Putting Politics First in Human Rights Strategy


  • Jack Snyder,
  • TBA

ABOUT THE TOPIC: Social scientists have been working hard to understand the circumstances and strategies that improve the chances of favorable human rights outcomes.  Their findings are consistent with the view that the long-term prospects for human rights are good.  Despite this, the activities of the human rights movement seem only marginally related to the forces producing rights improvements, and in some circumstances may even be counterproductive.

Dr. Snyder will also briefly reflect on his work over the years, including his 2012 book of collected essays, Power and Progress in International Relations.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Jack Snyder is the Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science and the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. His books include Power and Progress: International Politics in Transition (Routledge 2012); Religion and International Relations Theory (Columbia 2011); Electing to Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go to War (MIT Press, 2005), co-authored with Edward D. Mansfield; From Voting to Violence: Democratization and Nationalist Conflict (Norton 2000); Myths of Empire: Domestic Politics and International Ambition (Cornell 1991); and Civil Wars, Insecurity, and Intervention, co-editor with Barbara Walter (Columbia 1999). His articles on such topics as democratization and war, imperial overstretch, war crimes tribunals versus amnesties as strategies for preventing atrocities, and international relations theory after September 11 have appeared in The American Political Science Review, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Organization, International Security, and World Politics. His commentaries on current public issues such as the promotion of democracy abroad have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, and on National Public Radio. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Snyder received a B.A. in government from Harvard University in 1973, the Certificate of Columbia’s Russian Institute in 1978, and a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia in 1981.