Explore Our Research
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We are proud to showcase our research projects and initiatives, which are shaped by our collective, inter-disciplinary approach to research and underpinned by outside funding.
Our work includes taking a collaborative approach to research in international law and security in order to deepen understanding of the problems and enhance our impact. NILSC members are involved in exciting and innovative research projects, engaging with international organisations, humanitarian actors, civil society, and research networks. Our research pro-actively engages with current legal issues in international law and security.
NILSC members are involved in exciting and innovative research projects, engaging with international organisations, humanitarian actors, civil society, and research networks. Our research pro-actively engages with current legal issues in international law and security.
NILSC research themes
Our research encompasses issues of human, political, military, socio-economic, resources and energy security.
These research areas raise a number of questions for international law, for example:
- To what extent can international law address the types of natural and man-made security risks and challenges that threaten our livelihood, or very existence, in the 21st century?
- Where does international law fall short in meeting the problems that arise in different situations of insecurity and how should such shortcomings be addressed?
- To what extent can international law accommodate both human and state security?
NILSC Summer Interns 2022
Aisling Dawson: Humanitarians in Health Emergencies
My name is Aisling Dawson and I am an LLM student studying International Criminal Justice and Armed Conflict here at the University of Nottingham. I am working alongside Dr Shucksmith-Wesley and Scarlett McArdle on a project investigating the accountability of humanitarians in health emergencies, including both armed conflicts and disasters.
My role in this project involves researching and critically comparing policy documents and reports from various government actors, international institutions, and emergency responders. I hope to draw from these documents as well as the academic literature in this sector to enhance my own understanding of core theoretical concepts such as ‘health,’ ‘humanitarians,’ and ‘emergencies.’ My work seeks to contribute to the project’s overall aim to develop a working definition of health emergencies and a conceptual framework for such emergencies in both conflict and disaster settings.
Academically, I am personally most interested in International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law, as well as the theoretical underpinnings of the key legal concepts in these areas. Alongside my work as an intern on the NILSC project, I am currently completing my LLM dissertation wherein I intend to demonstrate that the exclusion of data from object status under International Humanitarian Law exposes civilian data to unjustified damage and destruction from cyberweapons, amounting to an abdication of the law’s overall protective purpose.
Cornelis van Haperen: The Sequence and Form of Economic Action Against the Russian Federation
This summer the Nottingham International Law and Security Centre (NILSC) undertook a short research project into Russia’s illegal intervention and use of force against Ukraine. The project, led by Professor Dino Kritsiotis, aimed to assess whether a State in breach of international laws can be brought to justice when conventional mechanisms to hold that State to account are discarded by it. A project hypothesis was formulated that considered whether instead the actions of likeminded nations and institutions using economic and diplomatic ways and means could coax that State to halt its use of force.
Kees van Haperen, one of our centre’s of summer interns analysed a collection of seven UK newspaper articles published mostly from 2 Feb 22 till 27 Jun 22. The articles were firstly categorised according to their content as ‘Use of Force’, ‘International Humanitarian Law’ or as ‘Economic and Financial Sanctions’.
Subsequently, the latter group was subjected to more detailed analysis and 402 articles were labelled according to their content and whether this concerned the general economic situation in Russia or the sanctioning countries; banking institutions and insurance lockout; share and commodity values; the impact on energy supply and alternative provisions; sanctions against senior politicians, their families and oligarchs’ in relation to their financials, assets and freedom of movement.
Engagement and impact
The impact of our research is being expanded through our engagement with other hubs for international law. We are building a series of formal and informal links with research centres in other universities and institutions, including:
Previous projects and events