Complicity Studies is a graduate lead interdisciplinary network which aims to create a space in which academics can converge to examine concepts of complicity. The idea that ‘everyone’s involved’ in wrongdoing and historical injustice has emerged more frequently in recent years, with increasing discussions around the role of the seemingly passive individual in racial inequality, legacies of colonialism and the climate crisis.

Complicity is studied in virtually all subjects in the humanities and social sciences. From Philosophy of Law debating individual accountability to Social Psychology exploring the dynamics of groups, these fields have engaged with and modelled the concepts of indirect participation and multiple forms of guilt. From within their own boundaries, however,  each discipline and historical context has created its own definition of complicity. The aim of this network is to create an opportunity for those models and definitions to interact and converge. By providing a bi-weekly seminar from a different discipline or historical context, with the addition of film screenings and literary readings, it will provide space for scholars and students to think through these complex and entangled forms of guilt.

For enquiries contact the Networks Programme Manager.



Ana Leticia Blasi Magini is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, developing a thesis on individual culpability and collective participation in international crime. She has an LLM degree from the University of Cambridge and a law degree from the University of London. Before starting her PhD, Ana worked for two years as a legal officer at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Ana taught LLM workshops in international criminal law at the University of Cambridge and was a lecturer at the University of Tallinn in international humanitarian law and cyber warfare. She has also served as a research assistant at the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, contributing to a research initiative on the protection of the environment in relation to international peace and security.

Sophie Dixon is a PhD candidate at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where she researches Network-Based Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). Sophie completed a BSc in Psychology at the University of Birmingham in 2018 and an MPhil in Criminological Research at Magdalene College, Cambridge, in 2019. Sophie’s current research, funded by the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership, focuses on the co-offending networks perpetrating CSE; their composition, modus operandi and network dynamics.

Danny Shanahan is a third-year PhD at the University of Cambridge. He completed his BA and MA in Comparative Literature at King’s College London, with his MA thesis concentrating on governmental complicity in sectarian violence in Irish and Indian partition fictions. His PhD project examines the relationship between literature and emergency law in Kashmir and Northern Ireland. He is one of the organisers of the graduate postcolonial and related literatures research group at Cambridge.

Faculty advisors

  • Antje du Bois Pedain (Professor in Criminal Law and Philosophy; Director, Centre for Penal Theory and Penal Ethics (IoC))
  • Paolo Campana (Associate Professor in Criminology and Complex Networks, Institute of Criminology)

Programme 2022 - 2023

Michaelmas Term 2022

Complicity studies
Introducing complicity and its challenges
5 Oct 2022 17:00 - 19:00, Room GR04, English Faculty Library, Cambridge

Michael Neu (Brighton), Robin Dunford (Brighton)

Complicity and international law
19 Oct 2022 17:00 - 19:00, Room GR04, English Faculty Library, Cambridge

Christopher Greenwood (Cambridge)

The Act of Killing (2012), film screening and discussion
2 Nov 2022 17:00 - 19:00, English Faculty Library, GR04

Film screeing

Partition violence and complicity in Pakistan and Palestine
16 Nov 2022 17:00 - 19:00, Room GR04, English Faculty Library, West Road, Cambridge

Raniya Hosain (Cambridge)

Lent Term 2023

Complicity studies
Complicity studies 1 (TBC)
18 Jan 2023 17:00 - 19:00, Room GR04, English Faculty Library, Cambridge
Complicity studies 2 (TBC)
1 Feb 2023 17:00 - 19:00, Room GR04, English Faculty Library, Cambridge
International law and colonial power
15 Feb 2023 17:00 - 19:00, Room GR04, English Faculty Library, Cambridge

John Reynolds (Maynooth)

Uncommon wealth: Britain and the aftermath of empire
1 Mar 2023 17:00 - 19:00, Room GR04, English Faculty Library, Cambridge

Kojo Koram (Birkbeck)


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk