Anthony Billingsley

Senior Lecturer
Adjunct Senior Lecturer

Anthony Billingsley is a Lecturer of International Relations at the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW. Anthony’s main research focus is the Middle East and international law. His specialist interests include political succession in the Arab world, the role of constitutions and law in the region, and the politics of the Gulf, Syria and Egypt. He is also interested in international legal issues such as the use of force and humanitarian intervention, and the impact of US foreign policy, especially on the Middle East. Anthony is currently engaged in research relating to the role of law, including international law, in the Middle East.

Research Areas

The role of law in the Middle East, Middle East politics, political succession in the Arab world, the politics of the Gulf, Syria and Egypt, international law


Current Research Project


Lawless lands?: The role of law in Middle Eastern political systems

This research project is based on the assumption of an historical and cultural unity across all countries of North Africa and the Middle East, including Iran, Israel and Turkey. It also starts from the recognition that all countries of the region are accused of violating or abusing the rule of law, both domestic and international. In this context, Anthony is examining the interplay between law and politics in the various countries that make up the Middle East and North Africa. The research involves an examination of the development of municipal legal frameworks throughout the region as well as the role of constitutional law. It also looks at the impact of international law throughout the region and the region’s involvement in the international legal system. In all cases, it is intended to test the argument that the rule of law (domestic, constitutional and international) is a more significant force in the politics of the region that is generally assumed.


Postgraduate Research Supervision


Areas of Supervision

Middle East politics, international law, foreign policy, global politics




Teaching areas

Middle East, international law, international relations, United States foreign policy


Current teaching

ARTS2811 International Law: Politics, Power and ideology

ARTS3810 International Relations Capstone Course

ARTS3813 The Middle East and International Law

POLS5160 The Middle East in Global Politics

Affiliation and Memberships


·      Faculty Standing Committee, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW

·      Australian and New Zealand Society for International Law

·      Australian Institute of International Affairs

·      British Society for Middle East Studies

·      Gulf 2000 Project

·      International Law Association

·      Middle East Studies Association of North America

·      Royal Society of Asian Affairs.


Journal articles
Billingsley AJ, 2011, 'Writing Constitutions in the Wake of the Arab Spring', Foreign Affairs, vol. 30 November, 2011,
Billingsley AJ, 2011, 'New Media and democracy: the Middle East as Testing Ground', AIIA Policy Commenary, vol. April, 2011, pp. 43 - 50
Conference Presentations
Billingsley AJ, 2011, 'Changes to Come - the Politics of International Law', presented at Amnesty International Annual Conference, Brisbane
Billingsley AJ, 2011, 'Obama's ME Peace Initiative: Enigma or Failure', presented at The Obama ME Peace Initiative, Latrobe Uni, Melbourne, 23 June 2011 - 24 June 2011
Billingsley AJ, 2010, Political Succession in the Arab World: Constitutions, Family Loyalties and Islam, 1st, Routledge, London, New York
Scott SV; Billingsley AJ; Michaelsen C, 2010, Law and the Use of Force: A Documentary and reference Guide, 1st, praeger Security International, Santa Barbara, Denver, London
Book Chapters
Billingsley AJ, 2010, 'Under the Spotlight: the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict', in Gaita R (ed.), Gaza: Morality, Law and Politics, edn. 1st, UWA Press, Crawley, W.A., pp. 145 - 175
Middle East; US foreign policy; international law.

POLS5125 – The Politics of International Law
POLS5157 – Exceptional Empire: US Foreign Relations in the American Century
POLS5160 – The Middle East in Global Politics
ARTS2811 – International Law: Power, Politics and ideology
ARTS3817 - The Middle East and International Law
ARTS3810 - International Relations Capstone Course.