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Acclaimed scholar Kathryn Sikkink examines the important and controversial new trend of holding political leaders criminally accountable for human rights violations. Grawemeyer Award winner Kathryn Sikkink offers a landmark argument for human rights prosecutions as a powerful political tool. She shows how, in just three decades, state leaders in Latin America, Europe, and Africa have lost their immunity from any accountability for their human rights violations, becoming the subjects of highly publicized trials resulting in severe consequences. This shift is affecting the behavior of political leaders worldwide and may change the face of global politics as we know it. Drawing on extensive research and illuminating personal experience, Sikkink reveals how the stunning emergence of human rights prosecutions has come about; what effect it has had on democracy, conflict, and repression; and what it means for leaders and citizens everywhere, from Uruguay to the United States.

About the Author

Kathryn Sikkink

I'm an international relations specialist best known for my work on human rights, international norms, transnational advocacy networks and social movements, and transitional justice. I teach at the Harvard Kennedy School, where I'm the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. I'm trying to write both for scholars and for members of the public interested in human rights and justice, especially in the books The Justice Cascade, Evidence for Hope, and Activists beyond Borders. My books have been awarded prizes, including the Grawemeyer Award (for Ideas for Improving World Order) , the Robert F. Kennedy Center Book Award, and the WOLA/Duke University Award. My most recent book Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century (Princeton University Press, 2017) documents the legitimacy and effectiveness of human rights law, institutions, and movements. I've been a Fulbright Scholar in Argentina and a Guggenheim fellow.

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