International Review of the Red Cross

International Review of the Red Cross Established in 1869, the International Review of the Red Cross is a peer-reviewed, academic journal produced by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and published by Cambridge University Press. The Review's audience includes governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, humanitarian practitioners, academics, the media and all those interested in humanitarian issues.

Driven by a desire to examine international humanitarian law, policy and action in a multi-disciplinary way, the journal hosts contributions from various fields, such as law, political science, history, sociology, psychology and so on. Past issues of the Review are available to consult in the section below. To find articles or issues of the Review prior to 2004, please consult the Digital Archives of the journal, available upon subscription on Cambridge University Press.

Selections of articles from the International Review of the Red Cross are available in other languages: please see here for Arabic , Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.

The Review publishes three issues per year, each focused on a specific topic related to international humanitarian law, policy and action. The journal is multidisciplinary and welcomes different types of contributions: submissions on specified topics, contributions on themes which are not related to the main topic addressed by the edition in which they appear. These may be based on recurring themes that appear across various issues of the journal, replies to the content featured in the previous issues of the Review (debates, articles and opinion notes), and book reviews.

editorial board

For authors

Call for papers 2016/2017

The Review principally solicits articles, but it also invites the submission of articles on the following topics:

  • The Missing (deadline for submission 28 February 2017)
    Missing persons are those whose fate and whereabouts are unknown to their families and/or who, on the basis of reliable information, have been reported missing in connection with international or non-international armed conflicts, situations affected by violence not meeting the threshold of applicability of IHL or any other circumstances that may require the intervention of a neutral and independent intermediary. The circumstances in which a person may become missing are highly diverse. Waiting to learn about the fate and whereabouts of a missing person means living in a limbo, afforded neither the closure of mourning nor a reason to stop hoping against hope. The uncertainty has severe psychological and emotional effects. It can also create legal, administrative, social and economic difficulties. Bearing this in mind, submissions are welcome on the following topics: legal framework, needs of families of the missing, developments in the humanitarian response, mechanisms put in place for addressing the issue of the missing/disappeared (concrete examples are highly desirable).

  • Syria (deadline for submission 30 April 2017)
    In 2011, protests in Syria descended into violence and chaos. Five years later, this once vibrant country has been torn apart by conflict. Hundreds of thousands have been killed. Millions have been displaced. Homes, schools, hospitals, and essential services and infrastructure have been damaged or destroyed by the prolonged armed conflict. Access has been impeded for humanitarian organizations and many cities live under siege. Life for Syrians has become a daily struggle as Syria exemplifies some of the most worrying features of contemporary armed conflicts, such as indiscriminate attacks, siege warfare, numerous external actors intervening, attacks on cultural property, medical personnel, health care facilities, etc. Contributions are welcome on the following related topics: historical and geographical appraisal, legal issues (i.e. military tactics, cultural property, compliance, IHL, terrorism), humanitarian response (prolonged armed conflict, access to territory controlled by non-state armed groups) and similar.

  • Memory and War (deadline for submission 30 June 2017)
    War and violence have profound effects on individual consciousness as well as collective identification. Collective memory defines in many ways the type of society we are and we want to be, it helps us construe and reaffirm our identity as a society. It includes social, political, anthropological, philosophical, cultural, psychological or urban elements, among others. The issue will be dedicated to the following: remembering the fallen (remembrance of war by its own participants, commemorative projects, commemorating the missing, acknowledging harms), collective trauma and inherited trauma, media and memory (i.e. the role of film, radio, television), war crime trials and truth commissions as theatres of remembering.

The editorial team cannot guarantee publication of any submissions, be they solicited or spontaneous. Upon receipt of a submission, the editorial team will review it provided the article has not be published, submitted or accepted elsewhere. After the evaluation of a manuscript, articles selected to continue toward publication are submitted to an anonymous peer-review process. Notification of the acceptance, rejection or need for revision of the manuscript is given in a timely manner.

Manuscripts may be submitted directly by electronic mail in the form of a Word attachment to the attention of the Editor-in-Chief, Vincent Bernard at: Articles may be submitted in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish. The Review will translate the selected articles in English.

Download the guidelines for authors.

Recurring themes

The Review also welcomes submissions on recurring themes at any time. These are themes that we have seen appear repeatedly across many thematic editions:

  • Human rights and IHL;
  • Humanitarian access;
  • Transformation of the humanitarian sector;
  • Cyber warfare;
  • The role of States in IHL and humanitarian action.

Call for book reviews

International Review of the Red Cross started publishing book reviews in 2012. Each issue of the journal includes up to three book reviews. The Review primarily solicits reviews, but we also welcome submissions on topical, non-fiction, major publications on international humanitarian law, humanitarian policy and action. Only books published within the past two years qualify for review in the journal.

For more detail on the methodology and other related issues, please download the book review guidelines.

Reviewers are welcome to address any questions, recommendations and concerns to the attention of the Book Review Editor, Mr Jamie A. Williamson at

Guidelines for peer reviewers

The anonymous peer-review process is there to assist the editorial team in making an objective critical evaluation of the manuscripts we receive for publication and to improve the quality of articles published in the Review through constructive comments and suggestions. We hope that the guidelines below will assist our peer reviewers in preparing helpful reviews and we are grateful for the time and commitment they devote to this.

Topic and title

  • Has the author put forth an interesting problem or question? Does the problem seem too broad or too narrow? Does it fit with the rest of the proposed topics in the journal? If not, how might the author narrow or broaden the problem/question?
  • Do you as a reader care about this problem or question? If not, why not?
  • Is the title of the article adequate? Does it convey well the content of the article? Is it catchy? If not – would you suggest a reformulation?


  • Is the topic well researched and referenced? Are there important references to the literature on this subject missing? Please point them out.
  • Is the information presented accurate? If there are factual/legal inaccuracies, please point them out.
  • Is the thesis/question/problem of the article novel and relevant to the overall theme of this issue of the Review?

Structure and argumentation

  • Does the author formulate a clear thesis/question/problem at the beginning of the article, and is this developed in the article?
  • Does the structure make sense? What works well, and what works less well?
  • Has the author made smooth transitions between the different parts/sections of the article? Are some sections too long/too short, or irrelevant? Please point them out.
  • Is the flow of the arguments logical? Are the connections between arguments logical? If not, why not?
  • Does the author provide sufficient support for each point? If not, can you think of more pertinent or persuasive examples?
  • Does the author take sufficiently into account other perspectives that exist on the topic? Is the argumentation thorough? If not, what more can be added?

Language and style

  • Does the introduction engage you? If not, why not?
  • Is the language of the article vivid and clear? Is it grammatically correct? Are the sentences clear and easy to read? What can be improved?

Deadline for peer reviews: two weeks from receipt of document.

International Review of the Red Cross Digital Archives
Since 1989
Cambridge University Press

Texts published by the Review reflect the views of the author alone and not necessarily those of the ICRC or of the Review. Only texts bearing an ICRC signature may be ascribed to the institution.