The Law of the Bomb
General Catalog Course Title:
Advanced Topics in Contemporary Law and Legal Discourse
Terms Offered:
Fall 2016
Fall 2011
Course Thread: 
Law & Humanities
Instructor: 
Esmeir, Samera

This course is devoted to the study of the history of the branch of international law known as the law of war. This branch is principally concerned with the law governing the conduct of belligerents in war, as opposed to the law governing the legality of wars themselves. Our course focuses in particular on the law governing the practice of bombing as it transformed during the twentieth century. One objective is to integrate the historical transformation of the “law of the bomb” with historical study of the changing practice of bombing itself. Another objective is to trace the distinctions that the law of war draws between different means and targets of bombing while investigating how these distinctions have become constitutive of politics/bombing. And finally, by examining the changing “law of the bomb” we are able to concretely investigate the changing practices of revolution, war, insurgency, and the juridico-political sensibilities towards them.

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.