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Personal profile

Academic Background

B.A. Hons Politics with French; University of Warwick (2000)

M.Sc.Econ International Politics; University of Wales, Aberystwyth (2001)

Ph.D. International Politics; University of Wales, Aberystwyth (2005)

 

Biography

Adriana Sinclair’s research explores the ways in which international relations and international law – and our understandings of them – intertwine. Her first book explored how IR theory understands international law and why we need a far more critical understanding of how international law operates (link to Sinclair 2010). Her recent work on the agency and ontology of international law seeks to further clarify what international law really is and what kind of power it possesses (link to Sinclair 2020). Finally, in her work with Alexander Brown, she has used her knowledge of the nexus of international relations and international law to shine a light on how and why the international norm against hate speech emerged. Unusually, the international realm and the activism of the UN was a significant driver of change, challenging the usual assumption that normative development happens within states and then radiates out to the international level (link to Brown and Sinclair 2019).

 

In ‘Why we should see international law as a structure: unpicking international law’s ontology and agency’ Sinclair argues that our most common understandings of international law are reluctant to see international law as doing anything more than enabling the operation of other actors, forces or structures. Rather, we should see international law as a structure because it possesses both the surface structure of rules, principles, processes, personnel and material elements of the international legal system and a deep structure of values that sits deep within our subconscious. When we do so, we can see how international law locates actors within a social hierarchy and how it behaves in similar ways to recognised structures like capitalism and racism.

Forthcoming in International Relations (2020)

 

Publications

Sinclair, A. (forthcoming 2020) ‘Why we should see international law as a structure: unpicking international law’s ontology and agency’ International Relations.

Brown, A. and A. Sinclair (2019) The Politics of Hate Speech Laws (Abingdon: Routledge).

Sinclair, A. (2010) International Relations Theory and International Law: A Critical Approach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)

Career

International Relations Theory and International Law: A Critical Approach (Cambridge University Press, 2010) A Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2011 - Winner "Very few books manage to simultaneously make a serious intellectual contribution to knowledge in a discipline and be accessible enough to serve as an introductory-level book, but this volume by Sinclair (Univ. of East Anglia, UK) does both well. Sinclair returns constructivism to its roots (i.e., Nicholas Onuf and Friedrich Kratochwil) in theorizing rules, rule, and the intersubjectivity of law, and then applies that approach to current critical legal theorizing about international law. The result is a marriage of international relations and international law theorizing that strengthens both. The empirical part of the book then uses three cases (Brown v. Board of Education in the US, rape law reform in the UK, and post-9/11 torture jurisprudence) to demonstrate the utility of such a lens for understanding international law. The critical rethinking of these "common sense" cases in this book is easy to read but transformative. The book concludes by theorizing law as social (and the social as law) in an important, innovative, and accessible way. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduate students and above."-- L. E. Sjoberg, University of Florida

External Activities

  • Adriana Sinclair is a reviewer for the following journals: European Journal of International Relations, Millennium, Review of International Studies, and International Politics

Key Research Interests and Expertise

Adriana’s research spans the fields of International Relations Theory, in particular constructivism, and international law. She is the author of International Relations Theory and International Law: A Critical Approach (Cambridge University Press) and her work has appeared in Political Studies, International Politics and the Review of International Studies. She would be interested in supervising postgraduate research students in all areas of contemporary International Relations theory and interdisciplinary work on international law. She has successfully supervised PhDs on hydro-politics in the Lower Jordan River, hydro-politics and the notion of power, and the role of social movements upon human rights change. She is currently supervising a PhD on collective security arrangements in East Asia.

 

 

She has received the following funding:

 -        2018: Visiting Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia

-        2012: AHRC/BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Thinker Scheme

-        2005-7: Research Fellowship at Collaborative Research Centre 597, University of Bremen, Germany

-        2004-5: Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Global Politics and International Law at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia, 2004-2005

-        2001-2004: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Studentship, PhD

 

Publications:

Sinclair, A. (forthcoming 2020) ‘Why we should see international law as a structure: unpicking international law’s ontology and agency’ International Relations.

Brown, A. and A. Sinclair (2019) The Politics of Hate Speech Laws (Abingdon: Routledge).

Sinclair, A. (2013) ‘The Geneva Conventions’, in T. J. Lynch (ed. In chief) TheOxford Encyclopedia of US Diplomatic and Military History(Oxford University Press)

Sinclair, A. (2010) International Relations Theory and International Law: A Critical Approach (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)

 

Sinclair, A. (2010) ‘Hidden in Plain Sight: Constructivist Treatment of Social Context and its Limitations’ with Milja Kurki, International Politics 47(1), 1-25

 

Sinclair, A. (2010) ‘Law, Caution: Towards a Better Understanding of Law for IR Theorists’, Review of International Studies, 37(3), 1095-1112

Sinclair, A.  and Michael Byers (2007) ‘When US Scholars Speak of Sovereignty, What Do They Mean?’, Political Studies, 55(2), 318-40

 

Key Responsibilities

Adriana Sinclair is Course Director for the International Relations degrees.









 

Teaching Interests

Adriana Sinclair convenes the following modules:  

-       Level 2 Module, International Relations Theory

-       Level 1 Module, Global Politics 2


 

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Aberystwyth University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2005

Master of Social Science, Aberystwyth University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2001

Bachelor of Arts, University of Warwick

Award Date: 1 Jan 2000