Saira Mohamed

Assistant Professor Fellow
2013-2014
Saira Mohamed

Saira Mohamed’s (Berkeley Law) work on deviance in international law originates in an understanding that the perpetrator of mass atrocity is different from the perpetrator of the ordinary, domestic crime. Whereas the ordinary criminal violates society’s norms and practices, the Hutu genocidaire, for example, commits atrocities alongside hundreds of thousands of her neighbors doing the same. In the time, place, and society in which they are committed, the acts that international law seeks to define as criminal and deviant instead may be quite banal. Mohamed’s research will investigate the implications of this complex nature of deviance. She seeks to understand how institutions responsible for developing and applying international criminal law characterize individuals before them as deviant rather than normal. Reflecting on the complexities of moral choice and individual agency in the face of atrocity, Mohamed reconsiders the separation of the sterile enterprise of the law from the subjective experience of the perpetrator.