Author Archives: Neve Gordon

About Neve Gordon

Neve Gordon’s first book, Israel’s Occupation (University of California Press 2008), provided a structural history of Israel’s mechanisms of control in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (translated to Italian and Spanish). His second book, The Human Right to Dominate (Oxford University Press, 2015) was written with Nicola Perugini and examines how human rights, which are generally conceived as tools for advancing emancipation, can also be used to enhance subjugation and dispossession (translated to Italian and Arabic). Most recently, he and Perugini authored the first ever book on human shielding. Human Shields: A History of People in the Line of Fire (University of California Press 2020) follows the marginal and controversial figure of the human shield over a period of 150 years in order to interrogate the laws of war and how the ethics of humane violence is produced. Gordon has also edited two volumes, one on torture (with Ruchama Marton) and the other on marginalized perspectives on human rights.

From Human Rights to a Politics of Care

For some time now human rights have served as the global moral yardstick used to evaluate governmental and corporate policies and practices.1 The widespread acceptance of human rights as the dominant moral framework in the national and international arena has, without doubt, propelled a range of discursive and institutional changes.2 This acceptance is reflected in the way that liberal and conservative governments as well as many corporations have integrated the language of human rights into their policies. Simultaneously, human rights have become part of mainstream culture through their incorporation Continue reading →

Responding to the Symposium

This essay is part of a symposium on Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini’s Human Shields. All contributions to the symposium can be found here. We are honoured by Noura Erakat’s, Lisa Hajjar’s, Pablo Kalmanovitz’s, Karin Loevy’s, Jessica Whyte’s, and Maja Zehfuss’s engagement with our book. We would like to begin by thanking them all for taking the time to read the manuscript and for offering really insightful criticism which has, in many respects, helped us to further articulate the book’s arguments. Noura Erakat asks why Continue reading →

The Passive Civilian and the Ethics of Violence

This post is part of a symposium on Jessica Whyte’s essay “The ‘Dangerous Concept of the Just War.’” All contributions to the symposium can be found here. While Jessica Whyte’s brilliant essay focuses on a particular historical moment, it also addresses a longstanding puzzle. She ponders why, in their effort to frame violence as ethical, some actors invoke the just war tradition and others the laws of war. She also asks why an actor who in the past has appealed to the laws of war Continue reading →

The global war on migration, human shields, and the erosion of the civilian

This post is part of a series on politics in the face of death. For an introduction and links to the other posts, please see here. From the Mediterranean Sea to the US-Mexico border and all the way to the Australian coast line, for some years now states have been deploying military forces to arrest migration and refugee flows. In several countries, the humanitarian approach used to manage the influx of migrants has been increasingly combined with a military one, with some governments waging a Continue reading →