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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)



I am Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), Fellow of Christ’s College, and Fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. I have been British Academy Newton Fellow, and Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University’s Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance and at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Affairs. In 2023-24 (Lent term) I will be an Early Career Research Fellow at Cambridge University’s CRASSH centre.
My research has appeared, among others, in International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, the European Journal of International Relations, the European Journal of International Law, the Journal of the History of International Law, and Global Governance. My first book “Lawmaking under Pressure: International Humanitarian Law and Internal Armed Conflict” (Cornell UP, 2020) received the 2021 Francis Lieber award as the best book in the law of armed conflict from American Society of International Law, and a Best Book Honorable Mention (2021) from the American Political Science Association’s “International Collaboration” section.


Theoretically, I am interested in the operation of multilateralism, particularly practices of social pressure and pressure management in diplomacy, global governance, and international legal processes. Empirically, my research has investigated the politics of international lawmaking through multinational archival research, with emphasis (so far) on the international law of armed conflict, human rights law, and weapons regulation.


Key publications: 


Mantilla, Giovanni. Lawmaking under Pressure: International Humanitarian Law and Internal Armed Conflict. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press (2020).

Winner of the Lieber Prize (2021) as the best book on the law of armed conflict (American Society of International Law).

Honorable Mention (runner-up), Best Book in International Collaboration (International Collaboration Section, American Political Science Association).


Mantilla, Giovanni. "From treaty to custom: Shifting Paths in the Recent Development of International Humanitarian Law." Leiden Journal of International Law. First View (2024).
Mantilla, Giovanni. “Deflective Cooperation: Social Pressure and Forum Management in Cold War Conventional Arms Control.” International Organization 77, no. 3 (2023): 564-98.
Mantilla, Giovanni and Carsten-Andreas Schulz. “The Turn to the History of International Law in the Discipline of International Relations.”  in Cambridge History of International Law, Vol. I, Anne Peters and Randall Lesaffer, eds. Cambridge University Press (Forthcoming 2023).
Mantilla, Giovanni. “The Politics of Armed Non-State Groups’ and the Codification of International Humanitarian Law.” in Armed Groups and International Law: In the Shadowland of Legality and Illegality, Katharine Fortin and Ezequiel Heffes, eds. Edward Elgar Publishing (2023): 43-63.
Kinsella, Helen M., and Giovanni Mantilla. “Contestation before Compliance: History, Politics, and Power in International Humanitarian Law.” International Studies Quarterly 64, no. 3 (2020): 649–56.
Mantilla, Giovanni. “Social Pressure and the Making of Wartime Civilian Protection Rules.” European Journal of International Relations 26, no. 2 (2020): 443– 468.
Mantilla, Giovanni. “The Protagonism of the USSR and Socialist States in the Revision of International Humanitarian Law (IHL).” Journal of the History of International Law 21, no. 2 (2019): 181–211.
Mantilla, Giovanni. “Forum Isolation: Social Opprobrium and the Origins of the International Law of Internal Conflict.” International Organization 72, no. 2 (2018): 317–49.
Mantilla, Giovanni. “Conforming Instrumentalists: Why the USA and the United Kingdom Joined the 1949 Geneva Conventions.” European Journal of International Law 28, no. 2 (2017): 483–511.
Mantilla, Giovanni, “The Origins and Development of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocols,” in Do the Geneva Conventions Matter?, Matthew Evangelista and Nina Tannenwald, eds. Oxford University Press (2017). Pp. 35-68.
Mantilla, Giovanni. “Emerging International Human Rights Norms for Transnational Corporations.” Global Governance 15, no. 2 (2009): 279-298.
Mantilla, Giovanni. “Constructing codes and broadening agendas: the case of Asocolflores, the Colombian Flower Exporters Association” in Embedding Human Rights in Business Practices II, New York: United Nations Global Compact and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2008). Pp. 71-80.
Mantilla, Giovanni. Gubernamentalidad y Seguridad Democrática: Una aproximación a las prácticas de seguridad democrática en Colombia desde la filosofía política de Michel Foucault (Governmentality and Democratic Security: a Foucauldian approach to security practices in Colombia.) Documento Ceso 107. Bogotá: CESO-Universidad de los Andes Press (2006).
Mantilla, Giovanni and Alexandra Guáqueta. “Cómo manejar riesgos de seguridad y construir paz al mismo tiempo?” (How to manage security risks and build peace at the same time) in Revista EAN, 55, no. 4 (2005): 39-49.
Mantilla, Giovanni. “Gobernar y Asegurar: una lectura crítica de la Seguridad Democrática en Colombia desde la filosofía política de Michel Foucault” (Governing and Surveilling: A Foucaldian Critique of the Policy of Democratic Security in Colombia) in Colombia Internacional 60, no. 2 (2004): 156-175.

Teaching and Supervisions


I teach courses in international organization/global governance and the history and IR theories of international law.
In 2023-2025 I will serve as Director of Undergraduate Education for POLIS (except during my leave in Lent Term 2023-24.)

Research supervision: 

I am interested in supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students in the areas of historical global governance (international law, norms, institutions, and organizations), multilateralism, the law of armed conflict (or international humanitarian law,) human rights law, and diplomacy.

For postgraduate research, I am especially interested in supervising work that investigates the "backstage" and the "frontstage" of multilateralism, international law, diplomacy, and politics.

University Teaching Officer
Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Education (MT and ET 2023-24; 2024-25)
Fellow, Christ's College and Lauterpacht Centre for International Law

Contact Details

Email address: