Select Publications

2016
Clark, Ann Marie, and Kathryn Sikkink. 2016. “Response to David L. Richards.” Human Rights Quarterly 38 (2): 493–96. Publisher's Version Abstract
The authors comment to an article by David Richards about their paper "Information Effects and Human Rights Data". They discuss the argument by Richards on how word counts are related to coding, the use of Latin American cases as illustrations of how coding responds to the changes in human rights conditions, and the global averages of Cingranelli-Richards data presented by Richards.
2015
Sikkink, Kathryn. 2015. “Latin America’s Protagonist Role in Human Rights.” Sur 12 (22): 207–19. Publisher's Version Abstract

Latin American governments, social movements, and regional organisations have made a far bigger contribution to the idea and practice of international human rights than has previously been recognised. Most discussions of the global human rights regime stress its origins in the countries of the Global North. This article explores the role of Latin America states as early protagonists of the international protection of human rights, focusing in particular on the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, adopted 8 months before passage of the Universal Declaration. In light of this, Sikkink calls into question the idea that human rights originated only in the Global North.

This article is also available in Spanish and in Portuguese.
2014
Transitional Justice in the Asia-Pacific: Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives
Sikkink, Kathryn, and Leigh Payne. 2014. “Transitional Justice in the Asia-Pacific: Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives.” Transitional justice in the Asia-Pacific, edited by Renée Jeffery and Hun Joon Kim, 33-60. New York: Cambridge University Press.
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Latin American Countries as Norm Protagonists of the Idea of International Human Rights
Latin American governments, social movements, and regional organizations have made a far greater contribution to the idea and practice of international human rights than has previously been recognized. Most discussions of the global human rights regime stress its origins in the countries of the Global North. This article explores the role of Latin America states as early protagonists of the international protection of human rights, focusing in particular on the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. Histories of human rights in the world emphasize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, as the founding moment of international human rights. Few know that Latin American states passed a similar American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man a full eight months before passage of the UDHR. The American Declaration thus was the first broad enumeration of rights adopted by an intergovernmental organization. This article explores the American Declaration as an example of often overlooked Latin American human rights protagonism that has continued to this day, and that calls into question the idea that human rights originated in only the Global North.
2013
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Sikkink, Kathryn. 2013. “The United States and Torture: Does the Spiral Model Work?” The Persistent Power of Human Rights: From Commitment to Compliance, edited by Thomas Risse, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink, 145–63. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Publisher's Version
Changes in quality and availability of information related to human rights violations raise questions about how best to use existing data to assess human rights change. Information effects are discernible both in primary sources of information and data coded by two prominent human rights datasets, the Political Terror Scale (PTS) and the Cingranelli-Richards Human Rights Data Set (CIRI). The authors discuss ways that human rights information has changed for the better, evaluate the scales and their primary text sources for countries in Latin America, and compare them with information drawn from regional truth commission data. Extra caution is advised when using summary data to make inferences about human rights change.
Sikkink, Kathryn, and Hun Joon Kim. 2013. “The Justice Cascade: The Origins and Effectiveness of Prosecutions of Human Rights Violations.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 9: 269–85. Publisher's Version Abstract
The justice cascade refers to a new global trend of holding political leaders criminally accountable for past human rights violations through domestic and international prosecutions. In just three decades, state leaders have gone from being immune to accountability for their human rights violations to becoming the subjects of highly publicized trials in many countries of the world. New research suggests that such trials continue to expand and often result in convictions, including some of high-level state officials. This article summarizes research on the origins of the justice cascade and its effects on human rights practices around the world. It presents evidence that such prosecutions are affecting the behavior of political leaders worldwide and have the potential to help diminish human rights violations in the future.
Human Rights Prosecutions and the Participation Rights of Victims in Latin America
Michel, Veronica, and Kathryn Sikkink. 2013. “Human Rights Prosecutions and the Participation Rights of Victims in Latin America.” Law & Society Review 47 (4): 873–907. Publisher's Version Abstract
Since the 1980s, there has been a significant rise in domestic and international efforts to enforce individual criminal accountability for human rights violations through trials, but we still lack complete explanations for the emergence of this trend and the variation observed in the use of human rights prosecutions in the world. In this article, we examine the role that procedural law has had in allowing societal actors to influence in this rising trend for individual criminal accountability. We do this by focusing on participation rights granted to victims, such as private prosecution in criminal cases. Based on an exploration of an original database on human rights prosecutions in Latin America and fieldwork research in three countries, we argue that private prosecution is the key causal mechanism that allows societal actors to fight in domestic courts for individual criminal accountability for human rights violations.
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Risse, Thomas, Stephen C. Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink, ed. 2013. The Persistent Power of Human Rights: From Commitment to Compliance. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. Publisher's Version
2012
Contrepoint: Le choix du réseau: quelle efficacité pour l’action collective transnationale?
Sikkink, Kathryn. 2012. “Contrepoint: Le choix du réseau: quelle efficacité pour l’action collective transnationale?” Agir-en-Réseau: Modèle d’action ou catégorie d’analyse?, edited by David Dumoulin Kervran and Marielle Pepin-Lehalleur, 91–97. Rennes, France: Presses Universitaries de Rennes. Publisher's Version
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Sikkink, Kathryn. 2012. “The Age of Accountability: The Global Rise of Individual Criminal Accountability.” Amnesty in the Age of Human Rights Accountability: Comparative and International Perspectives, edited by Leigh Payne and Francesca Lessa, 19–41. New York: Cambridge University Press. Publisher's Version
Sikkink, Kathryn, and Geoff Dancy. 2012. “Ratification and Human Rights Prosecutions: Toward a Transnational Theory of Treaty Compliance.” New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 44 (3): 751–90. Publisher's Version
Kim, Hun Joon, and Kathryn Sikkink. 2012. “How Do Human Rights Prosecutions Improve Human Rights after Transition?” Interdisciplinary Journal of Human Rights Law 7 (1): 69–90. Publisher's Version
2011
Sikkink, Kathryn. 2011. “A Era da Responsabilização: a ascensão da responsabilização penal individual.” A Anistia na Era da Responsabilização: O Brasil em perspectiva internacional e comparada, edited by Leigh Payne, Paulo Abrão, and Marcelo D. Torell, 34–74. Brasilia: Ministerio da Justiça, Comissão da Anistia; Oxford: Oxford University, Latin American Centre. Publisher's Version
Sikkink, Kathryn. 2011. “El efecto disuasivo de los juicios por violaciones de derechos humanos.” Anuario de Derechos Humanos 7: 41–61. Publisher's Version Abstract
Los procedimientos penales diseñados para enfrentar las violaciones a los derechos humanos fueron una de las innovaciones políticas más importantes de finales del siglo XX. La principal justificación para estos procesos ha sido indicar que el castigo es una medida necesaria para prevenir futuras violaciones. No obstante, hasta ahora no existían suficientes datos que permitieran comprobar esta tesis. En este artículo presento resumidamente las conclusiones de la investigación que condujimos con Hunjoon Kim. En dicha investigación analizamos un conjunto de datos sobre las causas de derechos humanos en los países en transición a la democracia, para explorar si dichos juicios tuvieron la capacidad de prevenir futuras represiones. Establecimos que los juicios por violaciones a los derechos humanos realizados
después de iniciadas las transiciones a la democracia condujeron a mejoras en la protección de los derechos humanos, y que los procesos realizados en países vecinos tienen un efecto disuasivo que se extiende más allá de los confines de un único país. Igualmente, exploramos los mecanismos a través de los cuales los juicios condujeron a un avance en los derechos humanos.
Sostenemos que el impacto de los juicios es el resultado de presiones normativas y castigos materiales. Fundamentamos esta hipótesis comparando los efectos que generan los procesos judiciales y las comisiones de verdad. Debido a que las comisiones de verdad, que no contemplan el castigo, también tienen un efecto positivo en las prácticas de derechos humanos, sugerimos que la justicia transicional también puede tener repercusiones a través de sus efectos simbólicos o comunicativos.
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2010
Kim, Hun Joon, and Kathryn Sikkink. 2010. “Explaining the Deterrence Effect of Human Rights Prosecutions for Transitional Countries.” International Studies Quarterly 54 (4): 939–63. Publisher's Version Abstract
Human rights prosecutions have been the major policy innovation of the late twentieth century designed to address human rights violations. The main justification for such prosecutions is that sanctions are necessary to deter future violations. In this article, we use our new data set on domestic and international human rights prosecutions in 100 transitional countries to explore whether prosecuting human rights violations can decrease repression. We find that human rights prosecutions after transition lead to improvements in human rights protection, and that human rights prosecutions have a deterrence impact beyond the confines of the single country. We also explore the mechanisms through which prosecutions lead to improvements in human rights. We argue that impact of prosecutions is the result of both normative pressures and material punishment and provide support for this argument with a comparison of the impact of prosecutions and truth commissions, which do not involve material punishment.
2009
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Sikkink, Kathryn. 2009. “From State Responsibility to Individual Criminal Accountability: A New Regulatory Model for Core Human Rights Violations.” The Politics of Global Regulation, edited by Walter Mattli and Ngaire Woods, 121–50. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Publisher's Version
Full Chapter
Used with permission.
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Sikkink, Kathryn. 2009. “The Power of Networks in International Politics.” Networked Politics: Agency, Power, and Governance, edited by Miles Kahler, 228–47. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Publisher's Version
Full Chapter
Used with permission.
2008
La cascada de justicia y el impacto de los juicios de derechos humanos en America Latina
Sikkink, Kathryn, and Carrie Booth Walling. 2008. “La cascada de justicia y el impacto de los juicios de derechos humanos en America Latina.” Cuadernos del CLAEH 96-97: 15-40.
Full chapter
Used with permission

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