Human Rights and War Through Civilian Eyes by Thomas W. Smith

Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017
  • Saeed BagheriEmail author
Book Review

Thomas W. Smith’s Human Rights and War Through Civilian Eyes is an interesting, insightful, and nicely argued book. Its focus is thoroughly framed within the literature on human rights and humanitarian law, and the book presents a compelling analysis of the effects of war on the civilian experience. As a theory-based empirical study, the work comprises six chapters that link human rights and humanitarian law using the specification of rights as the main basis of civilian protections around extra-military human rights norms. By placing the argument within the context of the selected cases, the author presents a critical approach to the power of humanitarian law for protecting civilians and their fundamental rights during armed conflict.

The first four chapters provide a foundation for understanding identity, norms, and impacts related to armed conflict, as well as two key case studies. Chapter 1 focuses on the recognition of civilians’ identity in armed conflicts, including...


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Weber Post-Doctoral Fellow, Law DepartmentEuropean University Institute (EUI)FiesoleItaly

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