Monday, April 6, 2009

Editor's Introduction - April 2009

Annotation of
“Cambodia's Curse” by Joel Brinkley. Foreign Affairs. March/April 2009.

“Cambodia's Curse” by Joel Brinkley. Foreign Affairs. March/April 2009.

Given the complex nature of conflict—intense violence, a myriad of foreign and domestic actors, and victimized populations—the task of rebuilding a post-conflict society is one of the most difficult facing the international community today. Specifically, in examining the process of post-war reconstruction, observers and practitioners hope to learn important lessons and implement best practices to prevent further violence, and most importantly, to create lasting peace and stable governance. As detailed by Joel Brinkley, Cambodia provides a compelling case study of these points that demand examination.

“One word comes up over and over again in conversations with Cambodians: impunity.”

Regardless of repeated international pressure to create a viable and just government in Cambodia, government and politics within the country remain controlled by violent and harsh authoritarian leaders. Notably, government officials in Cambodia so dominate society that they are rarely held accountable for actions and policies that have far-reaching, detrimental effects on the impoverished Cambodian population. Furthermore, rampant corruption plagues the country and has infiltrated all aspects of society including the education system, elections and court rulings, and much-needed aid assistance. The historical legacy of violence and extreme political and social repression that has plagued Cambodians warrants an even greater need to re-establish trust in government and leaders, in addition to upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“Donors rationalize giving money even though they know a share of it will be stolen…International donors, are effectively bankrolling the Cambodian state.”

According to Brinkley, up to half of Cambodia’s annual budget of $1 billion, much of which comes from international donors and other sources of aid assistance, is pocketed by government officials and leaders. To further complicate matters, international donors continue to give despite the fact that uncontrolled corruption is pervasive throughout Cambodia.

For Cambodians, the involvement of the international community, particularly in regard to aid assistance, has not resulted in lasting peace and stable government, and consequently points to the pressing need to reconsider how best to rebuild societies after conflict. As illustrated in the case of Cambodia, and with growing numbers of conflicts throughout the world, post-conflict reconstruction, and particularly issues of impunity, rule of law, and widespread human rights violations must be addressed in reconstructing societies and governments.

These issues and others are considered in this month’s Roundtable.


Cursing Cambodia

by Charli Carpenter, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

“Good guys with guns are not a panacea for long-term stability in a country. But sometimes, they are better than nothing.”

Joel Brinkley has written a heartbreaking piece in Foreign Affairs about Cambodian society thirty-five years after Pol Pot. We are presented with anecdote after anecdote about historical trauma, corruption, and poverty. It’s a depressing picture, and an important country case to have on the US’ foreign policy radar screen.

But I find three problems with Brinkley’s treatment of Cambodia. First, while the reader is treated to a litany of misery, it is not clear throughout most of the piece what Brinkley thinks should be done. Only in the final few pages, does Brinkley suggest ways in which the international community has contributed to the problem; but even then it’s not clear what he is suggesting that donors or the international community do instead.

The dilemma he describes—whether or not to impose aid conditionality to stem the corruption that is eating away at the country—is an old and familiar one for humanitarian and development organizations. In any given conflict or post-conflict situation, some aid is generally skimmed off the top by warlords or public officials as the price for access to needy populations. By going along with this, aid organizations can inadvertently lock in oppressive local hierarchies, prolong conflicts, and relieve authorities from providing public goods for the population over whom they are responsible. But by throwing in the towel in such a situation, they may be depriving vulnerable civilians of basic survival needs—and in contexts like this, there is no reason to think the state will step back in if the international community leaves.

But the choices are not limited to staying unconditionally or leaving entirely. Mary Anderson’s classic book Do No Harm lays out a variety of strategies by which aid can minimize the harmful impacts and do some good. And Alexander Cooley and James Ron’s analysis of aid conditionality suggests that simple changes to an aid regime—like providing long-term contracts to implementing partners, or channeling aid through bilateral agencies instead of outsourcing it to NGOs—can increase accountability by undermining the collective action problems associated with the “NGO scramble” in such areas. So while Brinkley is right to call attention to the chaos inside Cambodia, he is wrong to leave the reader wringing her hands without suggesting concrete solutions—of which there are many. The question remains as to which might work best given the context, and how to translate such general principles into a recipe that fits this particular country. But I would have liked to see less description of the problems and more analysis of solutions.

