dill 

Dame Louise Richardson Chair in Global Security, University of Oxford 


Ziv Bohrer, Janina Dill and Helen Duffy

Cambridge University Press, 2020

Which law applies to armed conflict? This book investigates the applicability of international humanitarian law and international human rights law to armed conflict situations. The issue is examined by three scholars whose professional, theoretical, and methodological backgrounds and outlooks differ greatly. These multiple perspectives expose the political factors and intellectual styles that influence scholarly approaches and legal answers, and the unique trialogical format encourages its participants to decenter their perspectives. By focussing on the authors' divergence and disagreement, a richer understanding of the law applicable to armed conflict is achieved. The book, firstly, provides a detailed study of the law applicable to armed conflict situations. Secondly, it explores the regimes' interrelation and the legal techniques for their coordination and prevention of potential norm conflicts. Thirdly, the book moves beyond the positive analysis of the law and probes the normative principles that guide the interpretation, application and development of law.

My contribution: Towards a Moral Division of Labour between IHL and IHRL During the Conduct of Hostilities

Cambridge University Press, 2015

Based on an innovative constructivist theory of international law the book investigates the effectiveness of international humanitarian law (IHL) in regulating the conduct of hostilities. A comprehensive exegesis of the law defining a legitimate target of attack reveals an unacknowledged controversy among legal and military professionals about the ‘logic’ according to which belligerents ought to balance humanitarian and military imperatives: the logics of sufficiency or efficiency. Although IHL prescribes the former, increased recourse to international law in US air warfare is constitutive of a legitimate target in accordance with the logic of efficiency. The logic of sufficiency is morally less problematic. Yet, neither logic satisfies contemporary expectations of effective IHL or legitimate warfare. Those expectations demand that hostilities follow a third logic , the logic of liability, which proves impracticable. The book proposes changes to IHL, but concludes that according to widely shared normative beliefs, on the 21st century battlefield, there are no truly legitimate targets.



Joint Runner-up for the 2016 Birk's Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship, awarded by the Society of Legal Scholars

Honourable Mention, Theory Book Award 2016, International Studies Association

Reviews and Discussions:

Stephen C. Ropp, Legitimacy in Global Politics (Review Article) Human Rights Review, 2016, Vol 17, pp. 391-396

William Boothby, Book Review: Legitimate Targets? International Review of the Red Cross, 2016, Vol. 98 (1), pp. 361-363

Alvina Hoffman, Review of Legitimate Targets? International Affairs, 2016, Vol. 92 (5), pp. 1260-1261

Matthew Evangelista, Is War too Easy? (Review Article) Perspectives on Politics, 2016, Vol. 14 (1), pp. 132-137

Valentina Azarova, A Healthy Dose of Wartime Normative Realism: Review of Legitimate Targets? Palestine Yearbook of International Law, 2016, Vol. 18 (1), pp. 205 - 217

Jutta Brunnée, A Constructivist Theory of International Law? EJIL Talk (23 September 2015)

Geoffrey Corn, Legitimate Questions about Legitimate Targets? EJIL Talk (23 September 2015)

Brett Rosenberg, Law, Legitimacy and Morality: A Conversation about Legitimate Targets? Politics in Spires (19 July 2015); reposted on Centre for Security Studies ETH Zurich (3 August 2015) 

Logiques de Guerre et Application de Droit International Humanitaire, Dommages Civils (11 February 2015)

Published Papers

For most publications that are not open access, you can find the author accepted manuscript under "Full Text". Please email me if you would like access to other papers.

Janina Dill, Marnie Howlett, Carl Müller-Crepon. 2023. At Any Cost: How Ukrainians Think about Self-Defense Against Russia, American Journal of Political Science, early view.

Janina Dill, 2023. Threats to State Survival as Emergencies in International Law, International Theory, Vol. 15 (2), pp. 155-183. (Full Text)

Janina Dill, Scott D. Sagan, Benjamin A. Valentino, 2023. Public Opinion and the Nuclear Taboo Across Nations: An Exchange – The Authors Reply, Security Studies, Vol. 31 (1), pp. 195-204

Janina Dill, Scott Sagan, Benjamin Valentino, 2022. Inconstant Care: Public Attitudes towards Force Protection and Civilian Casualties in the United States, United Kingdom and Israel, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 67(4) 587–616

Janina Dill and Cécile Fabre, 2022. Introduction to a Symposium on War by Agreement: A Contractarian Ethics of War by Yizthak Benbaji and Daniel Statman, Law and Philosophy, Vo. 41, pp. 663-669. 

Janina Dill, Scott Sagan, Benjamin Valentino, 2022. A Kettle of Hawks: Public Opinion on the Nuclear Taboo and Non-Combatant Immunity in the UnitedStates, United Kingdom, France, and Israel, Security Studies, Vol. 31 (1), pp. 1-31.

