International Law and Armed Conflict Book Talk
Join us for a conversation and virtual launch to recognize two new, groundbreaking books on international humanitarian law, also known as the laws of war, and armed conflict. Authors Karen Engle, The Grip of Sexual Violence in Conflict, and Pablo Kalmanovitz, The Laws of War in International Thought, will share their work and discuss international humanitarian law, the politics of its institutionalization, and the ramifications of its deployment for addressing violence, especially sexual violence, during armed conflict. Vasuki Nesiah, Professor of Law at New York University will moderate.
Karen Engle is the Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law at the University of Texas at Austin, where she founded and co-directs the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. She is the author of The Elusive Promise of Indigenous Development: Rights, Culture, Strategy (2010), which received the APSA Human Rights Section Best Book Award.
Contemporary feminist advocacy in human rights, international criminal law, and peace and security is gripped by the issue of sexual violence in conflict. But it hasn’t always been this way. Analyzing feminist international legal and political work over the past three decades, Karen Engle argues that it was not inevitable that sexual violence in conflict would become such a prominent issue.
Pablo Kalmanovitz is Research Professor in the International Studies Division at CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) in Mexico City. His research interests include the history of international thought, political theory, humanitarianism, transitional justice, and human rights. Previously he was professor of political science at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and postdoctoral fellow at the European University Institute in Florence and at Yale University. He earned his PhD in political science from Columbia University.
New Book: The Laws of War in International Thought
The Law of Armed Conflict is usually understood to be a regime of exception that applies only during armed conflict and regulates hostilities among enemies. It assigns privileges to states far beyond what they are allowed to do in peacetime, and it mandates certain protections for non-combatants, which can often be defeated by appeals to military necessity or advantage. The Laws of War in International Thought examines the intellectual history of the laws of war before their codification. It reconstructs the processes by which political and legal theorists built the laws’ distinctive vocabularies and legitimized some of their broadest permissions, and it situates these processes within the broader intellectual project that from early modernity spelled out the nature, function, and powers of state sovereignty.
Vasuki Nesiah is a Professor of Law at New York University and a legal scholar with a focus on public international law. Her main areas of research include the law and politics of international human rights and humanitarianism, with a particular focus on transitional justice. She has published widely on the history and politics of human rights, humanitarianism, international criminal law, international feminisms and colonial legal history.
Professor Nesiah most recently edited Bandung, Global History, and International Law: Critical Pasts and Pending Futures.
This event is hosted by The University of Minnesota’s Human Rights Center, Department of Political Science, Human Rights Program, and Interdisciplinary Center on Global Change, and the Human Rights Program at the University of Wisconsin Madison.