Eleanor Smith is a PhD Candidate in the Department of War Studies. Her research is a comparative study in which she seeks to understand how nation states fulfil their obligations to prevent atrocities, how they differ from each other, the antecedents of those differences and whether nation states’ atrocity prevention strategies can be grouped into some kind of taxonomy.
Eleanor’s work builds on her interest in atrocity prevention developed over the course of her previous studies. She holds an MA in Global Governance and Diplomacy from the University of Leeds and BA (Hons) in War and Security Studies from the University of Hull. She is also Fellowship Officer at the Churchill Fellowship.
Her broader research interests include the Responsibility to Protect, human rights, peacekeeping and global governance. She welcomes contact from others who share these interests.
- Atrocity prevention
- UN peacekeeping
- Global governance
- Foreign policy
- Responsibility to Protect
Although both academics and practitioners talk a great deal about the need for states to have an atrocity prevention strategy, this construct is poorly defined and is not differentiated from individual activities and national mechanisms. Nor is there any significant work that attempts to describe, compare and explain nation states’ atrocity prevention strategies. This gap not only hinders our academic understanding of the topic, it also makes it much more difficult to draw lessons for the practice of atrocity prevention. Eleanor’s research aims to fill this gap.
Title: Is Prevention Possible? A Comparative Study of Atrocity Prevention Strategies
Eleanor’s research aims to use an explanatory mixed methods approach to answer four research questions:
- In the activities by which individuals attempt to uphold their responsibilities with respect to atrocity prevention, is it possible to discern sustained patterns that can be described as atrocity prevention strategy?
- Are there similarities and differences with how states choose to prevent Atrocities?
- Do these similarities and differences in state approaches allow for characterisation into some form of taxonomy of nation states’ atrocity prevention strategies?
- Can similarities and differences between nation states’ atrocity prevention strategies be explained in terms of causal or contextual factors?
The ultimate aim of this work is to enable nation states to better fulfil their obligations to prevent atrocities.
- Professor Rachel Kerr
- Dr Maeve Ryan