Dr Alexander Gilder
Co-Director, Postgraduate Taught Programmes
Deputy Director, Global Law at Reading (GLAR)
Module convenor for Contemporary Issues in International Law (LWMCIL), Foundations of International Law (LW2FIL), and Co-convenor for International Law and Global Security (LW3IGS)
Areas of interest
Dr Gilder works on areas related to international peace and security, such as UN peace operations, peacebuilding, and human security. One of the few international lawyers working in the peacekeeping space, his research is necessarily interdisciplinary, drawing on perspectives from law, peace and conflict studies, and international relations.
Alex investigates various aspects of UN peacekeeping including stabilization, counter-terrorism, the rule of law, the protection of civilians, and security sector reform. For example, his work has examined the rule of law activities of the UN in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), the legal implications of robust mandates and engagement with counter-terrorism by UN peacekeepers in Mali (MINUSMA), local engagement by the UN in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), the role of UN peace operations in global health crises, and the future of protection of civilian mandates and their relationship with security sector reform.
His monograph, Stabilization and Human Security in UN Peace Operations (Routledge 2022), includes case studies on Mali (MINUSMA), the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), and South Sudan (UNMISS) that examine whether the concept of human security can be seen in the UN's current stabilization activities. You can hear more about this research on the Humans of Security podcast or on YouTube. He is also the lead editor of Multidisciplinary Futures of UN Peace Operations (Palgrave Macmillan 2023).
Alex is working on his second book, Peace Operations: Law, Policy and Practice, for Edward Elgar Publishing’s Principles of International Law series. The book will provide interdisciplinary coverage of contemporary peace operations including the law applicable to peacekeepers and current trends, such as stabilization and the protection of civilians. He has funding from a BISA Early Career Researcher Grant to assess the impact of militarisation on UN peace operations and from the University of Reading’s Research Engagement, Knowledge Exchange (KE) and Commercialisation Fund to consult for the NATO HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps on operationalising human security to improve the protection of civilians and mitigate harm.
His research has also applied the multidisciplinary concept of human security to examine the role of the individual in international law and has published on other areas of international law including the law of occupation, international human rights law, and the law on the use of force.
Alex welcomes PhD applications that fall within his above areas of interest.
Alex teaches on the following modules:
- Contemporary Issues in International Law (PG) (Module convenor)
- International Law and Global Security (UG) (Module co-convenor)
- Foundations of International Law (UG) (Module convenor)
- Introduction to International Law (PG)
- The Use of Military Force (PG)
He has led clinical education projects including a prize-winning, student-centred collaboration with the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (Somaliland). The project won the British International Studies Association (BISA) Distinguished Excellence in Teaching International Studies Award 2022 and the Royal Holloway Team Teaching Prize 2022. You can read more about the project in the European Journal of Legal Education.
Alex is Associate Professor of International Law and Security, Co-Director of the Postgraduate Taught Programmes, and Deputy Director of Global Law at Reading. He is also Associate Faculty in the School of Humanitarian Studies at Royal Roads University (Canada) where he contributes to the MA in Human Security and Peacebuilding.
He has been a Visiting Professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University (Canada), Gujarat National Law University (India), and the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Hargeisa (Somaliland). He has guest lectured on topics of international law and global governance on the London Law Programme of the University of Notre Dame (USA) and the University of Virginia Summer Program at University College, University of Oxford. Prior to joining Reading, he was a Lecturer in Law at Royal Holloway, University of London.
He sits on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of International Peacekeeping and the Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. He serves as an External Examiner at both the University of Lincoln and Glasgow Caledonian University.
PhD (City, University of London), LLM (Utrecht University), PgCAP (City, University of London) LLB (Hons) (University of Lincoln).