Dr Melinda Rankin

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of Political Science and International Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


Dr Melinda Rankin is Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer at the School of Political Sciences and International Studies at The University of Queensland (UQ). Melinda's research concerns international criminal justice, new wars and cosmopolitan law enforcement. In particular, her interests are how non-state and non-traditional actors attempt to fill the ‘impunity gap’ for core international crimes, as well as the interaction between foreign policy and international law to solve the problem of defacto impunity. Her research reflects upon how individual criminal responsibility has changed the way that war and organised violence is understood in the Post-Nuremberg Era.

Prior to UQ, Melinda was Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Constitutionalism, at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, WZB (Social Science Centre Berlin); and Lecturer at the Department of Government and International Relations at The University of Sydney.

Melinda's current book project, forthcoming with Cambridge University Press, explores how non-state and non-traditional actors take on the role of defacto international Office of the Prosecutor (OTP); as well as detailing a conceptual framework for the current ‘system’ of international criminal law, from a foreign policy and public international law viewpoint.

Melinda's first book, titled ‘The Political Life of Mary Kaldor: Ideas and Action in International Relations’ (Lynne Rienner Publishing, 2017), was the first intellectual and political study of Mary Kaldor. The book explored her many contributions to international relations and law, including ‘new wars’ and ‘cosmopolitan law enforcement’, amongst others.

Melinda has published a number of academic journal articles with the Australian Journal of International Affairs and the Global Responsibility to Protect. She has also written policy articles for Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), Berlin; LawLog at Centre for Global Constitutionalism, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, WZB (Social Sciences Center Berlin); and the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney.

Melinda is a member of the International Studies Association (ISA); the International Society of Public Law, New York; the Australian Political Sciences Association; and the Centre for International Security Studies at The University of Sydney. She is also an Associate at Sydney Democracy Network at The University of Sydney.

More recently, Melinda provided comment for media on SBS World News in 2019 on Iran and US relations.

Prior to her academic career, Melinda worked in projects, business operations, data governance, policy and strategy for groups such as JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of New York (London); MLC and Genworth (Sydney); and NAB (Melbourne).

Research Interests

  • International criminal and humanitarian law (ICHL)
  • New Wars & Cosmopolitan Law Enforcement
  • Political violence
  • International Security
  • Legal analytical theory
  • Middle East


  • Bachelor in International Relations, DEAKIN
  • Master in International Relations, MONASH
  • PhD, La Trobe University


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