One of the great questions of international affairs is how to promote respect for human rights in a world where sovereign states can be persuaded but rarely compelled to "do the right thing." Catalysts for Change examines the effectiveness of one of the United Nations' most important human rights mechanisms --the collection of independent experts known as Special Procedures.
Created in the 1970s, Special Procedures serve as the eyes and ears of the UN human rights system and have been considered its "crown jewel." Despite their prolific work as fact finders, reporters, and advocates, however, there has been no documented analysis of their impact at the national level --until now. In his new book, Brookings' Theodore Piccone fills that void with authoritative analysis of the mechanism's on-the-ground impact, undertaken within the context of current debates over the UN human rights system. He analyzed thousands of UN communications and government responses and conducted more than 250 interviews with relevant stakeholders, elaborating on his findings with original case studies and quantitative data.
Catalysts for Change will help diplomats, practitioners, and advocates devise better strategies for enhancing the impact of the UN human rights systems. It will also help analysts, journalists, scholars, and students understand the same.
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The Brookings Institution
June 12, 2012
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