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    Empowering Rights through Research

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As the democratic norms that embodied the post-World War II liberal international order have withered away, the rights of women, migrants and other marginalized groups have become acutely threatened. This pan-ASU initia­­­­tive draws scholars from the Social Sciences and beyond to examine the ways that non-state actors generate innovative new pathways for the realization of rights and the promotion of social justice. 

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Our mission is to transform rigorous, cutting-edge human rights research
into policy-relevant recommendations that advance the cause of social justice.   





Audrey Comstock "Committed to Rights..."


Committed to Rights: UN Human Rights Treaties and Legal Paths for Commitment and Compliance

January, 2021 | Audrey L. Comstock

"International treaties are the primary means for codifying global human rights standards. However, nation-states are able to make their own choices in how to legally commit to human rights treaties. A state commits to a treaty through four commitment acts: signature, ratification, accession, and succession. These acts signify diverging legal paths with distinct contexts and mechanisms for rights change reflecting legalization, negotiation, sovereignty, and domestic constraints. How a state moves through these actions determines how, when, and to what extent it will comply with the human rights treaties it commits to. Using legal, archival, and quantitative analysis this important book shows that disentangling legal paths to commitment reveals distinct and significant compliance outcomes. Legal context matters for human rights and has important implications for the conceptualization of treaty commitment, the consideration of non-binding commitment, and an optimistic outlook for the impact of human rights treaties."

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