Skip to main content

Politics and International Relations (PIR): Events


The Erosion of the Civilian

The Erosion of the Civilian
Hosted by: Dr Nicola Perugini # University of Edinburgh
Hosted by
Introduced by
Date and Time
16th Nov 2018 09:00 - 16th Nov 2018 17:00
Staff Meeting Room, 6th Floor, School of Social and Political Science 15a George Square Edinburgh EH8 9LD

The symposium’s aim is to bring together scholars from different disciplines, human rights and humanitarian experts, and investigative reporters in order to examine the precarious status of civilians and other protected persons in the midst of war. Some of the topics we are interested in discussing include: the changing nature of warfare (e.g., the increase of urban wars, the use of drones and killer robots, and the prominence of non-state warring parties) and its impact on civilians; the shifting value ascribed to the civilian and how it relates to the signification of space and time; the notion of collateral damage and its transformation overtime; the emergence of new legal figures such as unlawful combatants and human shields and how they affect our conception of the civilian; and, finally, the ethical and political claims accompanying these developments. As a continuation of the conversations that will be held in Edinburgh, a second symposium “The Erosion of the Civilian #2” will be held in at Queen Mary University of London on December 14, 2018.


Nadim Houry (Director, Terrorism/Counter Terrorism Program, Human Rights Watch)

Shourideh Molavi (American University of Cairo)

Eva Nanopoulos (Queen Mary University of London)

Hugo Slim (Head of Policy, International Committee of the Red Cross)

Jonathan Whittall (Director, Analysis Department – Médecins Sans Frontières)

Christiane Wilke (Carleton University)

Chris Woods (Director, Airwars)


The full conference programme can be found below, under the 'supporting documents' section.

To sign up to this free event, please follow the link to our Eventbrite page;

Funding and Support

The symposium is organised in collaboration with the School of Law at Queen Mary University and the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Analysis Department in the Operational Centre Brussels, and it is funded by the Centre for Security Research (CeSeR), the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Global Justice Academy, the Global Development Academy, and Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh, and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action 703225 “On Human Shielding.”

Image Artwork

Supporting documents

white image