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Professor James  Gow

Professor James Gow

Professor of International Peace and Security

Co-Director of the War Crimes Research Group.

Research subject areas

  • Conflict and security

Contact details


James Gow is Professor of International Peace and Security in the Department of War Studies. He joined King's in 1990 and from 1991 to 1997 was responsible for a number of EC-funded projects on Security and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. Between 1994 and 1998, he served as an expert advisor and expert witness for the Office of the Prosecutor at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, where he was involved in establishing subject matter jurisdiction, was the first witness to give evidence in the Trial Chamber and the first person ever to give evidence at an international criminal tribunal. In 1997-1998, he was an Expert Advisor to the UK Secretary of State for Defence during the Ministry of Defence's Strategic Defence Review, and contributed to work on the 1999-2000 Strategic Context Paper. He was involved in background preparations for the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review. 

He is a permanent non-resident scholar with the Liechtenstein Institute, Princeton University. He has held visiting positions at the University of Sheffield, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC, the Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University, and the Centre of International Studies, Princeton University.  Among other activities, he was a member of the British Film Institute In-View Advisory Board (2007-9) and a member of the ESRC/AHRC ‘Global Uncertainties’ Development Panel and the ESRC/AHRC ‘Global Uncertainties Fellowship’ Commissioning Panel (2008-9).

He was Reviews Editor for International Peacekeeping between 1994 and 1997 and is currently Chair of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism Advisory Council, editor of the Routledge Contemporary Security Issues series with Professor Rachel Kerr, and a member of the editorial advisory boards of the Journal of Genocide Research, Media, War and Conflict, Slovene Studies and the Encyclopedia Princetoniensis.

Research Interests

My areas of interest include:

  • International Peace and Security
  • UK and Euro-Atlantic Security Policy
  • War Crimes
  • The Yugoslav War 1991-2003
  • Media and Security
  • Revolution, War and the Arts

Current research and consultancy projects

Current and recent research projects include:

War and War Crimes (funded by the AHRC); Shifting Securities (funded by the ESRC); Militancy and Violence in West Africa (funded by the ESRC) and Visual Material and War Crimes Prosecutions (funded by the AHRC), while continuing projects include war and peace in the Western Balkans, key issues of international security, such as Iran, Afghanistan, and China, strategic change and strategy in contemporary operations, and UK security policy. 

In 2013 Professor Guglielmo Verdirame and Gow were awarded funding under the RCUK-DSTL Science and Security programme for a project that examined the challenges presented by cyber-technologies for the legal regulation of armed conflict.

In 2013 he was awarded a three-year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship examining the defining trial of the ICTY, that of Ratko Mladic, and its impact on the evolution of international criminal justice.


He writes books on war and war crimes, war crimes and the media, the Yugoslav war and the changing character of war, revolution war and the arts, and law, politics and strategy in international peace and security. He is writing shorter studies and research papers on the UK and China; international involvement in ending conflict in the former Yugoslavia; the United Nations Mission in Kosovo; and the war crimes documentaries of Leslie Woodhead.

Previous books include War, Image, Legitimacy: Viewing Contemporary Conflict (2007, with Milena Michalski), The United Kingdom National Security Strategy: the Need for New Bearings in Security Policy’ and ‘Kosovo – the Final Frontier? From Transitional Administration to Transitional Statehood’ a book chapter ‘Travelling Hopefully, Acting Realistically? UK-China Interactions.’

Please refer to the Research Portal for a full publications list or download this document: ProfJamesGow-MajorPublications3

PhD Supervision

Professor Gow is happy to supervise PhD students in the following subject areas:

  • War Crimes
  • International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia - Legacy and Trials