Abstract: Existing international relations scholarship on human rights focuses on international law and transnational advocacy to the exclusion of "human rights diplomacy" (HRD)---efforts by government officials to engage publicly and privately with their foreign counterparts---because diplomacy is often not publicly observable. We exploit an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of HRD: a campaign coordinated by the U.S. government to free twenty female political prisoners called #Freethe20. Our analysis of release outcomes for #Freethe20 women compared to two control groups (a longer list of women considered by the State Department for the campaign and a list of women imprisoned simultaneously in the same target countries) suggests the campaign was highly effective. While #Freethe20 was public-facing, we find little evidence that "naming and shaming" alone drove releases. Drawing on in-depth interviews with U.S. officials, we argue that foreign governments were most responsive when public pressure was matched with private, coercive diplomacy.
Speaker Bio: Jeremy M. Weinstein is a Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C.
His research focuses on civil wars and political violence; ethnic politics and the political economy of development; and democracy, accountability, and political change. He is the author of Inside Rebellion: The Politics of Insurgent Violence (Cambridge University Press), which received the William Riker Prize for the best book on political economy. He is also the co-author of Coethnicity: Diversity and the Dilemmas of Collective Action (Russell Sage Foundation), which received the Gregory Luebbert Award for the best book in comparative politics. He has published articles in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Annual Review of Political Science, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Journal of Democracy, World Policy Journal, and the SAIS Review.
Weinstein received the International Studies Association’s Karl Deutsch Award in 2013. The award is given to a scholar younger than 40 or within 10 years of earning a Ph.D. who has made the most significant contribution to the study of international relations. He also received the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Stanford in 2007.
He has also worked at the highest levels of government on major foreign policy and national security challenges, engaging in both global diplomacy and national policy-making. Between 2013 and 2015, Weinstein served as the Deputy to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and before that as the Chief of Staff at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. As Deputy, Weinstein was a standing member of the National Security Council Deputies’ Committee – the sub-cabinet policy committee with primary responsibility for advising the National Security Council, the Cabinet, and the President on the full range of foreign policy issues, including global counterterrorism, nonproliferation, U.S. policy in the Middle East, the strategic rebalance to Asia, cyber threats, among a wide variety of other issues.
During President Obama’s first term, he served as Director for Development and Democracy on the National Security Council staff at the White House between 2009 and 2011. In this capacity, he played a key role in the National Security Council’s work on global development, democracy and human rights, and anti-corruption, with a global portfolio. Before joining the White House staff, Weinstein served as an advisor to the Obama campaign and, during the transition, as a member of the National Security Policy Working Group and the Foreign Assistance Agency Review Team.
Weinstein obtained a BA with high honors from Swarthmore College, and an MA and PhD in political economy and government from Harvard University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on a number of non-profit boards and advisory groups.