Dr Claire Moon

Claire Moon is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology, and Senior Research Associate in the Centre for the Study of Human Rights. She holds degrees in Literature, International Relations and Politics. She is something of an accidental academic, having spent many years prior to academic life working in bookshops and libraries. She joined LSE Sociology in 2004.

Claire is a leading critical scholar in, and of, the field of transitional justice, and has made important contributions to the sociology of human rights. Her work traverses a number of areas of sociological investigation, including socio-legal studies, human rights, the sociology of knowledge, criminology, politics and more recently, science and technology studies. She has worked on topics such as political transitions, post-conflict reconciliation, truth commissions, reparations, war trauma, genocide, human rights reporting and activism, and science and human rights with a focus on forensic investigations of atrocity. She is currently working on a book project on what she calls ‘forensic humanitarianism’.

Claire teaches on a number of research-led courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She has supervised PhD work on a range of topics including the refusnik movement in Israel, transitional justice in Columbia, state crimes in Mexico, and memory and trauma in Cambodia. She is currently supervising PhD projects on disappearances in Argentina and Chile, and torture. Claire has been awarded two LSE Teaching Prizes and was nominated for a further one in 2014.

Claire sat on the Advisory Board of the LSE Centre for the Study of Human Rights for ten years from 2004 and 2014 and has served on the Editorial Board of the British Journal of Sociology. She is convener of the ‘Atrocity, Suffering and Human Rights’ research group at LSE, and is advisor to a new citizen-led forensics initiative for ‘the disappeared’ in Mexico.

You can hear Claire speaking on Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed|, dedicated to the late Stan Cohen, eminent criminologist and founding member of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE.

Selected Publications


Narrating Political ReconcilitationMoon, Claire (2008 hbk/2009 pbk) Narrating Political Reconciliation: South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Maryland: Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield) 




BJS Shaping Sociology over 60 yearsSpecial Editions

Heidensohn, Frances, Claire Moon, Gillian Stevenson, Fran Tonkiss and Richard Wright (eds.) (2010) Special 60th Anniversary Issue of British Journal of Sociology, ‘The BJS: shaping sociology over 60 years’, 61:s1.


Articles and chapters

Moon, Claire (forthcoming 2015) ‘Violent symptoms, and necessitarian thought in post-atrocity knowledge’, Canadian Journal of Law and Society.

Moon, Claire (forthcoming 2015) ‘Forensic humanitarianism: genealogy of a practice’ in Christopher M. Stojanowski and William N. Duncan (eds) Case Studies in Forensic Biohistory: Anthropological Perspectives (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

Moon, Claire (2013) ‘Interpreters of the dead: Forensic knowledge, human remains and the politics of the past’, Social and Legal Studies, 22/2: 149-169.

Moon, Claire (2013) ‘Looking without seeing, listening without hearing: Cohen, denial and human rights’, Crime, Media and Culture, 9/2: 193-196.

Moon, Claire (2013) ‘Money as the measure of man: Values and value in reconciliation’ in Malcolm Cowburn, Paul Senior, Anne Robinson, Marian Duggan (eds.), Values in Criminology and Community Justice (Bristol: Policy Press): 255-272.

Moon, Claire (2012) ‘“What one sees and how one files seeing”: reporting atrocity and suffering’, Sociology, 46/5: 876-890.

Moon, Claire (2012) ‘“Who’ll pay reparations on my soul?” Compensation, social control and social suffering’, Social and Legal Studies, 21/2: 187-199.

Moon, Claire (2011), ‘The crime of crimes and the crime of criminology: genocide, criminology and Darfur, British Journal of Sociology, 62/1: 49-55.

Moon, Claire (2010) ‘The British Journal of Sociology in the 1990s: discontent and disarray?’, in Frances Heidensohn, Claire Moon, Gillian Stevenson, Fran Tonkiss and Richard Wright (eds.), British Journal of Sociology, Special 60th Anniversary Issue, 61/s1: 261-269.

Moon, Claire (2010) ‘Narrar la reconciliación política: verdad y reconciliación en Sudáfrica, in Cecilia Macón and Laura Cucchi (eds.) Mapas De La Transición: La política después del terror en Alemania, Chile, España, Guatemala, Sudáfrica y Uruguay (Buenos Aires: Ladosur): 61-85.

Moon, Claire (2009) ‘Healing past violence: traumatic assumptions and therapeutic interventions in war and reconciliation’, Journal of Human Rights, 8/1: 71-91.

Moon, Claire (2009) ‘Transitional amnesty, justice and reconciliation’, Social and Legal Studies, 18/4: 561-564.

Moon, Claire (2008) ‘Amnesty’ in Peter Cane and Joanne Conaghan (eds), New Oxford Companion to Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press): 30.

Moon, Claire (2007) ‘States of acknowledgement: the politics of memory, apology and therapy’ in David Downes, Paul Rock, Christine Chinkin and Conor Gearty (eds.), Crime, Social Control and Human Rights: from moral panics to states of denial. Essays in honour of Stan Cohen (Cullompton, Devon: Willan Publishing): 314-329.

Moon, Claire (2006) ‘Narrating political reconciliation: truth and reconciliation in South Africa, Social and Legal Studies, 15/2: 257-275.

Moon, Claire (2006) ‘Reconciliation as therapy and compensation: a critical analysis’, in Scott Veitch and Emilios Christodoulidis (eds.) Law, Time and Reconciliation (London: Ashgate): 163-184.

Moon, Claire (2004) ‘Prelapsarian state: forgiveness and reconciliation in transitional justice’, International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, 17/2: pp 185-197.

Moon, Claire (2002) ‘From separation to interpenetration: a bi-national state in Palestine/Israel? A response to Eyal Weizman’, openDemocracy, July 9.


Claire Moon