I am just coming to the end of a fascinating and sobering three-week stay at Colegio de Mexico (COLMEX), courtesy of the British Academy’s Newton Mobility Grants scheme, to advance research on transnational narcotics governance in collaboration with my colleague Professor Monica Serrano, one of the leading authorities on drug policy in Latin America. As part of the grant, on 14 January we hosted a workshop on the relationship between the International Drug Control Regime and the International Human Rights Regime and its implications for drug policy in Mexico and the region. Continue reading Narcotics, criminal violence and human rights in Mexico
Katerina Linos and I have published a working paper in the Danish Institute of Human Rights (DIHR) Matters of Concern Human Rights Research Paper Series – a working paper series focusing on new and emerging research on human rights across academic disciplines. The DIHR is one of the oldest NHRIs in the world and has a longstanding reputation for facilitating meaningful dialogue among academic, practitioner and policymaker communities.
The paper, Interrogating Form and Function: Designing Effective National Human Rights Institutions, examines the key question: what institutional features make NHRIs effective? It departs from the conventional assumption that formal design matters and speaks Continue reading Interrogating form and function: Designing effective national human rights institutions
Katerina Linos and I have just finished putting the final touches to our paper ‘The Language of Compromise in International Agreements’ and we’re excited about its journal publication shortly. We hope it will make a significant contribution to debates surrounding international law, organizations and human rights. Using an original dataset from the 1991 Paris Principles on the Design of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in addition to several sources of qualitative evidence, we find that the degree of flexibility in soft law agreement language influences state behaviour. Continue reading The effects of international human rights soft law
The actors, mechanisms, and processes of contemporary global human rights governance have their antecedents in a desire to prevent massive violence and warfare. However, the remit has rapidly evolved to encompass a range of global policy challenges, from universal health provision to sustainable development. Human rights provides one normative bedrock upon which to anchor a conception of governance in the service of the global common good. Notwithstanding debate over their meaning and conceptual parameters, there is widespread acceptance that human rights norms are substantially important, reflecting pragmatic, deeply-held shared concerns. Continue reading What is the functional need/specific benefit of global human rights governance?
On 30 April I participated in a seminar at Chatham House on renovating international governance institutions sponsored by Open Society Foundations. It was a fascinating discussion spanning international finance, health, democracy and human rights. I had the pleasure of leading a discussion on the international criminal court. Strikingly, in much discussion of global governance institutions the question of international enforceability is rarely tabled. Debate is often foregrounded in an emphasis on cooperation and aligning interests over enforcement action in the face of trenchant resistance to transnational regulatory goals. In part, this reflects a prevailing ‘common sense’ position which privileges applying a problem-solving pragmatism to the global governance problematique. Continue reading How can the Int’l Criminal Court be Strengthened?