Dr Valeria Vázquez Guevara is a Salvadoran-Spanish scholar of international law and institutions. Valeria’s research engages with ‘law and humanities’ scholarship in addressing questions of international law, its institutions, and geopolitical implications, especially between North-South and South-South states and actors. The research builds on Valeria’s personal and professional experiences in international development and peacebuilding projects in El Salvador, Spain, the Basque Country, and South Africa.
As a Global Fellow, Valeria’s post-doctoral research, provisionally titled “North-South Encounters: International Law and the Geopolitics of Contestation”, examines how global South states and actors have pushed for different ways of understanding, and imagining, international law. Here Valeria is particularly interested in how the global South develops creative (and unexpected) diplomatic practices to engage with, and pushback against, international law and institutions.
Prior to joining HKU, Valeria undertook doctoral studies at Melbourne Law School, under the supervision of Professors Sundhya Pahuja and Shaun McVeigh. Valeria’s doctoral thesis examined the relationship between Truth Commissions and international law. The thesis focused on the ways in which this relationship produces an official account of past violence and promises of future community, which fundamentally conditions how communities live together in the aftermath of violent conflict. Methodologically, the thesis analyzed the representation and contestation of authority deployed by three cultural objects associated with three Truth Commissions: a literary prologue (Argentina 1983-1984), a museum of memory (Chile, 1990-1991), and a tapestry (El Salvador, 1992-1993). This research has been published in Leiden Journal of International Law, London Review of International Law, the Routledge Handbook of International Law and the Humanities, and will form the basis of a monograph titled Truth Commissions: The Authority of International Law and the State after Conflict.
Valeria is also collaborating on two research projects. One is with Dr Claerwen O’Hara (La Trobe Law School) examining the legal-political initiatives of the multilateral organization, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (‘ALBA’ for its acronym in Spanish). This collaboration also includes a workshop on ‘International Law in the early 2000s’. The other project is with Dr Eliana Cusato (University of Amsterdam’s Centre for International Law). The first part of the collaboration involved a seminar series in 2021, examining the relationship between international law, transitional justice and power. The online series brought together nine speakers from universities in Australia, India, South Africa, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. This collaboration will continue in 2023-2024 with a series of lectures and research workshop on international law and the political economy of reparations.
Valeria serves as managing editor of the Australian Feminist Law Journal, as co-chair of the History and Theory of International Law Interest Group of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law (ANZSIL), and as a member of the executive committee of the Law, Literature and Humanities Association of Australasia.
Valeria holds a PhD from Melbourne Law School (Australia), an MA in Peace Studies from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame (US), an MA in Sociology of Law from the International Institute for the Sociology of Law (Basque Country/Spain), and an LLB from the University of Granada (Spain).
- Public International Law
- International Law and Politics
- Transitional Justice and Post-Conflict Institutions
- International Law and Development
- Law and Humanities
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