Professor Alex Jeffrey

Photo of Professor Alex Jeffrey


Official Fellow; Financial Tutor; Tutor; Director of Studies in Geography
Professor of Political and Legal Geography


Alex Jeffrey is a political and legal geographer with a particular interest in processes of state building, the geographies of war crimes trials and the contested nature of citizenship in divided societies. Much of Alex's empirical work has focused on the former Yugoslavia, recently examining the establishment of the War Crimes Chamber in Sarajevo.

Teaching Interests

Alex teaches on various courses on the Geographical Tripos, including introductory Human Geography lectures examining political geography and geopolitics, Part IB (second year) lectures exploring citizenship and civil society and a Part II (third year) course tracing the complex relationships between law and space, in a variety of settings and scales. These lectures and supervisions are designed to explore some of the key questions that have driven Alex’s research over the past decade: how is a new state constructed and communicated to a divided community after a violent conflict? What role can legal processes play in reconciliation between former antagonistic groups? How can international organisations simultaneously govern a post-conflict state while also claiming increased democratization? Alex has also produced two collaborative text books: Political Geography: An Introduction to Space and Power (with Prof. Joe Painter, Sage, 2009) and Geographical Thought (with Prof. Anoop Nayak, Pearson, 2011). Alex was the recipient of the Pilkington Teaching Prize in 2018.


Alex’s research has focused on the governance of post-conflict environments and the role of nongovernmental organizations in fostering democracy. His research has predominantly examined the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina and involved numerous periods of residential fieldwork. In 2013 he published The Improvised State: Sovereignty, Performance and Agency in Dayton Bosnia in the RGS-IBG Book Series (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell) and followed this up in 2019 with The Edge of Law: Legal Geographies of a War Crimes Court (Cambridge University Press). His recent work has focused on the the geography of international legal processes, exploring in particular the spatial characteristics of genocide trials at the Internatonal Court of Justice.