- Dr Damien Short
- LLB (University of Wales), MA, PhD (Essex)
- Director: Human Rights Consortium and Reader in Human Rights
- Institute of Commonwealth Studies
- Senate House Malet Street London WC1E 7HU
- 020 7862 8836
- Email address:
Research Summary and Profile
- Research interests:
- Civil Rights, Colonies & Colonization, emigration & immigration, Cultural memory, Globalization & Development, Human rights, International Law, International Relations, Journals, Law, Political Institutions, Politics, Social Sciences, Socialism, Communism, Anarchism
- Research keywords:
- Human Rights, Green Criminology, Indigenous Rights, Extreme Energy, Fracking, Environmental harm, Genocide, Settler Colonialism, Environmental Sociology, Sociology of Human Rights
- Australasia, North America, United Kingdom
- Summary of research interests and expertise:
Dr Damien Short is Director of the Human Rights Consortium (HRC) and a Reader in Human Rights at the School of Advanced Study. He has spent his entire professional career working in the field of human rights, both as a scholar and human rights advocate. He has researched and published extensively in the areas of indigenous peoples’ rights, genocide studies, reconciliation projects and environmental human rights. He is currently researching the human rights impacts of extreme energy processes (e.g Tar Sands and Fracking - see our designated HRC website http://extremeenergy.org) . Dr Short is a regular academic contributor to the United Nation’s ‘Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ and an academic consultant for the ‘Ethical Trade Task Force’ of the Soil Association. He is also Assistant Editor of the International Journal of Human Rights (Taylor and Francis) and Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Human Rights in the Commonwealth (University of London) and convenor of the British Sociological Association’s Sociology of Rights Study Group and an active member of the International Network of Genocide Scholars. Dr Short has also worked with a variety of NGOs including Amnesty International, War on Want, Survival International, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs; and with a range of campaign groups including Eradicating Ecocide, Biofuelwatch, Climate Justice Collective and the UK Tar Sands Network. He currently advises local anti-fracking groups in the UK and county councils on the human rights implications of unconventional (extreme) energy extraction processes such as fracking.
- Publication Details
Date Details 11-May-2015 Extreme Energy, Fracking and Human Rights: A New Field for Impact Assessments?
with J Elliot, K Norder, E Lloyd-Davies and J Morley, International Journal of Human Rights, 11th May, 2015. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13642987.2015.1019219
30-Jun-2014 Burying Genocide: Official Remembrance and Reconciliation in Australia
in Remembering Genocide - Remembering the Modern World, N. Eltringhan and P. Maclean (eds) Routledge, June, 2014.
23-Jun-2014 Marx, Lemkin and the Genocide-Ecocide Nexus
with Martin Crook, International Journal of Human Rights, Special Issue, 'Genocide and Climate
Change', Jurgen Zimmerer (ed) Vol. 18, No. 3, 298–319,
01-May-2014 Nakba Memoricide: Genocide Studies and the Zionist/Israeli Genocide of Palestine
with Haifa Rashed and John Docker, Holy Land Studies. Volume 13, Issue 1, Page 1-23, ISSN 1474-9475
22-Apr-2014 Ecocide and the polluter pays principle
with K. Hulme, Environmental Scientist
01-Jan-2013 Protecting the Planet: a Proposal for a Law of Ecocide
with Nigel South and Polly Higgins, Crime Law and Social Change,
01-Jan-2013 The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation
Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice Cambridge University Press
01-Jan-2012 Special Issue: The Sociology of Human Rights - Editorial Forward
, and Sociology October 46: 787-79
01-Jan-2012 Genocide and settler colonialism: can a Lemkin-inspired genocide perspective aid our understanding of the Palestinian situation?
