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?
To round off my (economy) jet-setting for the time-being, I have just returned from my first European Union Studies Association conference in Boston. This was new terrain for me, not strictly being an EU specialist. However, my research on new modes of governance, responsive regulation and transgovernmental networks in the human rights domain resonates with a lot of really great EU-focused scholarship (for instance, here and here). I participated in a very enjoyable panel on New Perspectives on the Interplay Continue reading European Union Studies Association, Boston 2015
I have had an article published at the European Journal of International Relations on Global Human Rights Governance and Orchestration: National Human Rights Institutions as Intermediaries. 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 Global human rights governance and orchestration