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Human Rights Initiative Lecture: "Socializing States: How to Promote Human Rights through International Law"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
4:00-5:30 PM
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building Map
Guest lecturer Ryan Goodman will explore the subject of network analysis.

Network analysis has emerged as one of the most powerful tools for policy makers, stakeholders, and academics interested in political and social change. As a recent survey in the Annual Review of Political Science explains, “network analysis ”¦ offers a means of addressing one of the holy grails of the social sciences: effectively analyzing the interdependence and flows of influence among individuals, groups, and institutions.” Social network theorists study the structure of connections between members of a relevant network. The composition of these social ties and the relative position of actors within these structures are generally thought to influence the prospects for, and patterns of, the diffusion of ideas and behaviors.

Network analysis needs to play a greater role in theory construction and empirical study of the effects of international law. Most relevant is network research that directly examines the state–rather than research that extrapolates from the study of individuals and other groups. This body of network analysis poses several important challenges to existing approaches in international law. It also yields important new insights--and suggests new lines of inquiry--about how best to understand the power and perils of international legal regimes. These intellectual payoffs are especially true when one taps into empirical studies that take seriously cultural mechanisms of diffusion across interstate networks. We thus highlight forms of socialization–such as emulation, social persuasion, cognitive identity formation--that can propel the spread of behavioral norms and reshape preferences across interstate networks. The available research should help us to build more effective and principled global institutions.
Building: School of Social Work Building
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: human rights initiative, international institute
Source: Happening @ Michigan from International Institute, Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, Donia Human Rights Center