Governing Relationships: The New Architecture in Global Human Rights Governance

Millennium, 2015, Forthcoming

27 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2014 Last revised: 2 Feb 2015

See all articles by Tom Pegram

Tom Pegram

University College London

Date Written: August 18, 2014


The global human rights regime has undergone extraordinary expansion in the last thirty years. It is particularly notable for its profusion of state and non-state actors and levels of formal articulation. This article seeks to make legible the human rights governance architecture from the global to the local level, within an issue-specific domain. Orchestration theory is employed as a general mode of governance, with application across political units and political levels. Orchestration applies when a focal actor enlists and supports third-party actors to address the target indirectly in pursuit of shared governance objectives. Using the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) as an example, the article explores the authority relationship across two central political units (the orchestrator and intermediary), with a focus on how this new global human rights architecture may offer a way of bridging the steps separating international instruments from practices on the ground.

Keywords: Global governance, human rights, architecture, orchestration, intermediaries

Suggested Citation

Pegram, Tom, Governing Relationships: The New Architecture in Global Human Rights Governance (August 18, 2014). Millennium, 2015, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: or

Tom Pegram (Contact Author)

University College London ( email )

29/30 Tavistock Square
London, WC1H 9QU
United Kingdom
442031089291 (Phone)


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