Together with Par Engstrom (UCL Institute of the Americas), I am currently in Latin America conducting fieldwork on torture prevention in the region. Specifically, our research is concerned with the question of what factors contribute to reducing the risk of torture and other ill-treatment across weakly institutionalized democratic settings in Latin America.
The study of transitional justice is now firmly established in a large scholarly and policy literature. However, while much attention has been paid to emblematic country cases, such as Argentina, or the extraordinary development of international criminal tribunals other experiments with transitional justice have received less attention.
Perhaps more than most, Peru merits careful consideration for what it can tell us about both the scholarship and practice of transitional justice. This is the task Rebecca K. Root sets out to achieve in her compelling and richly-detailed account of transitional justice in Peru.
I have had an article accepted for publication at the European Journal of International Relations on Global Human Rights Governance and Orchestration: National Human Rights Institutions as Intermediaries. A working paper can be found on my SSRN page and the abstract follows:
The United Nations remains the principal international governmental organisation (IGO) for promoting human rights. However, serious concerns focus on persistent “compliance gaps” between human rights standards and domestic practice. In response and against a backdrop of growing regime complexity, UN human rights agencies have increasingly sought to bypass states by coordinating new forms of non-state and private authority. IR scholarship has captured this governance arrangement using the concept of orchestration, defined as when an international organisation enlists and supports Continue reading
Professor Susan Sell joined us at the UCL Institute of Global Governance (IGG) on 10 June to talk about private authority in global health governance.
In our conversation, Susan reflects on the opportunities and challenges which confront public health advocates and the potential for global public law to more effectively hold private actors accountable for health outcomes.
I participated in a webinar today hosted by the World Bank in association with the International Ombudsman Institute. The focus was on on the role of the ombudsman in advancing Open Government based on my research on ombudsmen, principally in Latin America – but applicable to other democratic settings. In a nutshell: ombudsmen can be Information-Brokers, Advocates, Amplifiers and Consensus-Builders for Open Government. The powerpoint is available here.
We often associate the ombudsman with Sweden and advanced democracies, they can now be found in very diverse political systems, from South Africa to Indonesia to Peru and Poland. It is important not to underestimate the potential challenges which open government advocates encounter in weakly institutionalized or are sometimes referred to as new democracies. These ombudsmen operate in settings where formal rules – particularly at the local sub-national level – are often contested, changed, and routinely violated. In turn, in political systems which have limited experience of liberal democracy, public officials may view election to political office more as implying responsibility, than accountability.