Moreover, these solutions need to be applied in many places, not just Cambodia. It’s not clear to me that corruption is so much worse in Cambodia than in many other parts of the developing world. True, Cambodia is ranked 166 out of 180 countries by Transparency International’s “Corruption Perceptions Index” for 2008—a shoddy performance to be sure. But this means that a full thirteen countries are in even worse shape. Why single this particular country out for opprobrium and a shake-up? The dilemma to which Brinkley refers is a global one—his argument would be fairer if he spoke in general terms, then used Cambodia as an illustrative case.

Finally, Brinkley’s article begins by showcasing the political implications of a false comparison—that because the atrocities have ebbed, Cambodia is stable—but I fear he reintroduces it in reverse. In pointing out that Cambodia is a country full of problems today, it is almost as if he is suggesting that the country is no better off than it was in the time of the Khmer Rouge, or that Vietnam’s intervention that stopped the massacres was misguided, the peacekeeping mission and international tribunal too little too late. Certainly more could be done. But there is simply no comparison between the situation Brinkley now describes and the all-out crimes against humanity that took place under Pol Pot. Nor, in similar situations unfolding today, would it be wise to think that because the international community cannot effectively create a first-world paradise in the wake of such atrocities, it had better not bother to do what it can. Good guys with guns are not a panacea for long-term stability in a country. But sometimes, they are better than nothing.

Charli Carpenter is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her teaching and research interests include national security ethics, the laws of war, transnational advocacy networks, gender and political violence, war crimes, comparative genocide studies, humanitarian affairs and the role of information technology in human security. She is the author of Innocent Women and Children: Gender, Norms and the Protection of Civilians, and the editor of Born of War: Protecting Children of Sexual Violence Survivors in Conflict Zone. Dr. Carpenter blogs about international politics at Duck of Minerva and about asymmetric warfare at Complex Terrain Lab.


No Show

by Mark Gibney, University of North Carolina-Asheville

"In this particular case, like many others, those who have not forgotten the past are the ones who have been forced to keep repeating it. Those of us who repeatedly do forget the past have not had to repeat it at all."

For someone of my generation, any mention of Cambodia conjures up a jumble of images and emotions—albeit, nearly all from the distant past. Always appearing, but in no particular order, would be: the revelation of Nixon’s secret war; the killings at Kent State; strikes that closed down a number of American college campuses; Pol Pot; the seemingly endless debate whether to use the term Cambodia or the more radical “Kampuchea”; Prince Sihanouk; and last but certainly not least: the Khmer Rouge as the personification of a Third World liberation movement.

By the time that the Khmer Rouge came to be known for what they really were—the worst butchers in all of human history—it already was too late. Few really cared anymore because the US involvement in Vietnam was now over and it was time to move on to other things, preferably non-political things. And although a wonderful movie like “The Killing Fields” (1984) could later elicit some deep sympathy and emotion—if not for an entire nation, at least for the horrible ordeal of Dith Pran—by this time Cambodia (there was no longer any pretense that it was Kampuchea) was quite removed from the Western conscience—and perhaps it needs to be pointed out that there is no intended irony in that last remark.

Thus, there was virtually no reaction, and certainly no celebration, when Vietnam invaded in 1979 in what should have been recognized as one of the great cases of humanitarian intervention. The Khmer Rouge ran and hid, although the US government insisted for some period of years in recognizing this genocidal group as the “lawful” government of that poor country.

Since then, Cambodia has lost every bit of its special status. Now, it is just another country saddled with a corrupt and brutal (but not too brutal) government. The poverty is overwhelming, but poverty happens to overwhelm a lot of people in a lot of places.

All of us have been taught the mantra that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. But in this particular case, like many others, those who have not forgotten the past are the ones who have been forced to keep repeating it. Those of us who repeatedly do forget the past have not had to repeat it at all.
This has been heralded as the Age of Apology. But not even the new president would ever think of visiting this part of America’s past. What would be in it for us? Rather, Cambodia has moved from being a “Sideshow,” to use William Shawcross’ term, to something like no show at all.

Mark Gibney is the Belk Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. His most recent book publications include International Human Rights Law: Returning to Universal Principles (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008) and the edited volume The Age of Apology: Facing Up to the Past (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007). He also has two forthcoming books. The first (with Sabine Carey and Steve Poe) is The Politics of Human Rights (Cambridge) and the second is an edited volume (with Sigrun Skogly) Human Rights and Extraterritorial Obligations (University of Pennsylvania Press).


New Government in Cambodia

by Tyler Moselle, Harvard University

"The truth is that Cambodia’s Curse is a microcosm of international politics and pricks the conscience of many individuals."

The government of Cambodia is replete with corruption and does not respond adequately to the needs of its citizens according to Joel Brinkley’s Foreign Affairs article “Cambodia’s Curse.” Pol Pot, the killing fields, and the Khmer Rouge still linger in the memories of most Americans when Cambodia’s name is mentioned. Yet, the country is currently languishing in the arms of an unresponsive governing elite whose fortunes may continue to improve due to oil and continuous aid grafting.

What in good conscience should a humanitarian do?

1) Support the regime: More wealth will trickle down, help improve swathes of the country and the foreign investment climate, and all rice paddies will eventually rise. They are a minority elite, but someone has to keep things stable.

2) Call for sanctions: Call them out on corruption and aid grafting, enforce stricter oversight, and ensure Cambodian dissent is empowered as a counter-balance to the government. Cambodia was the first major UN nation-building effort of the 1990s, so bring back the Security Council. If the sanctions and UN don’t work, invade, overthrow the regime, and re-order the society.

3) Take it to the streets: Call for the removal of the regime and establish a new government in Cambodia via organic revolution.

4) Do nothing: Write and read online humanitarian blogs to at least understand what is happening in a distant part of the world.

While you ponder the menu of options, ask yourself the irreverent question: what would Pol Pot do? After all, before the Khmer Rouge took power, Cambodian radical Marxists claimed the Sihanouk regime was corrupt, comprised of minority elitists, and unresponsive to the majority of citizens who were agrarian-based. They called for a more just society going so far as to press the reset button and start over at “Year 0.”

Let us be moderate conservatives, argue that human nature is essentially corrupt, and that we can’t do any better than Prime Minister Hun Sen. The oil wealth will bring in foreign investments which won’t necessarily buttress the regime and help it transition to wealthy, tyrannical rule. Instead it will contribute to building a middle class again—the group of educated workers and intelligentsia killed during the 1970s for wearing glasses. Give things time—don’t be so impetuous!

Let us be good humanitarian internationalists and clamor for the Security Council. They can do something. Or, perhaps more subtle methods can be used to merely enforce responsible oversight from aid agencies and donor countries. But wait, isn’t the regime doing everything it can to bring in more aid while paying lip service to the demands of donors? Can we send in the protégé of Hans Blix’s doppelganger from the International Committee for Responsible Donations? Can that team write a report to someone who will do something forceful? If not, will Obama please invade with coalition partners from ASEAN?

Let us be good radical progressives and demand Cambodians take it to the streets. We can support civil-society organizations and Buddhist monk networks who demonstrate. We can call on journalists and political representatives to support the cause of the Cambodian people just like we did in Burma; just like we do in Tibet.

Or, we can do 4, which is the most likely of all.

The truth is that Cambodia’s Curse is a microcosm of international politics and pricks the conscience of many individuals. Unfortunately, we pragmatic humanitarians have figured out few responsible and adequate ways to deal with the reality of societies disrupted by post-colonial revolutions, Marxist utopianism, oligarchical corruption, and tyrannical families who laugh in the face of the rule of law.

Reading Brinkley’s excellent historical and contemporary portrait of Cambodia makes me realize this more forcefully than ever and leaves me wanting for something more.

Tyler Moselle is a Research Associate at Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.


A Coincidental Trip to Cambodia

by Rebecca Otis, University of Denver

“It would seem that little effort has been made in the nation-building efforts of the Cambodian case...certainly Cambodia is cursed by its past, but where lies the cure?"

