Cockayne, James

Head of Office at the UN

  • James Cockayne
    UNU Office at the United Nations
    UN University Office at the UN

    Research Interests

    • Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism
    • Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration
    • Drug Policy
    • International Criminal Justice
    • Mediation and post-conflict recovery
    • Modern Day Slavery
    • Organized Crime
    • Strategy of non-state armed groups


    • (2015): Ph.D., War Studies, King's College London, UK
    • (2005): LLM, New York University, New York City, USA(2005): LLM, New York University, New York City, USA
    • (2002): LLB (Hons I), University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    • (2000): B.A. (Hons I + Univ Medal), University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia


    • (2014-present) Director, International Legal Foundation
    • (2013-present) Member, Global Initiative on Transnational Organized Crime
    • (2006-2007) Chair, Editorial Committee, Journal of International Criminal Justice, New York City, USA
    • (2005-present) Member, Editorial Committee, Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies, Boston, USA
    • (2013) Adjunct Lecturer, Columbia University, New York City, USA

    Biographical Statement

    James Cockayne is a strategist, international lawyer and writer. He focuses on the role of non-state armed groups in the international arena. A visiting lecturer at Columbia University, a Hauser scholar at New York University School of Law, and a University Medallist in government and public administration at the University of Sydney, Dr. Cockayne has worked in public service, academia and the advocacy arena. He was Co-Director of the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation, leading their work in New York and Africa. Earlier, Dr. Cockayne served as Principal Legal Officer in the Transnational Crime and Extradition Units in the Australian Attorney-General’s Department; as Chair of the Editorial Committee of the Journal of International Criminal Justice; and also as a civil society member of the multistakeholder group that established an oversight mechanism for the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers.

    Dr. Cockayne has at various times been a consultant and adviser to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the World Bank, the Center on Humanitarian Dialogue, International Alert, the Norwegian Peacebuilding Forum, the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum, and the Global Leadership Forum.

    His books include Hidden Power: The Strategic Logic of Organized Crime (Hurst, forthcoming 2016); Peace Operations and Organized Crime: Enemies or Allies? (Routledge, 2011), edited with Adam Lupel; and Beyond Market Forces: Regulating the Global Security Industry (IPI, 2009).