Department of Political Science


Kaleigh Heard

Kaleigh Heard
Lecturer (Teaching) in Human Rights, Deputy Director of the MA in Human Rights
Room: 3.07, 29-31 Tavistock Square
Email: kaleigh.heard@ucl.ac.uk


I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Political Science and Deputy Director of the Human Rights MA programme. I am also the Director of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Conflict. Prior to joining UCL, I held a Joseph C. Fox International Fellowship at the MacMillan Centre for International and Area Studies at Yale University, and provided research, analysis, and advisory services to several governments and NGOs. I hold a PhD and MA in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, a MA in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, and a BA (Honours) in International Relations from the University of Western Ontario. I am originally from Canada and have lived and learned on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, Chonnonton, Musqueam, Squamish, and Twleil-Waututh peoples. 


My research focuses on ethico-strategic dilemmas in warfare, specifically human security issues of strategic relevance to armed forces, including the protection of civilians, children in armed conflict, and conflict-related sexual violence. I am particularly interested in these issues in the context of coalition counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations.

I am a predominantly a qualitative researcher, though I draw on mixed methods within my work and collaborate closely with colleagues from other disciplinary backgrounds. I have conducted fieldwork in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Mali, Nigeria, Tunisia, Kenya, Uganda, Greece, the Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Gulf of Aden. My book project, The Price of a Life: The Confluence of Law, Justice and Strategy in Civilian Harm Compensation, will be published in 2023. My research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Department of National Defence, the UK Ministry of Defence, the European Commission, and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


All publications
  • Heard, K. S., Paillé, P. and Thue, K. (2022) ‘Human Security and the Future of NATO: Knowledge, Insights and Lessons Learned’, RAND Corporation.
  • Heard, K. S., Dascalu, D., de Lateillade, C. and Black, J. (2022) ‘Grey Zone Gaming’, London: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.
  • Silfversten, E., Heard, K. S., Lucas, R. and Stockwell, S. (2022) ‘Novel Hybrid Threats: Scenarios, Analysis, and Considerations for Defence’, London: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
  • Heard, K. S., Jordan, V., Dascalu, D., Ogden, T. and Bellasio, J. (2021) ‘Right Wing Extremism in Europe’, Brussels: RAND Europe/Radicalization Awareness Network.
  • Heard, K. S., Jordan, V., Ogden, T. and Bellasio, J. (2021) ‘Connecting Mechanisms used by Extremist Right Wing Groups in Europe’, Brussels: RAND Europe/Radicalization Awareness Network
  • Slapakova, L., Quimbre, F. and Heard, K. S. (2021) ‘Written Evidence Submitted by RAND Europe: TFP0036 Tech and the Future of UK Foreign Policy’, Rand Corporation.
  • Heard, K. S. (2016) ‘Prioritizing Integration: Close Combat Futures and their Lessons for Integration and Interoperability’, Ottawa: Defence Research and Development Canada.
  • Heard, K. S. (2016) ‘Protecting the Protectors: Secondary and Force Protection Considerations for the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict’, Ottawa: Defence Research and Development Canada.
  • Heard, K. S. (2016) ‘Arctic SoS: Systems of Systems, National and Continental Defence in the Canadian Arctic’, Ottawa: Defence Research and Development Canada.
  • Heard, K. S., Hrychuk, H. and Chuka, N. (2016) ‘Framing Peace Operations’, Ottawa: Defence Research and Development Canada.