Human Rights Initiative Lecture. Socializing States: How to Promote Human Rights through International Law
October 22, 2013
Ryan Goodman Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Professor of Law, New York University
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.
Ryan Goodman is Professor of Law and Co-Chair of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. Prior to moving to NYU, Goodman was the inaugural Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and Director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as an articles editor of the Yale Law Journal. He received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University. After law school, he clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law and the Board of Editors of International Theory. He is a member of the United States Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Co-sponsors: Program in International and Comparative Studies, Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies.