Fellows Detail

Professor Robyn Eckersley

B Juris, LLB (Western Australia), M Phil (Cambridge), PhD (Tasmania)

Elected: 2007

Discipline: Political Science

Specialisation: Environmental Politics, Climate Policy, Political Theory.


Professor Robyn Eckersley teaches in the School of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. She has served as Chair of the Discipline of Political Science from 2008-2010 and 2014-2015 (except semester one in 2015) and Director of the University of Melbourne’s Master of International Relations program from 2011-2012.  She specialises in environmental politics and policy, political theory and international politics, with a special focus on climate change



  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne (2011-2016)
  • Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment, Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo, November 2010 to January 2011
  • Senior Visiting Fellow, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, August 2009-Jan 2010
  • Visiting Professor, The Research Center for Global Welfare, The Graduate School of
  • Humanities and Social Sciences, Chiba University in Japan, 2008Member of the Hazardous Waste Technical Working Group (Commonwealth) (1995-2005).


  • Co-winner of the University of Melbourne’s Woodward Medal for the best research in Humanities and Social Sciences for 2005
  • Joint runner up in the International Studies Association’s (ISA) Harold and Margaret Sprout Award for 2005, which is sponsored by the Environmental Studies Section, and ‘given annually to the best book in the field - one that makes a contribution to theory and interdisciplinarity, shows rigor and coherence in research and writing, and offers accessibility and practical relevance’


Authored/Co-authored Books

Christoff and Eckersley, Globalization and the Environment (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2013).

Bukovansky, M., Clark, I., Eckersley, R., Price, R., Reus-Smit, C., and Wheeler, N.J.  Special Responsibilities: Global Problems and American Power (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Eckersley, R. The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2004); translated into Japanese by Professor Hiroshi Matsuno (Chiba University), Iwanami Publishing Co. Ltd., Japan, (2010).

Eckersley, R. Environmentalism and Political Theory: Toward an Ecocentric Approach (Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 1992; London: UCL Press, 1992).


Edited books

Altman, D., Camilleri, J., Eckersley, R. and Gerhard Hoffstaedter (eds.) Why Human Security Matters: Rethinking Australian Foreign Policy (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 2012).

Hage, G. and Eckersley, R. (eds.) Responsibility (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2012).

Dobson, A. and Eckersley, R. (eds.), Political Theory and the Ecological Challenge (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Barry, J. and Eckersley, R. (eds.), The State and the Global Ecological Crisis (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005).

Eckersley, R. (ed), Markets, the State and the Environment: Towards Integration (Melbourne: Macmillan, 1995)

Hay, P.R. and Eckersley, R. (eds.), Ecopolitical Theory: Essays from Australia (Hobart: University of Tasmania, 1992)

Hay, P.R., Eckersley, R. and Holloway, G. (eds.) Environmental Politics in Australia and New Zealand (Hobart: University of Tasmania, 1989)


Journal Articles – refereed

Eckersley, R. ‘National Identities, International Roles and the Legitimation of Climate Leadership: Germany and Norway compared,’ Environmental Politics 25(1) (2016), (published online as DOI: 10.1080/09644016.2015.1076278).

Eckersley, R. ‘The Common but Differentiated Responsibilities of States to Assist and Receive “Climate Refugees”’, European Journal of Political Theory, 14(4) (2015): 481-500.

Eckersley, R. ‘Poles Apart?: The Social Construction of Responsibility for Climate Change in Australia and Norway’, The Australian Journal of Politics and History 59(3) (2013): 382-396.

Eckersley, R. ‘Moving Forward in the Climate Negotiations: Multilateralism or Minilateralism?’ Global Environmental Politics, 12(2) (2012): 22-40.

Eckersley, R. ‘The Politics of Carbon Leakage and the Fairness of Border Measures’, Ethics and International Affairs 24(4) (2010): 367-93.

Eckersley, R. ‘Ecological Intervention: Prospects and Limits’, Ethics and International Affairs 21(3) (2007): 275-396 (most downloaded article in 2007; selected for publication in the third edition of Ethics & International Affairs: A Reader (Georgetown 2009).

Eckersley, R. ‘From Cosmopolitanism Nationalism to Cosmopolitan Democracy’, Review of International Studies 13(3) (2007): 329-356 (reprinted in Gerard Delanty and David Inglis (ed) Cosmopolitanism: Critical Concepts in Sociology, Routledge, 2010).

Eckersley, R. ‘A Green Public Sphere in the WTO?: The Amicus Curiae Interventions in the Trans-Atlantic Biotech Dispute’, European Journal of International Relations 13 (2007): 329-356.

Eckersley, R. ‘Ambushed: The Kyoto Protocol, the Bush Administration and the Erosion of Legitimacy’, International Politics 44(2) (2007), 306-24.

Eckersley, R. ‘From the Liberal to the Green Democratic State: Upholding Autonomy and Sustainability’, International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 1(4) (2006): 1(4) (2006): 266-83.

Eckersley, R. ‘The State as Gate-Keeper: Reply’, Politics and Ethics Review, 2(2) (2006): 127-38. 

Eckersley, R. ‘Translating Science and Restoring our Sense of Wonder: The End of Nature as Landmark’, Special Symposium on Bill McKibben, The End of Nature (London: Penguin, 1990), Organization and Environment (2005), 18 (2) (2005): 193-197.

Eckersley, R. ‘Climate Change at the Crossroads’, Guest Editor’s Introduction to Special Issue on ‘Climate Change and the Reluctant States’, Global Change, Peace and Security, 17(1) February 2005, 7-10.  

Eckersley, R. ‘Ecocentric Discourses: Problems and Future Prospects for Nature Advocacy’, Tamkang Review, Vol XXXIV, Nos. 3-4 (Spring-Summer 2004): 155-86 (also reprinted in John Dryzek and David Schlosberg (eds.), Debating the Earth: The Environmental Politics Reader, second edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 364-381).

Eckersley, R. ‘The Big Chill: The WTO and Multilateral Environmental Agreements’, Global Environmental Politics 4(2) (2004): 24-50.

Eckersley, R. ‘Green Governance in the New Millennium: Towards the Green State’, Ecopolitics: Thought and Action 1(3) (2002): 28-40.

Dryzek, J., Eckersley, R., Goodin, R., Christoff, P., and Plumood, V., ‘Symposium: Green Thinking - From Australia’ Environmental Politics 10 (4) (2001): 85-102.

Eckersley, R. and Zifcak, S. ‘The Constitution and Democracy in Victoria: Westminster on Trial’, Australian Journal of Political Studies, 36(1) (2001): 61-81.

Eckersley, R. ‘The Discourse Ethic and the Problem of Representing Nature’ Environmental Politics, 8(2) (1999): 24-49.

Eckersley, R. ‘Beyond Human Racism’, Environmental Values 7(2) (1998): 165-82.

Eckersley, R. ‘The Political Challenge of Left-Green Reconciliation: A Reply to Gottlieb’, Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, 6(3), Issue 23, September, 1995: 21-25.

Eckersley, R. ‘Just Natural Relations: Recent Developments in Environmental Political Theory’, Political Theory Newsletter 5(2) (1993): 110-125.

Eckersley, R. ‘Liberal Democracy and the Environment: The Rights Discourse and the Struggle for Recognition’, Environmental Politics, 4(4) 1995, 169-98; also appeared in Freya Mathews (ed) Ecology and Democracy, Frank Cass and Co., Newsletter 5(2) (1993): 110-125.

Eckersley, R. and Hay, P.R. ‘Tasmania’s Labor-Green Accord 1989-1991: Lessons from Lilliput’, Environmental Politics 12(1) (1993): 88-93.

Eckersley, R. ‘Free Market Environmentalism: Friend or Foe?’ Environmental Politics 2(1) (1993): 1-19 (reprinted in Contemporary Environmental Politics: From Margins to Mainstream, edited by Piers Stephens, John Barry and Andrew Dobson (London: Routledge, 2006).

Eckersley, R. ‘Green Versus Ecosocialist Economic Programmes: The Market Rules O.K.?’ Political Studies 40 (1992): 314-332.

Eckersley, R. ‘Habermas and Green Political Thought: Two Roads Diverging’, Theory and Society 19 (1990): 739-76.

Eckersley, R. ‘Divining Evolution: The Ecological Ethics of Murray Bookchin’, Environmental Ethics 11 (1989): 99R09;116.

Eckersley, R. ‘Green Politics and the New Class: Selfishness or Virtue?’ Political Studies 37(2) (1989): 205R09;23.

