Dr. Awol Allo joined Keele University as Lecturer in Law in 2016. Prior to joining Keele Law School, Dr. Allo taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He holds degrees from Addis Ababa University (LLB), University of Notre Dame (LLM), and the University of Glasgow (PhD).

Research and scholarship

Dr. Allo's research interests are in the areas of human rights and social justice broadly conceived and draws on a wide-range of fields including the sociology of law, socio-legal studies, critical social and legal theory, and post-colonial perspectives. Allo uses these intellectual resources as a conceptual apparatus and interpretive instruments to explore the conditions of possibility for progressive change and transformation.

One strand of this research examined the idea of the courtroom as a site for resistant thought and action.

Dr. Allo is also interested in understanding and explaining how law constitutes and regulates the social world by observing how its discourses, practices, and institutions operate in the real world and generate social and political effects. His scholarship examines empirical data - court files, trial transcripts, and historical archives – to describe and explain the behaviour of legal actors.

His forthcoming monograph, Law and Resistance: Toward a Performative Epistemology of the Political Trial is a genealogical enquiry into law’s conditions of possibility for progressive change and transformation. Drawing on the works of Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Judith Butler, the monograph explores the tension between the normative and the performative dimensions of law and argues that the normative in law is merely a metaphysical placeholder for the performative. Questioning the kinds of logic, the forms of rationality and modes of reasoning with which law constitutes and regulates the social world, the project brings sociological inquiry into the orbit of law and legality.

Dr. Allo is the editor of The Courtroom as a Space of Resistance: Reflections on the Legacy of the Rivonia Trial, published by Ashgate in 2015. The book is both a celebration and a reflection: a celebration of the life and struggle of the man who led South Africa's long walk to freedom, Nelson Mandela, and a reflection on the spatial dimension of resistance and struggle in the courtroom. Through an engagement with Mandela’s compelling deployment of law both as a sword and a shield, leading social theorists from Africa, Europe and the United States join forces to address the multifaceted functions of trials.



  • Introduction to International Human Rights Law (Module leader)
  • Introduction to Public International Law


  • Foundations of International Law
  • Advanced International Law
  • International Law and Human Rights
  • International Humanitarian Law (Module leader)
  • Human Rights, Globalisation, and Justice

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