About Us

ELAC is an interdisciplinary research programme whose central aim is to determine how law, norms, and institutions can regulate, restrain, prevent, and terminate armed conflict in today's international system. Founded in 2008 through the generous funding of The Oxford Martin School (previously called the James Martin 21st Century School), the Institute is housed within the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. The Institute also has links with the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Philosophy.

ELAC's collaborative research programme crosses the disciplines of philosophy and political theory, law, and international relations. As well as producing research of the highest quality through traditional academic channels, ELAC seeks to inform the wider public and policy debate through its various outreach activities. The institute identifies a ‘signature theme’ triennially, which culminates with the generation of a Consensus Statement of Principles setting out concrete proposals for reforming and developing the normative and regulatory framework for armed conflict. For 2008-11, the theme is ‘Strengthening International Authority’.

ELAC aims to:

  • Become a global centre of excellence for interdisciplinary research into the management and regulation of armed conflict;

  • Build a community of scholars engaged in collaborative research on issues relating to the norms, ethics and politics of armed conflict;

  • Act as a new focal point for research and teaching across the disciplines of law, philosophy, and international relations both within the Oxford community and with other related institutions worldwide;

  • Attract, develop, and retain academic staff and fellows of the highest calibre who will champion the Institute’s mission;

  • Deliver an impact beyond the confines of traditional academic research by engaging in public and policy debates;

  • Play a significant role in reshaping the legal and policy instruments for the management and regulation of armed conflict;

  • Establish relevant partnerships and networks with governments, NGO's, international institutions, the media, and the public more widely.

View a webcast presented by Prof. Jennifer Welsh, showcasing the objectives, research goals, and challenges facing ELAC. Download video webcast.