National Human Rights Institutions, State Conformity, and Social Change
HUMAN RIGHTS, STATE COMPLIANCE, AND SOCIAL CHANGE: ASSESSING NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTIONS, Cambridge University Press, Ryan Goodman & Thomas Pegram, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2012
22 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2011 Last revised: 17 Oct 2011
Date Written: October 5, 2011
National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) – human rights commissions and ombudsmen – have gained recognition as a possible missing link in the transmission and implementation of international human rights norms at the domestic level. They are also increasingly accepted as important participants in global and regional forums where international norms are produced. By collecting innovative work from experts spanning international law, political science, sociology, and human rights practice, we critically examine the significance of this relatively new class of organizations. Our project focuses, in particular, on the prospects of these institutions to effectuate state compliance and social change. Consideration is given to the role of NHRIs in delegitimizing – though sometimes legitimizing – governments’ poor human rights records and in mobilizing – though sometimes demobilizing – civil society actors. We analyze the broader implications of such cross-cutting research for scholarship and practice in the fields of human rights and global politics in general.
Keywords: human rights, international law, social movements, networks, national human rights institutions, national human rights commissions, ombudsmen
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