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Professor Rachel Kerr

Professor Rachel Kerr

  • Academics
  • Supervisors

Professor of War and Society

Deputy Head of the Department of War Studies and Vice-Dean (Education) for the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy. Co-Director of the War Crimes Research Group.

Research subject areas

  • Conflict
  • History
  • International relations
  • Law
  • Security

Contact details


Rachel Kerr is a contemporary historian working on transitional and post-conflict justice and memory and international law and war. She co-convenes the War Crimes Research Group, the BISA International Law and Politics Working Group and the London Transitional Justice Network.

Rachel joined King’s in 2003 as a Lecturer to develop the now long-standing War Studies Online programmes, having previously worked in academic publishing for Polity Press. She holds a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds and an MA and PhD in War Studies from King’s College London.

In 2009-10, she was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, and from 2011-13, a Visiting Research Associate at the Centre for International Policy Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada. 

From August 2021 she took on the role of interim Vice-Dean (Education) for the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy.

Research Interests

  • International law, politics and justice
  • War crimes
  • Transitional/post-conflict justice
  • Art and reconciliation

Together with Professor James Gow, she convenes the War Crimes Research Group. She also co-convenes the SSPP Visual and Embodied Methodologies Network with Dr Jelke Boesten (Development Studies) and Professor Cathy McIlwaine (Geography).

Recent funded projects

Arts-based approaches to peacebuilding and reconciliation (AHRC/PaCCS/GCRF: Art and Reconciliation: Conflict, Culture and Community).

Legal and ethical challenges of technological and scientific innovations and non-obvious warfare (RCUK Global Uncertainties Science and Security Programme: SNT Really Makes Reality: Technological Innovation, Non-Obvious Warfare and the Challenges to International Law).

Visual evidence in War Crimes Prosecutions (AHRC Beyond Text programme: Pictures of Peace and Justice Documentation, Evidence and Impact of Visual Material in International War Crimes Prosecution).


  • Fairey, T & Kerr, R (2020), 'What Works? Creative approaches to transitional justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina', International Journal Of Transitional Justice, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 142–164.
  • Kerr, R. (2020). Art, Aesthetics, Justice, and Reconciliation: What can art do? AJIL Unbound, 114, 123-127. doi:10.1017/aju.2020.24
  • Kerr, RC (2020), Fabricating Reconciliation in Canada. in J Boesten & H Scanlon (eds), Gender, Justice, Memory: Memorial Arts and Symbolic Reparation. University of Wisconsin Press.
  • Behzadi., et al. (2019). Art & Exclusions: VEM+ Artist-Researcher Collaborations. King’s College London. DOI:
  • Gow, J, Dijxhoorn, E, Kerr, RC & Verdirame, G (eds) (2019), Routledge Handbook of War, Law and Technology. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Kerr, R (2018), The UK in Iraq and the ICC: Judicial Intervention, Positive Complementarity and the Politics of International Criminal Justice. in Quality Control in Preliminary Examinations: Reviewing Impact, Policies and Practices. FICHL Publication Series, vol. 28, Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher.
  • Kerr, RC 2018, Culture, contestation and reconciliation via the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. in C Garbett & S Wastell (eds), Transitional Justice Beyond Blueprints: Ethnographies and Case Studies. Routledge, London.
  • Kerr, RC 2017, Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Contexts: Opportunities and Challenges. in R Duthie & P Seils (eds), Justice Mosaics: How Context Shapes Transitional Justice in Fractured Societies. International Center for Transitional Justice, New York, pp. 116.
  • Kerr, RC 2017, 'The 'Art' of Reconciliation' FICHL Policy Brief Series, vol. 78.
  • Kerr, RC 2017, 'Tyrannies of Peace and Justice? Liberal Peacebuilding and the Politics and Pragmatics of Transitional Justice', International Journal Of Transitional Justice, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 176-185.
  • Kerr, R 2016, International Criminal Justice. in O Simic (ed.), An Introduction to Transitional Justice. Routledge, London.

For a full list of research outputs, please visit the Research Portal


  • 7SSWM221 International Relations and Contemporary War 2: Theories and Concepts
  • 7SSWM222 International Relations and Contemporary War 2: Problems and Issues
  • 7SSWM225 Conflict, Rights and Justice
  • 7SSWM186 International Law and the Use of Force
  • 5SSW2063 International Law, Human Rights and Intervention

PhD supervision (first or joint supervisor)

  • David Bicknell
  • Geoffrey Sheldon
  • Pauline Zerla
  • Dushyanthy Pillai
  • Andreas Moller