Dr Lara Nettelfield

Educational background

A.B., University of California, Berkeley

M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. Columbia University

Personal profile

Lara J. Nettelfield is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations. She recently published a co-authored manuscript titled Srebrenica in the Aftermath of Genocide (Cambridge University Press, 2014). This book reveals how interactions between local, national and international interventions - from refugee return and resettlement to commemorations, war crimes trials, immigration proceedings and election reform - have led to subtle, positive effects of social repair, despite persistent attempts at denial. Using an interdisciplinary approach, diverse research methods, and more than a decade of fieldwork in five countries, the authors trace the genocide's reverberations in Bosnia and abroad. Srebrenica in the Aftermath of Genocide received Honorable Mention for the International Studies Association's Ethnicity, Migration and Nationalism (ENMISA) Distinguished Book Award (2015) and was shortlisted for the 2015 Rothschild Prize of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN). 

Nettelfield is also the author of Courting Democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Hague Tribunal's Impact in a Postwar State (Cambridge University Press, 2010), which former Hague prosecutor Richard Goldstone has called “essential reading, well-balanced and realistic.” This volume argues that the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has in fact made a contribution to Bosnia and Herzegovina's transition to democracy. Based on more than three years of field research and several hundred interviews, this study brings together multiple research methods, including surveys, ethnography, and archival materials, to show the court's impact on five segments of Bosnian society, emphasizing the role of the social setting in translating international law in domestic contexts. It argues that much of the early rhetoric about the transformative potential of international criminal law helped foster unrealistic expectations that institutions like the ICTY could not meet. Judged by more realistic standards, international law is seen to play a modest yet important role in postwar transitions. The findings of this study have implications for the study of international courts around the world and the role law plays in contributing to social change. Courting Democracy won the 2011 Marshall Shulman prize of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). Her research interests include human rights, transitional justice forced migration, economic rights, social movements, democratic transitions, and humanitarian intervention.  

A political scientist by training, Nettelfield received Ph.D., M.Phil. and M.A. degrees from Columbia University and an A.B. degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She also completed a certificate at Columbia's Harriman Institute. She has worked for international organizations such as the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, in addition to serving as an advisor for non-governmental organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prior to joining Royal Holloway, she taught at the University of Exeter, Columbia University and the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals. She has lived, worked, and researched in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Ukraine, France, Belgium, and Spain. In her spare time, she is an avid consumer of documentary films.

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