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Prof Oscar Guardiola-Rivera

  • Overview



    Oscar Guardiola-Rivera is the author of two critically acclaimed books:

     What If Latin America Ruled the World? (Bloomsbury, 2010) was listed as a Book of the Year, Non-fiction by the Financial Times, won the Frantz Fanon Award for Outstanding Writing by the Caribbean Philosophical Association, 2010, was nominated for the Gladstone Prize 2011 and for the George Orwell Award for Political Writing, and was features by the BBC Today programme with Andrew Marr.

     Story of a Death Foretold (Bloomsbury, 2013) was shortlisted for the 2014 Bread & Roses Award, and listed as a Book of the Year, Non-Fiction by The Observer in 2013.

    More recently, he has published In Defence of Armed/Art Struggle (Bogota: UTadeo, 2019), “A Future for the Philosophy of Liberation” in Decolonising Ethics (Pennsylvania University Press, 2020), and the poetic novel Night of the World (The 87 Press, forthcoming 2021). He is a Fellow of the RSA. His “Peace & War” Reformation and the docu-video “Art & Fire: A Journey in Five Films”, with Hay Festivals, are available at 

    He has been the recipient of grants by the Leverhulme Trust and CAPES, among others, for research and teaching on peace-making, mediation and conflict-resolution, political philosophy and legal theory, art & human rights, human rights and international law, peoples' tribunals, advanced constitutional law and ethics, with an emphasis on decolonial and visual methodologies, political economy, and racial justice.   

    He curated the 2018 Global '68 exhibition & conference in Paris and London together with Françoise Vergés and Marcus Rediker, and the 2017 Global Art Forum with Shumon Basra and Antonia Carver. Since at least 2015 he has curated the yearly 'Focus on the Funk' gathering between some of the most important thinkers, artists and activists interested in issues of social and racial justice today. He has taught at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, and regularly collaborates with Monocle Radio, BBC and BBC World Service, The Guardian, The Independent and El Espectador among other public media. 


    Web profiles

    Administrative responsibilities

    • College Academic Board Member
    • PGT Director
    • Associate Dean of the School of Law (Teaching & Learning, 2015-2019)
    • Associate Dean of the School of Law (Research, 2013-2015)
    • Convenor, Core Course LLM Human Rights, Issues in International Law & Human Rights
    • Convenor, Core Course LLM Critical Methods of Research in Law & Society

    Visiting posts

    • Visiting Professor, UFERJ-PUC-Rio, 04-2023 to 05-2023
    • Visiting Professor, UFERJ/PUC-Rio de Janeiro, 03-2020 to 05-2020
    • Working Group Founding Member, Bard College, 12-2022 to 12-2022
    • Profesor Visitante, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, 08-2019 to 10-2019

    Honours and awards


  • Research


    Research interests

    • Human Rights, Political Philosophy & Critical Legal Theory
    • International Law & Politics of International Relations
    • Art & Human Rights
    • Political Economy, Philosophy, and History of Human Rights
    • Decolonial Methods & Philosophy of Liberation
    • Negotiation & Mediation
    • Ethics, Law & Racial Justice
    • Law & Literature
    • Law & Anthropology
    • Comparative Constitutionalism

    Research overview


    Member of the OSUN Working Group on Art & Human Rights Research, in partnership with Bard College, among others, and the LawArt journal  collective active in the Uk, Italy and Latin America. 

    Member of the Caribbean Philosophical Association, aiming to salvage and reinvent the traditions of Caribbean, African diasporic, and indigenous philosophy.

    Member of the Critical Legal Association in the UK and the Americas.

    Political Analyst with expertise in the Americas and Atlanticism, active in a variety of media outlets, think tanks and research networks.

    Collaborating with the Women of the World Foundation in the think-in designing platforms for women's rights.

    Pioneering decolonial  & anti-colonial approaches in philosophy, law, and art practice and education. Member of the original modernity/coloniality research network.

    Founder and curator of Focus on the Funk, a yearly meeting of artists, thinkers, and rights advocates & social leaders.

    Currently preparing funding applications for research on the intersection between practices of publicity, calls for transparency or trustworthiness of rights-based democratic institutions, and legacies of empire. Specifically, the creation of a "popular culture of international law  international affairs" in 20th century Americas & the Atlantic. 

    Research Centres and Institutes

    Research clusters and groups

    • Researcher, Law and Political Economy
    • Researcher, Law and Human Rights
    • Researcher, Law and the Humanities
  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    I welcome inquiries from researchers and prospective PhD students who are interested in developing collaborative or supervised work in relevant areas of interest. Chief among them:

    • Human Rights, Legal & Political Philosophy
    • Art & Human Rights
    • Politics & Political Economy of International Law, Human Rights and International Relations
    • Critical Approaches to the Study of Law and Society
    • The Americas

    Current doctoral researchers


    Doctoral alumni since 2013-14



    • Former Ass. Dean for Education, in charge of initial roll-out of the TEF exercise in the School of Law.
    • Current PGT Director, leading the design and creation of new LLM with pathways together with the proposal and implementation of a new PGT Research Methods Leading to Dissertation module to be taught across all Masters programs.

    Innovations in teaching and learning:


    • Pioneering decolonial approaches in the syllabus across all UG and PGT courses which I convene or collaborate with. 
    • Extensive use of fieldtrips and community engagement in the PGT optional module “Negotiation, Interpretation, and Explorations in Art & Human Rights”.
    • Innovative use of formative assessment and student presentations to facilitate peer-to-peer and convenor’s constructive feedback on outlines and early drafts projected as the basis of summative essay/final coursework.
    • Practice approaches and community building:
    • Collaboration in the short course on Drugs Regulation Reforms convened by Kojo Koram together with community organisations.
    • Collaboration with Justice 4 Grenfell and attendance to workshop by Tottenham Rights community organisers/curators in the PGT optional module “Negotiation, Interpretation, and Explorations in Art & Human Rights”.
    • Collaboration with the Women of the World Foundation to shape the largest festival in the world for women, girls, and non-binary peoples, with a specific focus on gender-based violence.

    Teaching modules

    • The History and Philosophy of Human Rights (LADD005S7)
    • Issues in International Law and Human Rights (LADD028S7)
    • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory (LADD039H6)
    • Research Methods and Project (LALW120S7)
  • Publications




    Book Section

  • Business and community

    Business and community

    I have media training.


    I am happy to receive enquiries from the media on the following topics:

    • International and National Politics in the Americas
    • Human Rights
    • Current Affairs
    • Art
    • Racial Justice
    • Film, Visual Technologies


      14/05/2020. “Art & Fire”, five chapter video event in co-production with Hay Festivals (excerpt) 

      01/05/2020. “Guaido’s coup-by-media shows his Venezuelan revolution to be little more than a PR campaign”, The Independent, 

      24/10/2019. “The ‘Risk to Democracy’ in Chile isn’t from protesters. It’s from Pinera and the 1%”, The Guardian, 

      27/08/2019. “Amazon in Flames” with Oscar Guardiola-Rivera and Daniel Wills, Tisky Sour at Novara Media.

      Filmography & Radio Series



      The Secret Philosophy (Mark Charles, 2010)

      Poor Us: An Animated History of Poverty (Ben Lewis, 2012)

      Unflapabble (Neil Arun & Will Spinal, 2012)

      An Organization of Dreams (Ken McMullen, 2010/2014)

       Projekt Cybersyn. Chiles kybernetischer Traum von Gerechtigkeit, radio/tv series produced by Deutschlandfunk & Westdeutscher Rundfunk, GERMANY (Jakob Schmidt & Jannis Funk, 2020)