All posts by Tom Pegram

I am a Senior Lecturer in Global Governance and Deputy Director of the Global Governance Institute at the Department of Political Science/School of Public Policy, University College London.

The Tradecraft of Human Rights Politics

Talk given at Leuven University (29 June 2017):

By way of preface, I’d like to echo Philip Alston in his LSE Human Rights Day lecture last year, that the human rights community is entering a watershed moment.  We have a President of the US and the Philippines who openly support torture and killing with impunity.  Civil society faces a major global crackdown.  Unfettered capitalism is multiplying human rights and environmental crises.  But to sound a slightly less gloomy note, this does not amount to the end times or the twilight of human rights. Continue reading The Tradecraft of Human Rights Politics

Is the Paris climate accord worded too flexibly?

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced last week that the 2015 Paris climate change accords will, in all likelihood, go into effect this year. These accords commit the U.S. and dozens of other nations to try to lower greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change.

But devising multilateral agreements is painstaking work. Typically, negotiators from hundreds of states deliberate for many years. Any agreement they reach often involves major compromises, which means provisions that experts consider important tend to be watered down

Nowhere is this more apparent than the case of the Paris Climate Change Accords. To break decades of multilateral gridlock on climate change, negotiators followed the mantra don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

But is there a cost to being flexible?

Strong words make treaties more effective. So is the Paris climate accord worded too flexibly?

Katerina Linos and Tom Pegram

Washington Post-The Monkey Cage, 29 September 2016.

 

Bibliography on national human rights institutions

For all NHRI research hounds, the Asia Pacific Forum (APF) – which serves as a coalition of NHRIs in the region and is the longest-standing regional network of national institutions in the world – has recently launched an impressively exhaustive NHRI bibliography.  The bibliography will continue to be updated, providing an invaluable entry point into the world of NHRI policy and research.  Many thanks to Chris Sidoti, the APF and the various NHRI practitioners and researchers who have contributed to this fantastic resource.

 

State Restrictions on Civil Society and the Free Flow of Information

On 9 May I participated in a workshop organised by my colleagues Kristin Bakke, Neil Mitchell and Hannah Smidt on State Restrictions of Civil Society and the Free Flow of Information. It was an excellent discussion, bringing activists, journalists practitioners, policy-makers and academics together to share their insights. Hosted by the UCL Global Governance Institute, the event formed part of a series of thematic activities on Global Security, led by our Thematic Director, Kristin Bakke. The event concluded with a keynote with Natalia Taubina, of Public Verdict, a Russian campaigning NGO. I was invited to reflect briefly on the relevance of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) to the thematic. Continue reading State Restrictions on Civil Society and the Free Flow of Information