International Humanitarian Law / Philosophy of Law / Terrorism and Counterterrorism / International Human Rights Law and Policy / Interrogation and Torture / Armed Drones / Disinformation Operations
Steven J. Barela is an Associate Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Geneva. In addition to his Ph.D. in Law, he holds three master’s degrees: M.A. degrees in Latin American Studies and International Studies, along with an LL.M. from the Geneva Academy.
He has specialized in interdisciplinary scholarship that aims to tackle complex global problems—i.e., researching and integrating law, science and philosophy to formulate practical policy proposals. On top of teaching at the University of Geneva, he has taught at the Korbel School of Denver University, and lectured for l’Université Laval (Québec), Science Po Bordeaux and UCLA.
Thanks to the generous funding of the Swiss National Science Foundation, today he is Editor and Advocate for the Méndez Principles, a science-grounded and human rights-based approach to effective interviewing. As emerging scientific research reveals non-coercive methods to be the most effective interrogation techniques, efforts have been made to integrate this empirical research into international law and global policing initiatives. The international experts who have led the process aim for the new document to become a highly authoritative non-binding soft law instrument.
Furthermore, he has been studying, writing and publishing on the escalating menace of cross-border cyber operations. While these hybrid threats aim to skirt the constraints of international law by operating in a grey zone where the applicable law is less developed, Barela has proposed interpretations of existing law that protect citizens and democracies.
He has published a monograph on counterterrorism with Routledge in 2014, an edited volume on armed drones with Ashgate in 2015 and was the lead editor an edited book on interrogation and torture for Oxford University Press in 2020 which hailed 36 authors from 14 different countries. For an overview and excerpts of these books, you can visit his website: Legitimacy as a Target.
Steven J. Barela
Steven J. Barela, Mark Fallon, Gloria Gaggioli and Jens David Ohlin
Oxford University Press
Steven J. Barela