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Dr Alexander Gilder

Alexander Gilder

Director, Global Law Programmes (PGT)

Deputy Director, Global Law at Reading (GLAR)

Deputy Exams Officer

Module convenor for Contemporary Issues in International Law (LWMCIL), Introduction to International Law (LWMIIA), Foundations of International Law (LW2FIL), and Co-convenor for International Law and Global Security (LW3IGS)

Areas of interest

Dr Gilder works on areas related to international peace and security, such as UN peace operations, peacebuilding, and human security. One of the few international lawyers working in the peacekeeping space, his research is necessarily interdisciplinary, drawing on perspectives from law, peace and conflict studies, and international relations.

Alex investigates various aspects of UN peacekeeping including stabilization, counter-terrorism, the rule of law, the protection of civilians, and security sector reform. For example, his work has examined the rule of law activities of the UN in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), the legal implications of robust mandates and engagement with counter-terrorism by UN peacekeepers in Mali (MINUSMA), local engagement by the UN in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), the role of UN peace operations in global health crises, and the future of protection of civilian mandates and their relationship with security sector reform.

His monograph, Stabilization and Human Security in UN Peace Operations (Routledge 2022), includes case studies on Mali (MINUSMA), the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), and South Sudan (UNMISS) that examine whether the concept of human security can be seen in the UN's current stabilization activities.

Alex is currently working on his second book, The Law and Practice of Peace Operations, under contract with Edward Elgar Publishing and is co-editing a volume on Multidisciplinary Futures of UN Peace Operations (Palgrave Macmillan 2023). His other research projects investigate the militarisation of UN peace operations and the activities of UN Police (UNPOL) contingents.

His research has also applied the multidisciplinary concept of human security to examine the role of the individual in international law and has published on other areas of international law including the law of occupation, international human rights law, and the law on the use of force.



Postgraduate supervision

Alex welcomes PhD applications that fall within his above areas of interest.


Alex teaches on the following modules:

  • Contemporary Issues in International Law (PG) (Module convenor)
  • International Law and Global Security (UG) (Module co-convenor)
  • Foundations of International Law (UG) (Module convenor)
  • Introduction to International Law (PG) (Module convenor)
  • The Use of Military Force (PG)
  • Public Law 1 (UG)
  • Criminal Law (UG)

He is particularly interested in clinical legal education and has been involved in the development and supervision of international law and human rights-based clinical projects. In one such project, a collaboration with the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (Somaliland), students produced a publicly accessible website on human rights and peacebuilding which is available at The project won the British International Studies Association (BISA) Distinguished Excellence in Teaching International Studies Award 2022, the Royal Holloway Team Teaching Prize 2022 and a Commendation in Royal Holloway’s 2021 Team Teaching Prize. You can read more about the project in the European Journal of Legal Education.


Alex is Lecturer in International Law and Security, Director of the Global Law Programmes (PGT), and Deputy Director of Global Law at Reading. Before joining Reading, he taught at Royal Holloway, University of London, the University of Essex, and City, University of London.

He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of International Peacekeeping and has been involved with editing several other journals including as Editor (Developments in State Practice) for the Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, the Editorial Assistant for the Journal on the Use of Force and International Law,and an Executive Editor for the Utrecht Journal of International and European Law. He is Co-convenor of the International Law Section at the Society of Legal Scholars (2020-2023) and serves as an External Examiner at both the University of Lincoln and Glasgow Caledonian University.

Alex’s expertise has been utilised internationally as a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Hargeisa, where he delivered a postgraduate module on Peace, Conflict & Human Rights, has been a Guest Instructor on the University of Notre Dame’s London Law Programme and Guest Lecturer on the University of Virginia Summer Programme at University College, University of Oxford.

Academic qualifications

PhD (City, University of London), LLM (Utrecht University), PgCAP (City, University of London) LLB (Hons) (University of Lincoln).

Recent speaking engagements and conference participation

  • Towards Hybridity in the Protection of Civilians (Economic And Social Research Council & Irish Research Council Joint Funded Networking Project, Dublin City University, 22-24 August 2022) (invited participant).
  • ‘Accountability and Impunity in Global Crises: The Responsibility of the United Nations During Stabilization Operations’, ISA-IDSS Conference on Global Crises: Responses and Recoveries, 17-19 June 2022 (speaker).
  • ‘Stabilization and Human Security in UN Peace Operations’, Humans of Security Podcast, Trilateral Research, April 2022 (invited guest).
  • ‘Stabilization and Human Security in UN Peace Operations’, Human Security and Peacebuilding Programme, Royal Roads University, 3 November 2021 (invited guest lecture). Available to watch here.
  • ‘Where now for UN peace operations? A reflection’, General and Complete Disarmament: Contemporary Perspectives on World Peace Through World Law, City, University of London, 15 September 2021 (invited guest).
  • ‘UN peace operations and (re)building the rule of law’, BISA 2021 Annual Conference, 21-23 June 2021.
  • ‘Responding to Diverse Security Threats Amid Fragmentation of the International Legal Order’, 10th Annual Conference of the Cambridge International Law Journal, 18-20 March 2021.


Recent events organised

  • ‘Reform and International Law’, 31st Annual BIICL/SLS Workshop, 5 December 2022 (co-organiser with Dr Arman Sarvarian and Dr Jean-Pierre Gauci)
  • UN Involvement in Afghanistan: Where Next for the International Community, Global Law at Reading and the Afghan and Central Asian Association, 16 May 2022 (organiser)
  • ‘Responding to Complex Relationships in International Law’, SLS International Law Section PhD Workshop, 13 May 2022 (co-organiser with Dr Arman Sarvarian).
  • International Law Association British Branch Spring Conference 2022, University of Surrey, 29-30 April 2022 (organising committee).
  • ‘The Duty of States to Cooperate in International Law’, 30th Annual SLS/BIICL Workshop, 29 November 2021 (co-organiser with Dr Arman Sarvarian, Dr Jean-Pierre Gauci, Kristin Hausler and Dr Berenika Drazewska).
  • Discussion Group: Legal Pluralism, Voluntary Compliance, and Universal International Law, SLS International Law Section, 28 May 2021 (co-organiser with Dr Arman Sarvarian).
  • The meaning of ‘stabilization’ in peace operations, Webinar for the BISA Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Working Group, 7 May 2021 (organiser and chair).
  • SLS PhD Workshop on International Law, SLS International Law Section, 30 April 2021 (co-organiser with Dr Arman Sarvarian).
  • Discussion Group: Nuclear Weapons and International Law, SLS International Law Section, 13 January 2021 (co-organiser with Dr Arman Sarvarian).
  • Militarisation and the Local in Peacekeeping: Ambition, Pragmatism, and Adaptability, BISA Working Group on Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding, City, University of London, 20 September 2019 (co-organiser with Sabrina White).