News and Events
Media: SiriusXM: The Michael Smerconish Program
Live radio interview with Michael Smerconish on accountability for the war in Ukraine and complementarity of domestic, regional, and international courts.
Explainer: The International Criminal Court is a Court of Last Resort.
On Smerconish.com, with Nathaniel Liu, Daniel Posthumus, and Zoha Siddiqui
Trying atrocity crimes by Russia in Ukrainian courts will be important, even with the ICC investigating.
Media: The Resistance Bureau
Participant in the broadcast "Resisting Injustice: Are prosecutions necessary to right past wrongs" with speakers Anta Guisse, John Githongo, and Zenzele Ndebele, facilitator Nic Cheeseman, and hosts Mantate Mlotshwa and Jeffrey Smith.
Analysis: "The Council of Europe expelled Russia. That hurts people, not Putin."
In The Washington Post, with Zoha Siddiqui
What is the Council of Europe, and why does expulsion matter?
Media: CNN Newsroom
Live television interview with Fredricka Whitfield on evidence gathering for possible international criminal prosecutions of Russian personnel for abuses in Ukraine, including the airstrike on a Kramatorsk train station, which killed dozens.
Media: NPR special series "Ukraine invasion — explained"
Interviewed by Bill Chappell and quoted in "Charging Putin for potential war crimes is difficult, and any penalty hard to enforce."
Invited Talk: #GlobalMinds4Ukraine Solidarity Lecture Series
It was a privilege to be part of the Kyiv School of Economics solidarity lecture series. I am inspired by colleagues in Ukraine who are continuing the mission of the university amidst war.
Interviewed by Jen Kirby and quoted in "The impossible task of truth and reconciliation," on lessons from the world for U.S. truth commissions and transitional justice.
Analysis: "The ICJ ordered Russia to stop military operations in Ukraine. What comes next?"
In The Washington Post, with Daniel Posthumus
Both Russia and Ukraine have accused the other of committing genocide.
Argument: "Putin won’t end up at The Hague — but war-crimes prosecutions of Russia still matter"
In The Washington Post, with Nathaniel Liu
Three courts are investigating Russia’s conduct during its war in Ukraine.
Explainer: "Could Putin Actually Face Accountability at the ICC?"
In Foreign Policy, with Zoha Siddiqui, Nathaniel Liu, and Daniel Posthumus
The International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into Ukraine. Here’s what you need to know.
Invited Talk: "Race in the development of the international relations discipline"
Participated in the Global Racial Foundations of Public Policy speaker series at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy, convened by John Ciorciari.
Analysis: "How the Real World Shows Up in the IR Classroom"
In Foreign Policy
A recent survey shows how a gender and generational divide influences how professors teach about history-making events.
Panel: Getting at the Root: Perspectives on Global Justice, Truth Telling and Accountability
Participated in a panel discussion on global and local transitional justice, organized by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Argument: "The ICC Doesn't Look So Interventionist After All"
In Foreign Policy, with Genevieve Bates
Serious domestic efforts at justice in Colombia have led the court to suspend its longest-running examination to date.
Feature: "Racial Reckoning in the United States"
My article in the International Journal of Transitional Justice (with Daniel Posthumus) was featured in a research report by Ashley Quarcoo and Medina Husaković for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Feature: "Forming a San Francisco Truth Commission"
My work with truth commission practitioner Eduardo González was featured in a research report by UC Berkeley's International Human Rights Law Clinic exploring possibilities for a truth commission to address anti-Black violence in San Francisco.
Invited Talk: "Transitional Justice for Racial Injustice"
Christopher Newport University,
Newport News, VA
Feature: "Truth in Los Angeles"
My work was featured in a research report by a task force commissioned by the Los Angeles Mayor's Office to explore possibilities for truth seeking and truth telling in the City.
Analysis: "Did America’s Racial Awakening Reach IR Professors?"
In Foreign Policy
Nearly half of international relations scholars spent more time in class on race and racial justice—but with key demographic differences.
Roundtable: Transitional Justice and Lynching in Maryland
Participated in a roundtable discussion on restorative and transitional justice with colleagues from the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, International Center for Transitional Justice, and Reginald F. Lewis Museum. “If we don’t document it, others will revise it.”
