Dr Damien Short

Contact details

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

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
17-Mar-2017 Geoforum: 'Fracking Lancashire: The planning process, social harm and collective trauma'

Journal articles

 Damien Short and Anna Szolucha, 17th March 2017

05-Dec-2016 Greening Criminology in the 21st Century: Contemporary Debates and Future ...

Edited Book

 edited by Matthew Hall, Angus Nurse, Tanya Wyatt, Nigel South, Jennifer Maher, Gary Potter

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,

02-Jun-2014 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.

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 The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation


Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice Cambridge University Press

01-Jan-2013 Protecting the Planet: a Proposal for a Law of Ecocide

Journal articles

with Nigel South and Polly Higgins, Crime Law and Social Change,

01-Jan-2012 Special Issue: The Sociology of Human Rights - Editorial Forward

Journal articles

with Patricia HynesMichele Lamb and Matthew Waites 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?

Journal articles

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’

Journal articles

Memory Studies, Volume 5, Issue 3 - July 2012


01-Jan-2012 ‘A slow industrial genocide’: tar sands and the indigenous peoples of northern Alberta

Journal articles

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

Journal articles


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

Edited Book


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


Ashgate 2008


01-Jan-2007 ‘The Social Construction of Indigenous ‘Native Title’ Land Rights in Australia'

Journal articles

Current Sociology, Volume 55, number 6 (Nov 2007)


01-Jan-2006 ‘Reconciliation as Education: the Council and the ‘People's Movement’

Journal articles

Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, Vol 8. No 1 2006.


01-Jan-2005 ‘Reconciliation and the Problem of Internal Colonialism’

Journal articles

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’

Journal articles

International Political Science Review, Volume 24, Number 4, October 2003.


01-Jan-2003 Australian ‘Aboriginal’ Reconciliation: The Latest Phase in the Colonial Project

Journal articles

Citizenship Studies, Volume 7, No.3, September 2003.


Additional Publications

Publications available in Senate House Libraries

Government/policy work:

Date Details
2011 United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Academic contributor

Research Projects & Supervisions

Research projects:

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'.

The social construction of unconventional gas extraction: Towards a greater understanding of Socio-economic impact of unconventional gas development

 Led by Northumbria University

Current PhD topics supervised:

Dates Details
Until: 01-Apr-2012
Reconciliation in Rwanda

Jenifer Melvin

Corporate Power and Human Rights

Nick Connolly

Past PhD topics supervised:

Dates Details
Oil and Ethnic Conflict in Nigeria

Nelson Takon

The Rights Framed Approaches of NGOs

Hannah Miller

Available for doctoral supervision: Yes

Professional Affiliations

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

Related 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:
Back to top