Dr Ahmed Memon
I am a critical international law scholar interested in the history and sociology of global knowledge production in the making of the international legal order. I use de-colonial and postcolonial thinking in engaging with issues arising in the practice of international law, and its theorization from a sociological perspective. My research explores how global governance structures reproduce crises of, inequality, violence, and armed conflict through various marginalized identities such as race, caste gender, class, and religion. I also engage in grounded practices on decolonizing the University, specifically with the aim of developing anti-racist and anti-sexist approaches and tools for teaching pedagogy, research, and writing about law within academic practice.
My expertise lies in international organization law and global governance in relation to countries of the global south. I am primarily interested in the making of international legal norms and the sociological processes that actualize said norms locally, regionally, and internationally at different scaler registers. I am inclined towards Third World Approaches to International Law, critical sociological approaches that focus on redescribing or redefining how we understand international law.
My focus is broadly decolonial and post-colonial in a theoretical framework where my intention is to bring knowledge and experiences of marginalized communities to the forefront. My scholarship thus also centres the role of race, religion, gender and caste in the making of international legal norms. In the same vein, I am interested also in the plural - anti-colonial- and alternate conceptions of otherwise euro-centric concepts within global governance and international law.
Research in progress
My manuscript (Networks and International Law: Governing the international legal order)- currently in progress - explores the role of networks in making international law and global governance as we now understand it. I show how knowledge production in international law operates through networks which are an integral part of how norms are actualized on a global scale. Focusing on three case studies, the League of Nations, The World Bank and the Joint Special Operation Forces of the United States, this book will address the gap in the literature on the sociology of international law by centring on the colonial legacies, and forms of law-making on the international scale.
My research record ranges from academic work in relation to histories of global governance to applying decolonial perspectives in research-led teaching. I have published and worked on collaborative projects and collectives leading and pushing for change in higher education in the UK through Decolonising the University.
'The Disorder of Things: Rethinking Social Critique in Postcolonial Pakistan', 46 Third World Approaches to International Law Reflections 2022, https://twailr.com/the-disorder-of-things-rethinking-social-critique-in-postcolonial-pakistan/
‘Trust, Courage, Silence: Carving out a Decolonial Space in higher education through student-staff partnerships’, 2020 Issue 54 Vol 4 The Law Teacher, Special Issue : Decolonising the Law School, pg 475-488 ( Co-authored with Dr. Suhraiya Jivraj)
‘From Podcast to Utopia: Hope and Doubt behind international legal knowledge production in academia’, British Institute of International and Comparative Law Special issue ‘Teaching of International Law’ (Co-authored with Dr. Eric Loefflad)
Race, religion and the male experience: Intersectional conversations with Muslim men’ in Jivraj, S & Thomas, D, Towards Decolonising the University, A Kaleidoscope for empowered action, Counter Press,pg.116-119
Decolonising research: journey to the research ethics forum’ in Jivraj, S & Thomas, D Towards Decolonising the University, A Kaleidoscope for empowered action, Counter Press, pg.150-164
Stripping the White Walls: The Podcast series’ in Jivraj,S & Thomas, D Towards Decolonising the University, A Kaleidoscope for Empowered Action, Counter Press , pg. 94-10
Decolonise the curriculum Manifesto Project’, Wahida et al (2019)
Other research activities:
I am a co-host and co-producer of the Critical International Law podcast 'Fool's Utopia' based at Centre for Critical International Law where I am a research associate. You can follow the podcast on Spotify and Soundcloud.
I am also an editor and founding member of Decolonial Dialogue, a platform managed by researchers across UK universities to advance cross-disciplinary conversations on Decolonial Methodologies. I lead a series on Pakistan and Decoloniality on the platform which includes blog reflections, interviews with Pakistani Scholars and current work on Pakistan with a decolonial aspect and event organisation with collaborators from Pakistan.
Teaching Experience and interest:
I teach Public Law and Global Problems and Legal Theory at Cardiff Law School. I have experience teaching Critical Approaches to Law and Foundations to Property at Kent Law School. I have also taught International Law and International Human Rights Law at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels at Glasgow Law School.
Decolonisation in University:
I employ an anti-racist and anti-sexist ethic in my teaching. I have been part of collectives and projects that have pushed on decolonising HE and University through student-staff collaborations. I am currently leading workshops on Decolonisation in Cardiff and I would be more than happy to converse with students and other scholars/staff interested in collaborations or reflections on decolonising HE. I am also a member of the EDI committee at the Law and Politics Department at Cardiff University.
My office hours are Tuesday 3-4
Student Tutor hours are Thursday 3-5. For online meetings please select a slot on: https://calendly.com/memona/30min
Please email in advance before setting up a face-to-face meeting in the office on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays.
I completed my undergraduate studies in Pakistan following which I worked as a Lawyer with a focus on IP,Taxation and Commerical Law for two years. I completed my Masters in International Law at Kent Law School as a scholarship holder, following which I received the Vice Chancellors Scholarship to pursue my Doctoral Studies at Kent Law School.
Since then, I have worked as an associate Lecturer at Kent Law School for 5 years, followed by a short Lecturership at Glasgow Law School before joining Cardiff.
I am available to supervise scholars interested in
- Third World Approaches to International Law, Postcolonial and Decolonial Approaches
- Sociological approaches to International Law, anthropological approaches
- Plural, diverse and alternate approaches and conceptions of international legal norms.
Substantively, I can cover supervising in the following areas:
- International Legal history; Global governance histories
- International humanitarian law, use of force
- Norms of Nation-State, Sovereignty and territory, distinction between war and peace.
- Race/race-making and International Law, religion and international law , caste and gender in international law
- Law and Development
I am also happy to have a conversation if your proposal doesn't cover the substantive areas but engages with the methodological approaches mentioned.