SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

The Politics of Human Shielding

Neve Gordon (SOAS)

Date: 11 October 2017Time: 3:00 PM

Finishes: 11 October 2017Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 4429

Type of Event: Seminar


From Mosul in Iraq through Gaza City to Mocha in Yemen accusations of using human shields as an instrument of protection, coercion or deterrence have multiplied. Indeed, the dramatic increase of urban warfare, including insurgency and counterinsurgency, inevitably entails that civilians frequently occupy the front lines of the fighting and are often framed as weapons of war. Investigating the political use of human shielding, Neve Gordon traces the historical development of this legal figure, showing both how this development reflects the ever-changing borders of the human and how it is currently being deployed to eviscerate the civilian status of the ex-colonized.


Professor Neve Gordon’s research focuses on international law, human rights, the ethics of violence, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and political theory. His first book, Israel’s Occupation, was published in 2008 by the University of California Press, while his second book, The Human Right to Dominate (written with Nicola Perugini) was published in 2015 by Oxford University Press. Gordon has edited two volumes, one on torture in Israel (with Ruchama Marton) and the other on marginalized perspectives on human rights. He has published over 30 articles in academic journals and is currently working on a new book project dealing with the history and politics of human shields. Gordon has been a member at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, Brown University, and the University of Michigan.

Organiser: Matthew Eagleton-Pierce

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