2021 USC Ph.D. Achievement Award Winner
I am one of six winners of the 2021 USC Ph.D. Achievement Award, "the university’s highest honor conferred on a graduating Ph.D. student ... given based on the student’s record of success, job offers that stem from outstanding doctoral work, major awards earned and other indications of excellence relevant to the student’s field of study."
Inducted into the Order of Arête
"Members of the Order of Arête have distinguished themselves above their peers through ... outstanding work within their individual programs and their dedicated service to the campus community." This honor is bestowed on less than one percent of graduating master's and doctoral students.
USC Dornsife News: "Graduating Ph.D. candidate examines how we can right the wrongs of the past"
Featured in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences 2021 Commencement Series.
Media: Foreign Policy
Interviewed by Christina Lu and quoted in "Does America Need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission?," on truth commissions and transitional justice in the United States and abroad.
Argument: "Justice for George Floyd Has Only Just Begun"
In Foreign Policy
Finding Derek Chauvin guilty of murder provides Americans with accountability—not justice. Now lawmakers need to make sure the system actually changes.
Analysis: "Biden reversed Trump’s sanctions on International Criminal Court officials. What happens now?"
In The Washington Post, with Kyle Rapp
Past U.S. administrations supported the court’s work — when it aligned with U.S. interests.
Feature: "From Building Bombs to Building Futures"
My work with Stephen Chaudoin on the International Criminal Court was featured in a research report by Win Without War.
Argument: "As America Seeks Racial Justice, It Can Learn From Abroad"
In Foreign Policy, with Eduardo González
Other countries offer good lessons for acknowledging and redressing past wrongs.
Analysis: "The International Criminal Court just elected a new chief prosecutor. Here’s what you need to know."
In The Washington Post, with Nastaran Far and Hailey Robertson
The ICC’s future will rest on the prosecutor’s success in opening, trying and closing cases — and being fair.
Analysis: "The ICC says it can investigate Israel’s alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories. Netanyahu and Biden object."
In The Washington Post, with M.P. Broache
Israel and the U.S. don’t think the ICC has jurisdiction over nonmember states. Here’s when it does.
The Brookings Institution webinar: "Reconciling and healing America: How civil society can help the country overcome divisions"
I was one of eight experts invited by the Brookings Institution to explore sources of American divisions and policy solutions with the potential to take the country on a path toward healing and shared prosperity. Dr. Fiona Hill moderated my panel.
Feature: ICTJ Report
My article, "Demanding Truth" (International Studies Quarterly, 2020) was featured in an International Center for Transitional Justice report on measuring results and monitoring progress of transitional justice processes.
Media: Bloomberg TV
Live TV interview with Bloomberg's Daybreak Asia hosts, Shery Ahn and Haidi Stroud-Watts, on human rights, race, and U.S. foreign policy under the Biden-Harris administration.
Argument: "Put Racial Justice at Center of the Biden-Harris Transition Plan"
In Foreign Policy, with Alexandra Byrne and Bilen Zerie
The new administration doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel—it can learn from South Africa’s experience with transitional justice.
Media: The Atlantic
Interviewed by Quinta Jurecic and quoted in "Don't Move on Just Yet," on prospects for truth (and reconciliation) in the United States after the Trump presidency.
Presentation: US Movement for Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation
Presented my research findings at a leadership meeting of the US Movement for Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation, which is lobbying lawmakers to support Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Senator Cory Booker's twin bills in the US House and Senate to create a national truth commission.
Essay: "Foreign Policy Begins at Home"
In the 50th anniversary special issue of Foreign Policy
The best way for Biden and Harris to build better partnerships abroad is to get America’s own house in order—and that begins with human rights.
Argument: "‘This Is Not Who We Are’ Is a Great American Myth"
In Foreign Policy
The crisis at the U.S. Capitol shows that Americans lack a shared understanding of their political past and present. Transitional justice can help.
Argument: "Not a Moment but a Movement: The Case for Transitional Justice in the U.S."
In Ms. Magazine, with Colleen Murphy
In 2020, the U.S. can and should learn from abroad. The U.S. needs transitional justice.
Analysis: "Some people want a U.S. truth commission. But truth commissions have limits."
