Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp: foreign relations law from the ground up

Hosted by the LSE Library

Library Education Room (lower ground floor), LSE Library, United Kingdom


Professor Karen Knop

British Academy Visiting Fellow, LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security


Professor Christine Chinkin

Emeritus Professor International Law

During the Cold War, the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp (1981-2000) bore witness against the housing of US Cruise Missiles at the RAF base on Greenham Common.

The Greenham Women’s 19 years of protest against nuclear weapons on British soil not only pitted them against the Crown’s prerogative power over foreign relations, but ultimately involved them in domestic law cases ranging from criminal, administrative and tort law to land law and voting law, and took them to US courts and beyond. The Women’s Peace Camp thus generated a legal ecosystem around the RAF base, which as a base and one used by the US Air Force was already legally distinct from its surroundings. What can we learn from the Greenham Women's situated struggle and the legal ecosystem it generated about the nature of foreign relations law, where it ‘takes place’ and what a feminist vision might look like.

The LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security is an academic space for scholars, practitioners, activists, policy-makers and students to develop strategies to promote justice, human rights and participation of women in conflict-affected situations around the world. Find out more.

The British Library of Political and Economic Science (@LSELibrary) was founded in 1896, a year after the London School of Economics and Political Science. It has been based in the Lionel Robbins Building since 1978 and houses many world class collections, including The Women's Library. There is also a significant amount of material related to Greenham Common as well as other archives related to peace and internationalism, which are open to all.

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