March 21, 2017: Invitation to Individualization of War
Speaker: Jennifer M. Welsh

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm, March 21st, 2017
Liu Institute for Global Issues – Multipurpose Room

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Individual rights and responsibilities are at the centre of today’s international and civil conflicts in a way that they have never been before. This lecture discusses how the individualisation of conflict forces us to confront the status of individuals in three different capacities: 1) as subject to violence but deserving of protection; 2) as liable to attack because of their status as combatants or their responsibility for attacks on others; and 3) as agents who can be held accountable for the perpetration of crimes committed in the course of armed conflict.

It also argues that efforts to operationalise protection, liability, and accountability are placing enormous strain on the actors and institutions most actively engaged in armed conflict. This strain is manifest in a series of concrete dilemmas that are confounding contemporary policy-makers and potentially weakening the legitimacy of national, international, and non-governmental institutions.

Jennifer M. Welsh is Professor and Chair in International Relations at the European University Institute and a Fellow of Somerville College, University of Oxford. From 2013 to 2016, she served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect.

Photo credit: Expert Infantry from flickr/Creative Commons