In a timely coincidence, Henry Alford’s recent travel article, “Banishing the Ghosts in Cambodia,” recently tantalized this reader with visions of a destination vacation in mind. Written for the travel-inspired readership of the New York Times, Alford’s version of Cambodia as a newly reborn hotspot for far flung Westerners approaches the point of lulling his decidedly non-Cambodian audience into pleasantly myopic vision of a plush Cambodian phoenix fully risen from its mired ashes. Amidst the outcropping of chic resorts and beautiful beaches reincarnated from the elegant, pre-Khmer Rouge moment of Cambodia’s forgotten past, Alford banishes the ghosts of Pol Pot’s genocidal legacy with pen in hand by appealingly casting a white, Western light on the glistening seaside resorts that lie just beyond the fringe of Cambodia’s inner darkness.

Unlike Joel Brinkley’s featured article in this month’s Roundtable, which sharply cites the insipid level of governmental corruption and ongoing horrors faced by the Cambodian people today, Alford fuzzily focuses upon the far more audience-friendly aspects of Cambodia, such as the availability of cheap prescription drugs, affordable standards of luxury and, of course, sex appeal. Only lightly referring to the “spooky” history and distantly recalling the Khmer Rouge in abstract isolation, Alford readily focuses upon the finer points of Cambodia’s touristy appeal. Indeed, who can resist the tantalizing vision of sprawling poolside beside the likes of muscular, young Belgian men in designer swimsuits and gorgeous Danish girls lazing on “good sand?” Yet, clearly, if sex is not the draw, then the bonus prize of collecting enough cheap effervescent codeine tablets to bring home as gifts for one’s friends seems to bring Alford’s Cambodian adventure to a positively bubbly conclusion.

Perhaps not coincidently, however, Alford’s light travel missive is strongly indicative of the legacy of disconnect between Cambodia and the rest of the world. Understandably, Brinkley draws upon this concept in his current piece. Tellingly so, Brinkley writes, “Cambodia is trying to make it in the twenty-first century, whereas Washington is still stuck in the 1970s.” Perhaps where Alford would like us to believe that stopping for a delicious mango shake on the Cambodian roadside and paying actual “retail” prices for jewelry made from Khmer Rouge bombs and bullet shells will render all things well and good, Brinkley more concretely observes that a perception skewed by an outdated vision of Cambodia is one of the many elements plaguing the nation today.

But what is this “outdated vision?” As Brinkley explains, it begins with the perception that the severity of corruption and ongoing human rights violations in Cambodia today pale in comparison to the Khmer Rouge’s inflicted death toll of 2 million. Yet, for example, where the legacy of the Nazi genocidal regime continues today as the standard to which the Western world holds itself against, so as not to repeat in the smallest form, it would seem that the legacy of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia is quite the opposite. Held only to (rather than against) the precedent of the Khmer Rouge, Brinkley notes the system in which the Cambodian government and its employees are enabled to act with immunity and self-interest.

In light of the destruction and aftermath of Nazi Germany, one recalls that the nation-building effort on behalf of the German population was grounded in the intent to resolve the milieu of social and political issues that gave way to the rise of Nazi power in the first place. Dissimilarly, however, it would seem that little effort has been made in the nation-building efforts of the Cambodian case. But of course, where Germany had the acute attention of the West on its borders and doorstep, Cambodia only captures the lazy attention of glassy-eyed tourists looking for thrills and cheap adventure.

At most, Brinkley’s piece causes this reader to want to know more about Cambodia today and where it is going. Certainly Cambodia is cursed by its past, but where lies the cure? Finally, I have come to seriously reconsider my next vacation destination in light of the consideration that one can be equally complicit in governmental impunity and corruption by merely indulging in low cost jaunt to the “good sand” beaches of Cambodia.

Rebecca Otis (ABD Ph.D., University of Denver), Women's Studies and International Relations, Hobart & William Smith Colleges. Her research interests include human rights, feminist methodologies, and Islamization in the Middle East. Her research on Palestinian women in the second intifada has taken her to Jerusalem, Israel, where she is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University. She explores human rights and gender from an interdisciplinary perspective, and can regularly be found teaching English to women and girls in a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank.


