Dr Giovanni Mantilla

University Lecturer
Human, Social and Political Sciences

Giovanni Mantilla is a Fellow at Christ’s and University Lecturer at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS).

Dr. Mantilla’s research combines an interest in international relations theory and the history of international law, with substantive emphasis on the law of armed conflict (or humanitarian law) and human rights law. His central projects so far ask why and how international rules have emerged to regulate practices, actors, or forms of political violence that states had historically refused to bring into the purview of binding international law, including internal armed conflict, civilian protection, or non-state actors such as corporations and rebel groups. He uses these often surprising cases of global law-making as avenues for interrogating how international order is made, revised, and maintained in an international society rife with diverse (and often conflicting) state and group identities, interests, resources, and aspirations. Like other recent work adopting an archives-based historical approach, Dr. Mantilla’s research finds that conventional narratives of Western (US or European-imperial) predominance, at least regarding the origins of key multilateral rules such as the law of armed conflict, do not correspond with a critical and detailed look at the historical record. In contrast, Dr. Mantilla’s highlights the importance of intergroup contests of legitimacy and legitimation through global standard-setting within a universalizing international society, especially after the Second World War.

Among others, Mantilla’s research has been published or is forthcoming in International Organization, the European Journal of International Law, Global Governance, and the Journal of the History of International Law. His first book, theorizing the origins and development of international humanitarian law for internal armed conflict, will be published by Cornell University Press.

Dr. Mantilla received his Ph.D. in Political Science in 2013 from the University of Minnesota, and has held Postdoctoral positions at Princeton University’s Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance, and at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies. He was also a British Academy Newton Fellow.