with Haifa Rashed, International Journal of Human Rights, Vol 16, Issue 8
01-Jan-2012 ‘When sorry isn’t good enough: Official remembrance and reconciliation in Australia’
Memory Studies, Volume 5, Issue 3 - July 2012
01-Jan-2012 ‘A slow industrial genocide’: tar sands and the indigenous peoples of northern Alberta
with Jennifer Huseman, The International Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 16, No. 1, January 2012, 216–237
01-Jan-2011 ‘Rejoinder to Tim Rowse, “The Reforming State, the Concerned Public and Indigenous Political Actors
Australian Journal of Politics & History, Volume 57, Issue 2, pages 262–266, June
01-Jan-2011 State of the art in genocide studies
Patterns of Prejudice, Volume 45, Number 3, July 2011
01-Jan-2011 Sociology and Human Rights: New Engagements
The first collection to focus on the contribution sociological approaches can make to analysis of human rights. Taking forward the sociology of human rights which emerged from the 1990s, it presents innovative analyses of global human rights struggles by new and established authors. The collection includes a range of new work addressing issues such as genocide in relation to indigenous peoples, rights-based approaches in development work, trafficking of children, and children’s rights in relation to political struggles for the decriminalisation of same-sex sexual activity in India. It examines contexts ranging from Rwanda and South Korea to Northern Ireland and the city of Barcelona.
The collection as a whole will be of interest to students and academics working in various disciplines such as politics, law and social policy, and to practitioners working on human rights for various governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as to sociologists seeking to develop understanding of the sociology of human rights.
Edited by Patricia Hynes, Michele Lamb, Damien Short, Matthew Waites
Sociology and Human Rights: New Engagements
01-Jan-2010 Cultural genocide and indigenous peoples: a sociological approach
The International Journal of Human Rights Vol. 14, Nos. 6–7
01-Jan-2010 Australia: a continuing genocide?
Journal of Genocide Research 12 (1–2)
01-Jan-2009 Sociological and Anthropological Approaches’ Single authored
Human Rights Politics and Practice, Oxford University Press
01-Jan-2008 Reconciliation and Colonial Power: Indigenous Rights in Australia
01-Jan-2007 ‘The Social Construction of Indigenous ‘Native Title’ Land Rights in Australia'
Current Sociology, Volume 55, number 6 (Nov 2007)
01-Jan-2006 ‘Reconciliation as Education: the Council and the ‘People's Movement’
Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, Vol 8. No 1 2006.
01-Jan-2005 ‘Reconciliation and the Problem of Internal Colonialism’
Journal of Intercultural Studies, Special Edition on Reconciliation, Vol. 26 Number 3 August 2005.
01-Jan-2003 ‘Reconciliation, Assimilation and the Indigenous Peoples of Australia’
International Political Science Review, Volume 24, Number 4, October 2003.
01-Jan-2003 Australian ‘Aboriginal’ Reconciliation: The Latest Phase in the Colonial Project
Citizenship Studies, Volume 7, No.3, September 2003.
Burying Genocide: Official Remembrance and Reconciliation in Australia
‘Burying Genocide: Official Remembrance and Reconciliation in Australia’, in Remembering Genocide - Remembering the Modern World, N. Eltringhan and P. Maclean (eds) Routledge, June, 2014.
Publications available on SAS-space:
Date Details Jul-2012 Ecocide is the missing 5th Crime Against Peace
The term ecocide was used as early as 1970, when it was first recorded at the Conference on War and National Responsibility in Washington, where Professor Arthur W. Galston “proposed a new international agreement to ban ‘ecocide’”2. Ecocide as a term had no strict definition at that time: “although not legally defined, its essential meaning is well-understood; it denotes various measures of devastation and destruction which have in common that they aim at damaging or destroying the ecology of geographic areas to the detriment of human life, animal life, and plant life”. What was recognised was that the element of intent did not always apply. “Intent may not only be impossible to establish without admission but, I believe, it is essentially irrelevant.” Richard A. Falk, in his draft (1973) Ecocide Convention, explicitly states at the outset to recognise “that man has consciously and unconsciously inflicted irreparable damage to the environment in times of war and peace”. By the end of the 1970s the term itself seems to have been well understood. So how was it that an international crime whose name was familiar to many who were involved in the drafting of the initial Crimes Against Peace was completely removed without determination? Documents that have only now been examined and pieced together shed a whole new light on a corner of history that would otherwise be buried forever. What is so remarkable is that the collective memory has erased this crime in just 15 years, and yet documents tell a story of engagement by many governments who supported the criminalisation of ecocide in peacetime as well as in wartime. Extensive debate over 40 years, with committees of experts specifically tasked to undertake examination of ecocide and environmental crimes, documented in the paper trail left behind tells us that this was well-considered law; early drafts, which have been referred to in some of the papers that have been uncovered, provide definitive reference to ecocide as a crime which was to stand alongside genocide as a Crimes Against Peace – both during peacetime as well as wartime.
