The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Craig Jones

Lecturer in Political Geography



I joined the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology as a Lecturer in Political Geography in January 2017, after eight years at the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. I do a mix of political and legal geography but my passion is for interdisciplinary work that engages critically with questions of war, security, international law and the Middle East.

I'm particularly interested in the changing nature of warfare and the dissolution of the boundaries between 'war' and 'peace' and what that means for 'civilians' and 'combatants'. My work to date has been preoccupied with spaces and mechanisms of military killing, and has focused on how law has become a potent weapon in the conduct of later modern war. My current and future work maintains this focus but is increasingly also concerned with the victims of (para)military violence in Syria and Iraq. I'm interested in how civilians *and* combatants access medical treatment in states where medical and healthcare infrastructure have been destroyed - sometimes deliberately - by military and paramilitary violence. 

I welcome any enquires or comments on any aspect of my research or teaching. I'm currently working on a new blog - 'thewarspace' - that integrates my research and teaching: watch this (war)space!

For potential PhD students 

Please contact me if you are interested in any - or all - of the following or if you think our research interests overlap:

  • 20th and 21st century war.
  • International law, including international humanitarian law (IHL)/the laws of armed conflict (LOAC), national security law and international human rights law (IRHL).
  • The Middle East and North Africa ('MENA') broadly defined, especially Palestine/Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Egypt.



The war lawyers: US, Israel and the spaces of targeting

I am currently working on a book manuscript that examines the involvement of military lawyers in aerial targeting operations carried out by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Israeli military in Gaza and the West Bank. Law has become part of the very fabric of later modern war and military lawyers now play an important role in planning and executing military operations. Drawing on over 50 interviews with military lawyers my research asks: what effect does the involvement of military lawyers have on the conduct of targeting operations?


Precarious journeys: Injury, care and the therapeutic geographies of war in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

This research program asks how civilians and combatants access medical treatment in states where medical and healthcare infrastructure have been destroyed - sometimes deliberately - by military and paramilitary violence. It focuses on two contemporary conflicts that have increasingly become one – the war in Syria (2011-present) and the war in Iraq (2003-present) – and traces systems of casualty evacuation and medical care for the sick and injured within and across the borders of those states.


I teach on a variety of topics in political geography and my teaching is motivated by a desire not only to understand the world but crucially also to *change* it. Much of my teaching is about the geographies of war and (para)military violence: not so much grand-strategy and military tactics but critical interventions that help us to see war and military violence for what they are - injury and destruction.


I currently teach on the following modules at Newcastle University:

  • I am module leader for GEO 3102 Geopolitics, a third year undergraduate module that explores geopolitics from historical and critical perspectives. I co-teach this module with Alison Williams, Matt Benwell, Simon Tate and Nick Megoran
  • I also teach on GEO 2047 Political Geography, a second year undergraduate module that introduces key themes in political geography such as sovereignty, nationalism, citizenship, borders and war. I teach a series of lectures on the so-called 'war on terror', which look critically at the waging of war since 2001. 
  • Each year I take second year students on a field-trip to Nicosia, Cyprus. The trip, led by Matt Benwell and Nick Megoran, encourages students to analyse and engage with the geographies of the divided city, to delve into its histories and uncover some of its many hidden symbols and meanings. 


In 2019 I hope to introduce a field trip to Palestine-Israel. 

In 2015 I developed and taught 'The Geographies of the Middle East', a third year undergraduate module at the University of British Columbia. See the syllabus/module guide here: I am hoping to introduce a fully updated version of this module to Geography at Newcastle University in 2018 or 2019.