The Dominique Jacquin-Berdal Travel Grant was established by the International Relations Department at the LSE in memory of Dr Dominique Jacquin-Berdal who was a lecturer in the Department from 1999 until her death in 2006. She taught on nationalism and Africa as well as in the field of international relations theory. Her most well-known publication is Nationalism and Ethnicity in the Horn of Africa published in 2002. Her colleague James Mayall wrote an obituary in The Guardian, plus a longer piece in the IR Department journal Millennium.
The annual grant of £2,500 is intended to support travel and living costs for IR Department students’ research in the fields of Africa, ethnicity and nationalism. The 2018 grant holder is Kelly-Jo Bluen and she gives her reactions, plus details of her project, below.
“It is a significant privilege to receive this award honouring Dominique Jacquin-Berdal. Jacquin-Berdal’s thoughtful analysis of the role of the colonial territorial state in fostering nationalisms and the concomitant attention to the role of colonial histories in shaping the present is something I seek to emulate in my research on how colonial histories shape contemporary international relations in the field of international criminal justice. I am profoundly honoured to receive this award and am inspired by Jacquin-Berdal’s formidable legacy.”
Thesis Title: ‘Coloniality, atrocity crimes and humanity’
Kelly-Jo’s research examines coloniality and atrocity crimes in international relations. It traces the historical origins of the legal and political apparatus surrounding atrocity crimes considers what and whose crimes have been omitted from purview and how this reflects coloniality. It examines how narratives around atrocity crimes figure in contemporary international relations to think through the ways in which they function to discipline. Read through the lenses of ‘humanity’ as the community frequently invoked in governing intervention around atrocity crimes, it draws on decolonial theories of the human and of humanity to consider whose humanity is evoked by these calls, and the raced gendered politics they permit. Through this, it considers the conditions of possibility atrocity crime narratives produce for reifying hierarchies of harm, for interventionist politics, and for the engendering and eschewing of accountabilities.
Kelly-Jo will use the award to conduct research on the International Criminal Court’s work in Uganda.