Changing the Culture of Corruption - Do Small Steps Count?

by Rhona Smith, Northumbria University
“Developing a culture of mutual respect and equality should lead in time away from a blanket acceptance of insidious corruption as a way of life"

Corruption is endemic in modern society, but history attests this problem is as old as states themselves. No single solution to date has garnered sufficient political and/or popular support to effect change. Could education play a role in changing the culture?

Cambodia is a country rich in natural resources and beauty. It is also, as Brinkley notes, a country with one-third of its population living in abject poverty. Life expectancy at birth is currently 59, a figure attributable to malnutrition and poverty. Even a casual tourist to Phnom Penh cannot fail to be aware of both the devastating aftermath of the Khmer Rouge years and the disparity in distribution of wealth today. Just as Brinkley’s article was published, the first trial before Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia against Kaing Guek Eav commenced, legal wrangling over preliminary issues concerning Ieng Sary continues. Besmirched in controversy and allegedly riddled with corruption, few seriously expect positive results from the process, but it is nevertheless an essential cog turning the wheel towards Cambodia’s international rehabilitation and towards national reconciliation. That corruption is a key problem identified by Brinkley is no surprise; “backhanders” and government impunity are features of all too many governments today. Cambodia is ranked 166 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2008, i.e. that organization considers it one of the most corrupt countries analyzed. In the Asia-Pacific region, only Afghanistan and Myanmar (Burma) are perceived to be more corrupt.

Articulation of an international response is difficult due to the entrenched international law principle of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of states. However, corruption impacts adversely and directly on a raft of international human rights and human rights is within the jurisdiction of the international community. Through corruption, rights to food, clean water, an adequate standard of living, equality before the law, to name but a few, are compromised to the extent they are rendered meaningless. Billions of dollars of aid globally is derailed en route to the intended recipients through corrupt governments and people. Treaties such as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and rafts of national law seek to eradicate corruption and hold perpetrators criminally responsible for their actions. The potentially positive contribution of global business has also been harnessed with the addition of an anti-corruption principle to the UN Global Compact. Yet corruption remains characteristic of many countries.

Law in itself has proven inadequate to fight corruption. If the reality of corruption, that it is killing large numbers of people and threatening the lives of millions more, is understood, surely political and/or popular impetus for change is achievable. Doing nothing indicates tacit approval. Obviously those directly effected are impotent to act, their lives and livelihoods endangered if they overtly challenge corruption (consider the last elections in Zimbabwe, the recent suspension and reinstatement of the chief justice of Pakistan, and the fight against drug cartels in some Latin American countries). However, other states and civil society can and should act to encourage ethical practices and limit corruption. Within corruption-riddled countries, education can also play a role in ending corruption as children are taught (in home and school) what is and what is not appropriate. Awareness of the negative connotations associated with corruption can thus start at an early age rather than children experiencing positive reinforcement of the necessity of bribes and similar payments for services and/or services to be rendered.

Education and anti-corruption legislation may still prove insufficient to force a cultural shift in attitudes, but they plant seeds of change. Fairness and transparency in education is a start. After all, human rights education must reflect respect for human rights within education. Anti-corruption legislation, assuming it is properly implemented, can make a real difference; but in corrupt regimes, undue pressure may be brought to bear on prosecutors, judges and other investigators. The burden of impartiality and pursuit of justice is heavy and many have paid with their lives.

Respect for basic human dignity is predicated on equality of all. All Cambodians should be equal and existing discriminatory practices should end. Salaries for educators should be commensurate with an adequate standard of living; those implicated in corruption should be held to account; and elections should be fair and free, not the preserve of the rich. Developing a culture of mutual respect and equality should lead in time away from a blanket acceptance of insidious corruption as a “way of life.” Although progress may be slow and the process long, surely any steps along this path are worth pursuing.

Rhona K.M. Smith is Professor of International Human Rights at Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK. She is also the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Peking University Law School, Beijing University, PR China. She has authored various texts on International Human Rights Law and worked on human rights education capacity building projects particularly in China and Indonesia through RWI and the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights. She has taught human rights at universities in Canada, China, England and Scotland.


A Curse Not Limited to Cambodia

by Chandra Lekha Sriram, University of East London

“Institutions ostensibly designed to right past wrongs and promote an end to a culture of impunity instead become tools in political battles by entrenched elites hoping that they can limit their impact."