Eckersley, R. ‘Green Politics: A Practice in Search of a Theory?’ Alternatives: Perspectives on Society, Technology and Environment 15(4) (1988): 52R09;61.

Eckersley, R. ‘Whither the Feminist Campaign?: An Evaluation of Feminist Critiques of Pornography’, International Journal of the Sociology of Law 15(2) (1987): 149R09;78.


Book chapters

Eckersley, R. ‘Responsibility for Climate Change as a Structural Injustice’, in Teena Gabrielson, Cheryl  Hall, John M. Meyer and David Schlosberg (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 346-361.

Eckersley, R. ‘The Crisis of Climate Multilateralism’, in Karin Bäckstrand and Eva Lövbrand (eds.) Edward Elgar Research Handbook of Climate Governance (Edward Elgar, 2015), 505-514.

Eckersley, R. ‘Trade in Environmental Governance’, in Edward Elgar Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Politics and Governance, edited by Philipp Pattberg and Fariborz Zelli (Edward Elgar, 2015), pp. 534-543.

Eckersley, R. ‘Australia is a Climate Laggard rather than Leader’, in Daniel Baldino, Andrew Carr and Anthony Langlois (eds), Australian Foreign Policy: Key Debates (Oxford University Press, 2013). 

Eckersley, R. (with Peter Christoff), ‘No Island is an Island: Security in a Four Degree World’ in Peter Christoff (ed), Four Degrees or More: Australia in a Hot World (London: Earthscan/Routledge, 2013).

Eckersley, R. ‘Green Theory’ in Tim Dunne, Milja Kurki and Steve Smith (eds.) International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity, 3rd edition (Oxford University Press, 2013), 266-286.

Eckersley, R. ‘Conclusion: The Virtues of Human Security’, in Dennis Altman, Joseph Camilleri, Robyn Eckersley and Gerhard Hoffstaedter (eds.) Why Human Security Matters: Rethinking Australian Foreign Policy (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 2012).

Eckersley, R. ‘Taking Responsibility for Climate Change’ in Ghassan Hage (ed.) Responsibility (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2012), 159-173.

Eckersley, R. ‘Global Environment’ in Mick Cox and Doug Stokes (eds.) US Foreign Policy, 2nd edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 351-374.

Eckersley, R. ‘Global Environmental Politics’ in Richard Devetak, Anthony Burke and Jim George (eds.), Introduction to International Relations: Australian Perspectives, 2nd edition (Cambridge University Press, 2012), 462-474.

Christoff and Eckersley, R. ‘Comparing State Responses’, in The Oxford Handbook of Climate and Society, edited by John S. Dryzek, Richard B. Norgaard, and David Schlosberg (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 431-448.

Eckersley, R. ‘Representing Nature’ in The Future of Representative Democracy, edited by Edited by Sonia Alonso, John Keane and Wolfgang Merkel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 236-257.

Eckersley, R. ‘Green Theory’ in Tim Dunne, Milja Kurki and Steve Smith (eds.) International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity, 2nd edition (Oxford University Press, 2010), 257-277.

Eckersley, R. ‘Just Carbon Trading?’ in Jeremy Moss (ed), Climate Change and Social Justice (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2009), 99-127.

Eckersley, R. ‘Understanding the Interplay between the Climate Regime and the Trade Regime’, in Climate and Trade Policies in a Post-2012 World (Geneva: United Nations Environment Program, 2009), 11-18.

Eckersley, R. ‘Environmental Security, Climate Change and Globalising Terrorism’, in Damian Grenfeld and Paul James (eds.) Rethinking Insecurity, War and Violence: Beyond Savage Globalization? (Routledge, 2009), 85-97.

Eckersley, R. ‘The Ethics of Critical Theory’ in Christian Reus Smit and Duncan Snidal (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of International Relations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 346-358.

Eckersley, R. ‘Environmental Patriotism: An Unholy Alliance?’ in Aleksandar Pavkovic and Igor Primoratz (eds.) Patriotism: Philosophical and Political Perspectives (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2008), 183-200.

Eckersley, R. ‘Global Environment’ in Mick Cox and Doug Stokes (eds.) US Foreign Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 374-98.

