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Shannon Fyfe JD PhD

Assistant Professor, George Mason University 

Faculty Fellow, Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy



Shannon Fyfe is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and a Fellow in the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at George Mason University. Her previous work includes a fellowship with the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre (2014), where she advised the organization regarding best practices for collecting evidence of sexual and gender-based violence in Syria, the American Society of International Law’s Arthur C. Helton Fellowship (2010), where she provided legal assistance to Tanzanian officials, policymakers, and the Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance to implement national laws that promote human rights for albino persons in accordance with international legal standards, and an internship with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda’s Office of the Prosecutor (2008). Dr. Fyfe has provided pro bono representation for wounded veterans applying for medical benefits, and she has also spent time volunteering on death row in Tennessee. She holds both a Ph.D. in philosophy and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University.


Dr. Fyfe’s research interests are in political philosophy, ethics, and legal philosophy, with a focus on philosophy and international conflict, particularly international criminal law. Her work in this field seeks to provide a philosophical framework for defending and criticizing current practices of holding individuals legally and morally accountable for their participation in mass atrocities. She has published articles that engage with international criminal law, speech act theory, just war theory, and moral psychology, and she recently co-authored a book responding to criticisms of international criminal courts and tribunals. Dr. Fyfe’s interdisciplinary work with political and legal philosophers, legal scholars, and practicing lawyers uniquely informs her teaching, as she challenges students to think critically and articulate clear arguments while also bridging the gap between theory and practice.


International Criminal Tribunals: A Normative Defense, co-authored with Larry May. Cambridge University Press, March 2017. 


Cambridge Handbook of the Just War, edited by Larry May with assistant editors Shannon Fyfe and Eric Ritter. Cambridge University Press, February 2018. 

“Testimonial Injustice in International Criminal Law,” Symposion, forthcoming. 

“The Office of the Prosecutor: Seeking Justice or Serving Global Imperialism?,” International Criminal Law Review, forthcoming. 

“Tracking Hate Speech Acts as Incitement to Genocide in International Criminal Law,” Leiden Journal of International Law, vol. 30, iss. 2, 2017, available at 

“Objective and Subjective Blame After War,” co-authored with Amy McKiernan, Essays in Philosophy, vol. 18, iss. 2, art. 6, 2017, available at 

“The Challenge to the Laws of War by Islamic Jihad,” in Cambridge Handbook of the Just War, edited by Larry May with assistant editors Shannon Fyfe and Eric Ritter. Cambridge University Press, February 2018. 

“Prosecutorial Ethics and Preliminary Examinations at the ICC,” co-authored with Alexander Heinze, in Quality Control in Preliminary Examination: Reviewing Impact, Policies and Practices, co-edited by Morten Bergsmo and Carsten Stahn, Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, forthcoming 2018. 

“The Legitimacy of International Criminal Tribunals,” co-authored with Larry May, in Legitimacy and Effectiveness of International Criminal Tribunals, co-edited by Nobuo Hayashi and Cecilia M. Bailliet. Cambridge University Press, January 2017. 

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