Peer-Reviewed Articles

1. “Deals with the Devil? Conflict Amnesties, Civil War, and Sustainable Peace,'' forthcoming, International Organization.

2. “The Impact of Criminal Prosecutions During Civil War” (with Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm), forthcoming, Journal of Peace Research.

3. “Unintended Positive Complementarity: How ICC Investigations Increase Domestic Human Rights Prosecutions" (with Florencia Montal), forthcoming, American Journal of International Law (2017).

4. "Measuring the Impact of Human Rights: Conceptual and Methodological Debates" (with Christopher J Fariss), forthcoming, Annual Review of Law & Social Sciences (2017).

5. "The Difference Law Makes: Domestic Criminal Laws Against Atrocity and Transitional Human Rights Prosecutions" (with Mark Berlin) Law & Society Review 51(3): 533-566 (2017).

6. "Searching for Deterrence at the International Criminal Court." International Criminal Law Review 17(4): 625-655 (2017).

7. “Rescuing Human Rights Law from Legalism and its Critics'' (with Christopher J. Fariss). Human Rights Quarterly 39(1): 1-36 (2017).

8. “Human Rights Enforcement from Below: Private Actors and Prosecutorial Momentum in Latin America and Europe" (with Veronica Michel). International Studies Quarterly 60(1) 176-188 (2016).

9. “Human Rights Pragmatism: Belief, Inquiry, and Action.” European Journal of International Relations 22(3): 512-535 (2016).

10. “Timing, Sequencing, and Transitional Justice Impact: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Latin America” (with Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm). Human Rights Review 16(4): 321-342 (2015).

11. "Bridge to Development or Vehicle of Inequality? Transitional Justice and Economic Structures" (with Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm). International Journal of Transitional Justice 9(1): 51-69 (2015).

12. “Impact Assessment, Not Evaluation: Defining a Limited Role for Positivism in the Study of Transitional Justice.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 4(3): 355-376 (2010).

*Reprinted in Transitional Justice: The Library of Essays on Justice - Second Series, ed. Christine Bell. London: Ashgate, 2015; and in Transitional Justice: Critical Concepts, eds. Louise Mallinder and Kieran McEvoy, Boulder, CO: Routledge, 2016.

13. “The Turn to Truth: Trends in Truth Commission Experimentation” (with Hunjoon Kim and Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm). Journal of Human Rights 9(1): 45-64 (2010).

14. “Judicial Decision Making and International Tribunals: Assessing the Impact of Individual, National and International Factors” (with Kimi King and James Meernik). Social Science Quarterly 86: 683-703.

Reviews and Chapters

1. “Human Rights Data, Processes, and Outcomes: How Recent Research Points to a Better Future," (with Kathryn Sikkink) Forthcoming in Human Rights Futures, eds. Stephen Hopgood, Jack Snyder, and Leslie Vinjamuri. New York: Columbia University Press (2017).

2. "From Law versus Politics to Law in Politics: A Pragmatist Assessment of the ICC's Impact" (with Florencia Montal). American University International Law Review 32(3): 645-706 (2017).

3. "Book Review: The Massacres at Mt. Halla: Sixty Years of Truth Seeking in South Korea." Forthcoming, Perspectives of Politics 15(3): 918-920 (2017).

4."Book Review: After Violence: Transitional Justice, Peace, and Democracy. Nordic Journal of Human Rights 34(2): 143-145 (2016)

5. “Treaty Ratification and Human Rights Prosecutions: Toward a Transnational Theory" (with Kathryn Sikkink). NYU Journal of International Law and Politics 44(3): 754-777 (2012).

6. “Choice and Consequence in Strategies of Transitional Justice." in The Handbook of the Political Economy of War, eds. Christopher J. Coyne and Rachel L. Mathers. Chaltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd., 397-431 (2011).


1. "Why an anti-ICC narrative may help Kenyan leaders win votes." Open Global Rights. August 22, 2017.

2. "Evaluating ICC Performance: Design is Critical." . UCLA School of Law. July 10, 2017.

3. "Is the International Criminal Court Biased Against Africans? Kenyan Victims Don't Think So." Washington Post (with Tessa Alleblas, Eamon Aloyo, and Yvonne Dutton). March 6, 2017.

4. "The ICC's Deterrent Impact: What the Evidence Shows'' Open Global Rights (with Bridget Marchesi, Florencia Montal, and Kathryn Sikkink). February 3, 2015.

5. “Selections from Unintended Positive Complementarity: Why ICC Investigations Increase Domestic Human Rights Prosecutions” (with Florencia Montal). December 10, 2014.

6. “Is all of this focus on transitional justice really worth it?Duck of Minerva. June 23, 2014.

7. “The ‘no grassroots’ critique of human rights: fair or misleading?” Open Global Rights. August 29, 2013.

Working Papers

1. “Behind Bars and Bargains: An Agonistic Approach to Transitional Justice" (with Bridget Marchesi, Tricia Olsen, Leigh A. Payne, Andrew Reiter, and Kathryn Sikkink). Under review.

2. “The Impact of Criminal Prosecutions After Civil War” (with Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm)

3. "From Hollow Hopes to Rights at Work: The Constitutive Approach to International Human Rights Law" (with Chris Fariss)

4. "Collective Identity, Memories of Violence, and Belief in a Biased International Criminal Court: Evidence from Kenya" (with Yvonne Dutton, Tess Alleblas, and Eamon Aloyo). Under review.

5. "Who's Searching for Human Rights?" (with Chris Fariss)

6. "Gun Bills in State Legislatures." (with Mirya Holman)

7. "The Predictable Structure of Conspiracy Theories" (with Mirya Holman)

Book Project

Beyond Backlash: A Pragmatist Approach to Human Rights Law and Activism

If, as many contemporary critics suggests, human rights law does very little to improve the lives of individuals in the world, then what explains its continued resonance? What explains why social movements continue to appeal to human rights law in their struggles? My book answers this question by applying lessons from pragmatist philosophy, innovative statistical studies, and political analysis of case studies. Human rights research is polarizing: it either approaches law as if it is a source of unmitigated progress in the world, or as if human rights face obstacles so steep that the global legal regime is doomed to collapse in the face of widespread backlash. In the last ten years, critical voices have begun to dominate discussion, often concluding human rights needs to be more pragmatic. In opposition, my book will present evidence that human rights law is associated with less war and repression over time, and the reason is precisely that human rights law and activism are highly pragmatic.