In The Washington Post, with Claire Crawford
Our research explains what these commissions can and cannot do.
The New School Scholar Panel: "Race, Racism and International Relations"
I was one of four scholars invited to The New School to discuss race and racism in International Relations, from the field's intellectual foundations to its service to Western imperial projects to its implications for how we recruit, train, and mentor the next generation of scholars.
American Society of International Law: Expert Panel: "US Sanctions and the International Criminal Court"
I was one of five experts invited by the American Society of International Law to discuss the new US sanctions regime against the International Criminal Court. We deliberated how the sanctions will work and their potential consequences for US domestic and foreign policy.
Research Explainer Video: "The World Bank as an Enforcer of Human Rights"
In this animated video produced by the USC Security and Political Economy Lab, I explain findings from a newly-published article with Benjamin Graham, "The World Bank as an Enforcer of Human Rights," out now in the Journal of Human Rights.
Bridging the Gap webinar: "What to Do When Your Research Gets Disrupted"
I was one of five political scientists invited by American University and the Bridging the Gap Project to discuss how scholars using interview, focus group, and archival research methods can continue to conduct meaningful research amidst disruptions like Covid-19.
Argument: "Kamala Harris for the People"
In Foreign Policy, with Claire Crawford
As vice president, Harris would be ready to go toe-to-toe with adversaries, both foreign and domestic.
Feature: "Why Race Matters in International Relations"
Reprint of our essay in the Foreign Policy summer 2020 print issue, "Will This Time Be Different? Transformation after the Pandemic."
Argument: "Why Race Matters in International Relations"
In Foreign Policy, with Meredith Loken
Western dominance and White privilege permeate the academic field of International Relations, with little awareness or discussion. It’s time to change that.
Analysis: "Despite U.S. sanctions, the International Criminal Court will keep investigating alleged war crimes in Afghanistan"
In The Washington Post, with Stephen Chaudoin
The U.S. public may not agree with Trump's move.
Analysis: "Some lawmakers are calling for truth commissions on racial violence. How do these work?"
In The Washington Post, with Carla Winston
These factors help commissions create effective solutions.
Analysis: "Why the International Criminal Court will investigate possible U.S. war crimes – even if the Trump administration says it can't"
In The Washington Post
My research suggests Americans may support the investigation.
International Justice Lab Public Launch Event
Thank you all for joining us for our launch! William & Mary Provost Peggy Agouris exhorted us to engage the challenges facing international law and justice, Wayne Sandholtz, Tanisha Fazal, and Layla Abi-Falah shared their insider insights, and I discussed my vision for IJL.
Truth Commission Experts Meeting at Auschwitz Institute
Convened by the Auschwitz Institute, the truth commission experts meeting brought together a dozen scholars and practitioners to explore how commissions may support atrocity prevention by reducing social fragmentation and governance risk factors.
Introducing the International Justice Lab
The International Justice Lab brings together faculty and students from across the United States to conduct research on human rights, transitional justice, and international law and courts. We aim to produce high-quality social science research that is relevant to policy makers, practitioners, and civil society advocates.
Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Joined a group of distinguished guests to publicly launch the commission and participated in a roundtable with Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Maryland House Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk (21st District), the primary sponsor of the enacting legislation.
Visit of the Comisión por la Memoria to William & Mary
La Comisión is an independent and autonomous public body established in Argentina in 1999 to promote and implement public policies of memory and human rights. Some advocates' work on human rights and transitional justice issues dates back to the junta and the transition to democracy in 1983.
American Political Science Association 2019 Best Human Rights Paper Award
Received the 2019 Best Paper Award from the American Political Science Association's Human Rights Section on behalf of myself and my coauthor, Wayne Sandholtz for "Reserving Rights: Explaining Human Rights Treaty Reservations."
Analysis: "Maryland has created a truth commission on lynchings – can it deliver?"
In The Conversation
Reprinted in the Chicago Tribune, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Blavity, theGrio, and others.
International Studies Association 2019 Best Human Rights Paper Award
Received the 2019 Best Paper Award from the International Studies Association's Human Rights Section on behalf of myself and my colleague, Benjamin Graham for "The World Bank as an Enforcer of Human Rights."
