Human rights experimentalism
Title: Human rights experimentalism
Author: DE BURCA, Grainne
Series/Number: EUI MWP LS; 2015/02
This paper argues that the way in which international human rights treaty systems function can best be understood through the lens of experimentalist governance theory. Drawing on evidence from the operation of three UN human rights treaties, namely the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the paper argues, contrary to many conventional depictions of international human rights regimes as both ineffective and top-down, that they function at their best as dynamic, participatory and iterative two-way systems. Viewing them as experimentalist governance regimes brings to light a set of features and interactions that are routinely overlooked or marginalized in many mainstream accounts of these systems, and suggests possible avenues for reform of other human rights treaty regimes with a view to making them more effective in practice.
Subject: International law; Transnational governance; Experimentalist governance; Human rights regimes; UN treaty regimes
This paper is a revised published version of a Max Weber Lecture on "Reframing International Human Rights Regimes" held at the European University Institute on 22 April 2015.
Type of Access: openAccess