Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Claire Vergerio

Assistant Professor

Dr. C. Vergerio
+31 71 527 5184

Claire Vergerio is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Institute of Political Science.

More information about Claire Vergerio

Claire Vergerio is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Institute of Political Science.

As a scholar of International Relations, she works at the intersection of political thought, history, and international law. She is particularly interested in the regulation of warfare and its relationship to different visions of international order; her current research revolves around the issue of when and why the right to wage war became the exclusive legal prerogative of sovereign states. Through her work on the history of the laws of war, Claire also examines the historical construction of various popular but misleading narratives that are widespread in the disciplines of International Law and International Relations.

Claire spent the academic year 2019-2020 as a Global Fung Fellow at Princeton University where she was finalizing her first book manuscript, entitled War, Sovereigns, and International Order: Alberico Gentili and the Foundational Myth of the Laws of War, currently under contract with Cambridge UP (Cambridge Studies in International Relations). Having returned to Leiden, she has now begun working on her second major project, funded by an NWO VENI grant (€250k) and entitled Beyond the Myth of Westphalia: States, International Law, and the Monopolization of the Right to Wage War.

Before delving into historical materials, Claire had a longstanding interest in transitional justice and international criminal law. She was the Chief Editor of Oxford Transitional Justice Research, she worked on the Hissène Habré case during her time at Human Rights Watch in 2010-2011, and she was a legal officer on a defense team before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 2013-2014. This practical involvement in international justice cases pertaining to post-conflict situations constituted one of the key starting points of her historical investigations.

As a teacher, Claire tries to get students to see what she finds so valuable in turning to the past in order to better understand contemporary international relations. Through insights drawn both from her practical experience and from her own academic research, she shows students how thinking historically helped her make more sense of current events–and how it can help them too. In 2019, she won Leiden’s Casimir Prize, awarded annually to the best lecturer in the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Prior to her time at Leiden, Claire studied at Brown University and at the University of Oxford, from which she received her MPhil (2013) and DPhil (2018). Her doctoral work won various awards, including Oxford University’s Winchester Thesis Prize, awarded annually to an outstanding thesis on international relations with particular reference to the area of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

She has published her research in International Theory, the Journal of the History of International Law, and Millennium: Journal of International Studies.

Curriculum vitae Claire Vergerio

PhD supervision

Claire Vergerio is available to supervise PhD students and invites PhD research proposals in the areas of:

  • international political thought
  • empire and international relations
  • history of international law

See for more information on PhD positions:

Institute of Political Science: PhD

Assistant Professor

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Instituut Politieke Wetenschap

Work address

Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague
Room number 6.02



No relevant ancillary activities

This website uses cookies.  More information.