Janina Dill and Livia I. Schubiger, 2021. Attitudes toward the Use of Force: Instrumental Imperatives, Moral Principles and International Law, American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 65 (3), pp. 612-633.

Janina Dill, 2019. Distinction, Necessity and Proportionality: Afghan Civilians' Attitudes Towards Wartime Harm, Ethics and International Affairs, Vol. 33 (3), pp. 315-342. (Full Text)

Janina Dill, 2019. Do Attackers have a Legal Duty of Care? Limits to the 'Individualisation of War', International Theory, Vol. 11 (1), pp. 1-25. (Full Text)

​Janina Dill, 2018. The Rights and Obligations of Parties to International Armed Conflicts: From Bilateralism but not Towards Community Interest? in: Eyal Benvenisti and George Notle (eds.) Community Interests Across International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press).  

​Janina Dill, 2018. What is the Problem with the Principle of Proportionality? Proceedings of the Bruges Colloquium, Vol. 49, pp. 119.126. 

Janina Dill, 2018. Just War Theory in Times of Individual Rights, in: Robyn Eckersley and Chris Brown (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of International Political Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press). (Full Text)

​Janina Dill, 2017. Abuse of Law on the 21st Century Battlefield: A Typology of Lawfare, in: Michael L. Gross and Tamar Meisels (eds.) Soft War: The Ethics of Unarmed Conflict (New York: Cambridge University Press). (Full Text)

​Janina Dill, 2016. Forcible Alternatives to War: Legitimate Violence in 21st Century International Relations, in: Jens David Ohlin (ed.) Theoretical Boundaries of Armed Conflict and Human Rights (New York: Cambridge University Press). 

​Janina Dill, 2015. The 21st Century Belligerent’s Trilemma, European Journal of International Law, Vol. 26 (1), pp. 83–108. (Full Text)

 ​Janina Dill, 2015. Ending Wars: The jus ad bellum Criteria Suspended, Repeated or Adjusted? Introduction to edited symposium, Ethics, Vol. 125 (April), pp. 627–630. (Full Text)

​Janina Dill, 2015. The Informal Regulation of Drones and the Formal Legal Regulation of War, Contribution to the symposium on: Allen Buchanan and Robert O. Keohane, “Toward a Drone Accountability Regime,” Ethics and International Affairs, Vol. 29 (1), pp. 51-58. 

​Janina Dill, 2014. The American Way of Bombing and International Law: Two Logics of Warfare in Tension, in: Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue (eds.) The American Way of Bombing: Changing Ethical and Legal Norms, From Flying Fortresses to Drones (Ithaca: Cornell University Press). 

Janina Dill, 2014. Interpretive Complexity and the Principle of Proportionality, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Int. Law, Vol. 108, pp. 82-105. 

Janina Dill and Henry Shue, 2013. Limiting Killing in War: Military Necessity and the St Petersburg Assumption, Ethics and International Affairs, Vol. 26 (3), pp. 311-334. (Full Text)

​Janina Dill, 2012. Should International Law Ensure the Moral Acceptability of War? Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 26 (2), pp. 253-270. (Full Text)

-- discussed on Opinio Juris by Christopher Kutz and Gabriella Blum.

​Janina Dill, 2010. Puntland's Declaration of Autonomy and Somaliland's Secession: Two Quests for Self-governance in a Failed States, in: Katherine Nobbs and Mark Weller (eds.) Asymmetric Autonomy and the Settlement of Ethnic Conflict (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press).

​Janina Dill, 2010. Applying  the Principle of Proportionality in Combat Operations, Policy paper for The Oxford Institute for Ethics and Law of Armed Conflict (ELAC).

​Janina Dill, 2009. The Definition of a Legitimate Target of Attack: Not More than a Moral Plea? Proceedings of Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, Vol. 103, pp. 229-232.

​Janina Dill and Nicolas Lamp, 2005. Staatszerfall als neue Außenpolitische Herausforderung, in: Arne Niemann (ed.) Herausforderungen and die Deutsche und Europäische Außenpolitik - Analysen und Politikempfehlungen (Dresden: TUD Press).

Ongoing Projects

The Weight of Law: How International Law Shapes Ordinary People's Preferences, with Benjamin Valentino (working paper)

Consent, Aggregation and War Support, with Emily Meyers and Livia Schubiger (working paper)

Legalizing Deterrence? The Co-Constitution of U.S. Nuclear and Legal Doctrines, with Scott Sagan (working paper) ​

The Concept and Reality of Norms in International Relations: An Internal Approach, with Anette Stimmer (working paper

Collaboration and Redemption in Ukraine, with Marnie Howlett, Carl Müller-Crepon, and Mara Revkin (pre-analysis plan)

How Civilian Involvement in War Affects Their Victimization, with Mara Revkin, and Bob Underwood (pre-analysis plan)

Sources of Blame for Civilian Casualties: Evidence from Iraq, with Mara Revkin (pre-analysis plan)

Attitudes toward Condolence Payments in Iraq, with Mara Revkin (research in progress)