Invited Panel: "Research Ethics in Political Science"
Organized by William & Mary's Social Science Research Methods Center (SSRMC), the panel – featuring Dr. Paula Pickering, Dr. Phil Roessler, and me – engaged the ethics of conducting political science research, notably where subjects are recovering from repression and conflict.
Analysis: "Human rights workers are getting killed in Colombia. Here’s what could help save the peace."
In The Washington Post, with Shauna N. Gillooly
Our research shows that these things encourage former combatants to testify in truth and reconciliation hearings.
USC Special Guest Workshop, feat. Beth Simmons
Facilitated a workshop with Dr. Beth Simmons, Andrea Mitchell University Professor of Law, Political Science and Business Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania. Hosted by the USC Center for International Studies, participants helped workshop Simmons' new project on border orientation in a globalizing world.
UC Santa Barbara 2018 Human Rights Roundtable
Convened by the Mellichamp Chair, Dr. Alison Brysk, and the Orfalea Research Hub in Global Governance and Human Rights, this roundtable tracked emerging frontiers in human rights scholarship, including struggles over institutions for accountability, new frameworks such as water rights, the role of advocacy, and global migration.
Invited Workshop: "Journeys in World Politics"
Organized by Dr. Sara Mitchell and Dr. Kelly Kadera at the University of Iowa, the 12th Journeys workshop brought together junior and senior women scholars in International Relations for research presentations, sessions on career and gender topics, and oral autobiographies by senior scholars.
Workshop: "Building Undergraduate Research Labs in the Social Sciences"
Co-organized a workshop at the USC Center for Excellence in Research with my colleagues, Megan Becker and Benjamin Graham. Workshop presenters included Michael Findley from UT-Austin and Michael Tierney from William & Mary. Pictured is our featured student panel.
International Studies Association West Region 2018 Best Faculty Paper Award
Received the 2018 Best Faculty Paper Award from the International Studies Association-West on behalf of myself and my colleague, Benjamin Graham for "The World Bank as an Enforcer of Human Rights."
Reflection: "Eddison Zvobgo and the Struggle for Zimbabwe"
In Africa is a Country
Eddison Zvobgo was both implicated in and a critic of Mugabe's rule. He paid for it. His niece remembers him.
Commentary: "Why Governance Will Go from Bad to Worse in Zimbabwe"
In Africa is a Country
Events around the recent election in Zimbabwe are evidence that transitional justice is needed before true political reform can take place.
USC Graduate School Social Sciences Ph.D. Student Spotlight
Spotlighted in the USC's new promotional video for graduate studies. Video also features four of my undergraduate research assistants and SPEC Lab PI, Benjamin Graham.
Third-Annual USC POIR Predoctoral Institute for First-Generation and Diverse Scholars
Helped advise 35 first-generation and BA and MA students of color from across California on pursuing a Ph.D., writing applications, building research skills, securing mentors, and navigating the Ivory Tower.
Invited Speaker: "Minority Student Leadership Program (MSLP) Conference" at William & Mary
Taught first-generation and high school students of color from across Virginia about transitional justice in South Africa and lessons for the US. Spoke alongside local and state politicians on issues of truth and justice for our communities.
2018 USC Graduate Research Symposium Best Paper Award Winner
For the Best Paper in the Social Sciences, "Exceptionalism and Exemptionalism: Framing US Public Opinion on the International Criminal Court".
Guest Lecture: "Justice in the Aftermath of Repression"
Lecture for the Government Department's seminar on race, rights, and reparations. Juxtaposed experiences of transitional justice in South Africa and my native Zimbabwe.
2018 APSA Teaching and Learning Conference Closing Meeting
Shared key insights from the Disciplinary Curriculum and Assessment track at the final meeting of the APSA Teaching & Learning Conference. I also presented a paper during the weekend on pedagogical innovations in the SPEC Lab.
Commentary: "The Uncertain Future for Transitional Justice in Zimbabwe"
Commentary for the Africa is a Country Politics Section
Chief among the political obstacles to transitional justice in Zimbabwe is the president's own role in the 1980s violence.
USC 27th Annual Awards for Excellence in Teaching
Recipient of a USC Award for Excellence in Teaching. Nominated for the University Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.
Guest Lecture: "'Mighty Be Our Powers': Women’s Peacebuilding in Liberia"