Brinkley’s piece draws welcome attention to the virtual farce of hybrid justice now underway in Cambodia, although the emphasis of the piece on the prevalence of corruption de-emphasizes a broader point: human rights protections are not respected in Cambodia, and serious accountability for the abuses by the Khmer Rouge or any subsequent abuses are unlikely, not merely because leaders are corrupt, but because the wide scale culture of impunity makes the protection of human rights and functional rule of law virtually impossible. In such circumstances, it is not merely that political leaders circumvent institutions of accountability, including hybrid tribunals such as the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Rather, governments and officials implicated in past violence seek to control them from their inception—if they cannot prevent an accountability institution from being created due to international pressure, they have learned, they can still manipulate it. In such circumstances, as in Cambodia, governments may seek to limit the mandate or composition of a court, and further to control those nationals working for the court in an effort to limit the possibly moderating effect of international staff. In other cases, the international actors themselves promoting the tribunal may have specific agendas or the affected population may believe that they have such agendas. Institutions ostensibly designed to right past wrongs and promote an end to a culture of impunity instead become tools in political battles by entrenched elites hoping that they can limit their impact, (as in Cambodia) or only target particular groups of perpetrators (as some have alleged was the case in Sierra Leone). In this, Cambodia is not the only country cursed.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Hybrid mechanisms were developed ostensibly to address both the weakness of international trials, which were too distant from “the scene of the crime,” and of domestic trials, which were too susceptible to political manipulation. Specifically, the presence of international judges and staff is meant to defend against attempts by governments or others with power to manipulate local staff. However, in practice they are often still rather disconnected from the affected society, and, more relevant in this context, subject to political manipulation, bias, and the appearance of bias. This is not to say that many aren’t created with the best of intentions, and dedicated and professional staff; but many are. However, local, regional, and international politics may still hamper their operation.

The Cambodian Extraordinary Chambers is but one of a range of current or proposed tribunals with hybrid characteristics which appear to be plagued by political manipulation and politicization. The Lebanon Special Tribunal was designed to address the killing of only one individual, Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, which seems woefully limited given that country’s long history of civil war, internal repression, and the 2006 conflict with Israel. Indeed, the creation of a costly hybrid for the assassination of one person is rather disproportionate. Some in the region view its very creation through a political lens, as a Western-promoted institution designed to demonstrate Syrian guilt for the assassination, while a range of alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law go unpunished, such as Israeli conduct in Gaza, despite international legal experts’ calls for investigations. The tribunal proposed for Kenya following the report of a commission of inquiry into the election violence that shook the country in early 2008 has been defeated in Parliament, but may be revived less out of genuine political will to prosecute perpetrators, many of whom retain positions of power, than to avoid prosecutions before the ICC. Kenyan politicians are likely to promote a toothless tribunal, empowered to try very few persons, to impose serious sentences, or unlikely even to publicize much of the evidence of high-level involvement in the violence. The less said about the Iraqi High Tribunal’s political origins the better, notwithstanding the triumphant declarations by some that the acquittal of Tariq Aziz on some charges demonstrated its independence. The tribunal is in one sense a hybrid, in that it involves a domestic process with a statute that includes international crimes, but otherwise lacks the international judges or staff of other hybrids.
The shaky start of the ECCC may well illustrate the impact of corruption and a culture of impunity in Cambodia on the prospects for justice, but it also demonstrates a broader weakness with hybrid tribunals, their potentially great susceptibility to political manipulation. Just as governments can learn “donor speak” and continue with corruption, so too can they learn to mimic “human rights speak,” permitting tribunals with little power to function, and seeking continuously to limit their independence. In such circumstances, accountability, and future protections of human rights, are likely to get short shrift.

Chandra Lekha Sriram is Professor of Human Rights in the University of East London School of Law and founder and director of the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict. She is author and co-editor of various books and journal articles on international relations, international law, human rights and conflict prevention and peace-building. She was the director of the conflict prevention project at the International Peace Academy from 2000-2003. She is the chair of the International Studies Association Human Rights Section, on the UN Development Programme’s expert roster as a human rights expert, a member of the advisory board of the Review of International Studies; and member of the advisory board of Palgrave/MacMillan publishers’ Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series.