Dr Olivia Nantermoz

Dr Olivia Nantermoz

PhD graduate

Department of International Relations

Connect with me

English, French
Key Expertise
International Criminal Law, Humanitarianism, Global Justice

About me

Olivia is a PhD graduate and Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); and an Associate Study Adviser for LSE LIFE. She served as an editor of Millennium: Journal of International Studies (vol. 50).

Olivia uses interdisciplinary approaches to explore the discourses, politics and practices of helping the suffering / vulnerable ‘other’ in international society. Her research has been published and is forthcoming in Global Studies Quarterly, Review of International Studies, Journal of European Public Policy and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Olivia's doctoral research focuses on international responses to mass atrocities and interrogates the combination of penal and humanitarian sensibilities at the heart of international justice-making. 

In parallel to her PhD, Olivia is currently contributing to a project on the European Management of Migration and Refugees - Consequences for mobility and political stability in transit countries (MARE). The project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and is jointly conducted by the Fafo Research Foundation, NUPI (both Oslo), the Institut Français du Proche Orient (Amman) and LSE. 

Olivia holds a double master’s degree in International Affairs from Sciences Po Paris and LSE; and a double bachelor’s degree in social sciences and philosophy from Sciences Po Paris and Paris IV (La Sorbonne). Prior to starting her doctoral studies, Olivia spent a year in Taiwan teaching French to high school and university students.

Research topic

Imagining International Justice: A Genealogy of Penal Humanitarianism

Since the 1990s, international investigations and prosecutions have become commonplace in the midst and aftermath of episodes of mass violence, arguably becoming moral, if not political and legal, imperatives. The proliferation of international criminal justice bodies - from international and hybrid criminal courts and tribunals to international commissions of inquiry, and (more recently) international investigative mechanisms – has played a crucial role in ‘mainstreaming’ accountability in world politics. These institutions have contributed to redefining the meaning of justice through the prosecution and punishment of a selected number of individuals bearing ‘most responsibility’ for mass violence, cementing a conception where retributive and corrective action is undertaken in the name of the victim.

My PhD project interrogates this combination of penal and humanitarian sensibilities at the heart of international criminal justice: how calls to deploy international criminal law are motivated by and justified through the desire to alleviate the suffering of distant victims. Drawing from narrative approaches, I examine the discourses and narratives through which international criminal justice is understood, legitimated and acted upon. I combine this narrative approach with a genealogical ethos, inquiring into the historical conditions of possibility for the emergence of key international criminal justice narratives and tracing their transformation and consolidation over time.

Teaching experience

  • 2016-2017: Assistant Professor – French Department, Wenzao University (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
  • 2019-2021: Graduate Teaching Assistant - IR200 International Political Theory (LSE)
  • 2019-present: Associate Study Adviser, LSE LIFE
  • Summers 2019, 2020 and 2021: MSc Dissertation surgeries, LSE Department of International Relations

Academic supervisors

Dr Peter Wilson

Dr Theresa Squatrito

Research Cluster affliation

International Institutions, Law and Ethics Research Cluster


Read or download Olivia Nantermoz' CV


Expertise Details

International Criminal Law; Humanitarianism; Global Justice; Human Rights; Refugee Studies; International Theory; English School; International Political Sociology; Constructivism.

My research