Christoff, P. and Eckersley, R. ‘Kyoto and the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate’ in Tim Bonyhady and Peter Christoff (eds.) Climate Law in Australia (Sydney: Federation Press, 2007), 32-45.

Eckersley, R. ‘Global Environmental Politics’ in Richard Devetak, Anthony Burke and Jim George (eds.), Introduction to International Relations: Australian Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 2007), 362-72.

Eckersley, R. ‘Green Theory’ in Tim Dunne, Milja Kurki and Steve Smith (eds.) International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity (Oxford University Press, 2007), 247-265.

Eckersley, R. ‘Communitarianism’ in Andrew Dobson and Robyn Eckersley (eds.) Political Theory and the Ecological Challenge (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 91-108.

Eckersley, R. ‘Greening the Nation-state: From Exclusive to Inclusive Sovereignty’ in John Barry and Robyn Eckersley (eds.) The State and the Global Ecological Crisis (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005), 159-180.

Eckersley, R. and John Barry, ‘Introduction: Reinstating the State’, in John Barry and Robyn Eckersley (eds.) The State and the Global Ecological Crisis (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005), ix-xxv.

John Barry and Eckersley, R. ‘Conclusion: W(h)ither the Green State?’ in John Barry and Robyn Eckersley (eds.) The State and the Global Ecological Crisis (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005), 255-272.

Eckersley, R. ‘Soft Law, Hard Politics and the Climate Change Treaty’ in Christian Reus-Smit (eds.), The Politics of International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2004), 80-105.

Eckersley, R. ‘Politics and Policy’ in Stephen Dovers and Su Wild River (eds.), Managing Australia’s Environment (Sydney: Federation Press, 2003), 485-500.

Eckersley, R. ‘Environmental Pragmatism, Ecocentrism and Deliberative Democracy: Between Problem-Solving and Fundamental Critique’ in Bob Pepperman Taylor and Ben Minteer, eds., Democracy and the Claims of Nature (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002), 49-69.

Eckersley, R. ‘Green Political Thought’ in Dale Jamieson, ed., A Companion to Environmental Philosophy (Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 2001), 316-330.

Eckersley, R. ‘Deliberative Democracy, Ecological Representation and Risk: Towards a Democracy of the Affected’ in Michael Saward (ed), Democratic Innovation: Deliberation, Association and Representation (London: Routledge, 2000), 117-132.

Eckersley, R. ‘Disciplining the Market, Calling in the State: The Politics of Economy-Environment Integration’ in S. Young (ed.), The Emergence of Ecological Modernisation: Integrating the Environment and the Economy? (London: Routledge, 2000), 233-252.

Eckersley, R. ‘Divining Evolution and Respecting Evolution’ in Andrew Light (ed.), Social Ecology after Bookchin (New York: Guilford Press, 1998), 58-91.

Eckersley, R. ‘Environmental Rights and Democracy: Linking the Global to the Local’ in Roger Keil, David V. J. Bell, Peter Penz, and Leesa Fawcett (eds.), Global Political Ecology (New York: Routledge, 1998), 353-376.

Eckersley, R. ‘Greening Liberal Democracy: The Rights Discourse Revisited’ in B. Doherty and M. de Geus (eds), Democracy and Green Political Thought: Sustainability, rights and citizenship (London: Routledge, 1996), 212-36.

Eckersley, R. ‘Greening the Modern State: Managing the Environment’ in Paul James, ed., The State in Question (Sydney, Allen and Unwin, 1996), 74-108.

Eckersley, R. ‘Markets, the State and the Environment: Introduction and Overview’ in R. Eckersley (ed), Markets, the State and the Environment: Towards Integration (Melbourne: Macmillan, 1995), 7-45.

Eckersley, R. ‘Rationalizing the Environment: How Much Am I Bid?’ in S. Rees, G. Rodley and F. Stilwell, eds., Alternatives to Economic Rationalism (Sydney: Pluto Press, 1993), 238-51.

Eckersley, R. ‘The “New Politics” of the Green Movement’, in P.R. Hay and R. Eckersley, eds., Ecopolitical Theory: Essays from Australia (Hobart: University of Tasmania, 1992), 149-71.

Eckersley, R. ‘The Ecocentric Perspective’, in Cassandra Pybus and Richard Flanagan, eds., The Rest of the World is Watching: Tasmania and the Greens (Sydney: Sun Books, 1990), pp. 68-78.





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