Extreme Energy As Genocidal Method: Tar Sands and the Indigenous Peoples of Northern Alberta
Date Details 2011 United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- Research Projects & Supervisions
Details Indigenous Peoples and Extreme Energy
This project investigates the effects on local indigenous communities of the new rush for 'extreme energy' - the Alberta 'Tar Sands' and 'Gas Shale Fracking'.
Current PhD topics supervised:
Dates Details From:
Reconciliation in Rwanda
Corporate Power and Human Rights
Past PhD topics supervised:
Dates Details From:
Oil and Ethnic Conflict in Nigeria
The Rights Framed Approaches of NGOs
Available for doctoral supervision: Yes
- Professional Affiliations
Name Activity Transitional Justice Network Numerous seminars held in London, Oxford and Essex throughout the year British Sociological Association, Sociology of Rights Study Group Group Convenor. Bids coordinator, researcher and author. International Network of Genocide Scholars Conference Organising Committee Executive.
Name Type Activity Start date End date Handbook on Indigenous Rights Routledge Publication Co-editing with Dr Corinne Lennox 01-Apr-2011 01-Oct-2012
- Relevant Events
Date Details 01-Jan-2011 Conference Speaker and 'Rights' Stream Coordinator
Co-convened the 'Rights' stream at the 60th Anniversary conference of Sociology at LSE and presented a paper
01-Jan-2011 BSA Rights Study Group workshop paper 'Some reflections on Turner'
Co-convenor (and speaker) of one day event in collaboration with collegues at Liverpool John Moores University
01-Jan-2011 Tar Sands and Indigenous Peoples
Sussex University Paper presentation
01-Jan-2010 ICS Workshop: Conflict in Sri Lanka Workshop
Paper presentation: 'What is Genocide?'
01-Jan-2010 Genocide and Indigenous Peoples
Workshop, Bath University, October 2010
01-Jan-2010 Keynote Address - What is Genocide?
Utrecht University, December 2010
01-Jan-2009 Keynote speaker at conference
Paper 'Genocide in Reconciliation Studies' Conference at Utrecht University
01-Jan-2009 Radio Interview
BBC World Service: Interview requested in one of my research areas: Indigenous rights in Australia. The UN special rapporteur had recently visited Australia.
01-Jan-2009 Review journal submission
SUR: International Journal of Human Rights
Other editing/publishing activities:
Date Details 2012 International Journal of Human Rights: Special Issue - Indigenous Peoples' Rights
Editing a speicial issue on indigenous peoples rights which grew out of an ICS workshop in October 2010.
2012 Sociology: Special Issue - Sociology and Human Rights
Co-editing a special issue of the leading international journal 'Sociology' on the topic of human rights. The issue has recieved a record number of submissions.
2012 Memory Studies, special issue - Reconciliation and Memory
Co-editing a special issue of the leading journal in the field of memory studies on the topic of reconciliation.
2011 Assistant Editor
Appointed Assistant Editor of The International Journal of Human Rights
2011 International Journal of Transitional Justice
Frequent article reviewer
2011 American Journal of Sociology
Frequent reviewer of academic paper submissions and books
2011 International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies
Frequent reviewer of academic submissions
- Consultancy & Media
- Available for consultancy:
- Media experience: