Dr Rachel Kerr
Reader in International Relations and Contemporary War
War Studies Online Programme Director for MA International Relations and Contemporary War and Admissions Tutor
Department of War Studies
King's College London
London WC2R 2LS
Tel: 020 7848 1718
Office hours: Thursdays 11.00- 12.00 or by appointment (during term time)
I am Reader in International Relations and Contemporary War in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. I joined the Department as a Lecturer in 2003, teaching on War Studies Online programmes, having previously worked in academic publishing for Polity Press. I have 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.
I co-directs the War Crimes Research Group. I also co-chair the BISA International Law and Politics Working Group and the London Transitional Justice Network. In 2009-10, I was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, and from 2011-13, I was a Visiting Research Associate at the Centre for International Policy Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada.
My research is on international politics, law and war (crimes). Recent projects have focused on the role of 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), and 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. I am currently Principal Investigator on a large AHRC/GCRF-funded project on Art and Reconciliation: Conflict, Culture and Community.
My research is broadly concerned with the politics of international law and war crimes and transitional justice. Past research projects have focused on legacy and outreach strategies for transitional justice, perceptions of the ICTY in the former Yugoslavia, the role of visual evidence in war crimes prosecution, war crimes allegations against British forces in Iraq and the ICC’s preliminary examination, and technological innovation, non-obvious warfare and the challenges for international law governing the use of force.
My current research focuses on the history of the concept and practice of ‘reconciliation’ and in particular the role of arts and artistic interventions. I am leading a major inter-disciplinary and collaborative research project, Art and Reconciliation: Conflict, Culture and Community, with colleagues at King’s, University of the Arts London and the LSE.
‘Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Contexts: Opportunities and Challenges’, in Justice Mosaics: How Context Shapes Transitional Justice in Fractured Societies. Duthie, R. & Seils, P. (eds.). New York: International Center for Transitional Justice, 2017.
The 'Art' of Reconciliation, FICHL Policy Brief Series, 78, 9 May 2017.
‘Tyrannies of Peace and Justice? Liberal Peacebuilding and the Politics and Pragmatics of Transitional Justice’, International Journal Of Transitional Justice. 10, 3 (2017): 176-185.
‘International Criminal Justice’, in An Introduction to Transitional Justice. Simic, O. (ed.). London: Routledge, 2016.
‘The UK in Basra and the Death of Baha Mousa’, in Investigating Operational Incidents in a Military Context: Law, Justice, Politics. Lovell, D. (ed.). Leiden: Brill Nijhoff, 2015: 71-85.
Gow, J., Michalski, M. & Kerr, R., ‘Pictures of Peace and Justice from Nuremberg to the Holocaust: Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today, Memory of the Camps, and Majdanek: Cemetery of Europe - Missing Films, Memory Gaps and the Impact beyond the Courtroom of Visual Material in War Crimes Prosecutions’, HISTORY. 98, 332 (2013): 548-566.
Gow, J., Michalski, M. & Kerr, R. , ‘Space Capsule Justice: The ICTY and Bosnia - Image, Distance and Disconnection’, Slavonic & East European Review. 91, 4 (2013): 818-846
Gow, J., Kerr, R. & Pajic, Z. (eds), Prosecuting War Crimes: Lessons and legacies of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. London: Routledge, 2013
For a full list of research outputs, please visit the Research Portal (PURE)
Programme Director for the MA International Relations and Contemporary War (War Studies Online).
- International Relations and Contemporary War 1 (Theories and Concepts), MA core, 20 credits (Online).
- International Relations and Contemporary War 2 (Problems and Issues), MA core, 20 credits (Online).
- Peace and Justice, MA option, 20 credits.
- International Law, Intervention and Human Rights, BA2 option, 30 credits (guest lectures).
Expertise and Public Engagement
I am happy to offer PhD supervision in the broad area of war crimes and transitional justice, with a particular focus on the following topic areas:
- Politics of transitional/post-conflict/international criminal justice
- Impact/legacy of transitional/post-conflict justice mechanisms and processes
- War crimes and transitional justice in the Western Balkans
- War and war crimes
- Ethical and legal dimensions of security in the 21st century
I regularly engage with print and broadcast media and with policy makers on war crimes issues. I have provided expert advice to Parliament and to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and presented my research to the Department of Justice, Government of Canada. I also regularly present my work, including recently at Carleton University in Ottawa, the University of Western Ontario (Centre for Transitional Justice Research) and the University of Oxford (Oxford Transitional Justice Research).