Kathryn Sikkink, “Human Rights, Principled Issue-Networks, and Sovereignty in Latin America”

Human Rights, Principled Issue-Networks, and Sovereignty in Latin America

Kathryn Sikkink, “Human Rights, Principled Issue-Networks, and Sovereignty in Latin America,” International Organization, Vol. 47, No. 3 (Summer, 1993), pp. 411-441, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2706982



This article by Kathryn Sikkink is an analysis of the role of sovereignty in the world today and the ways in which changes in the human rights landscape are affecting countries perceptions and behaviors regarding their power as it relates to rights.  She claims that important factors such as the doctrine of human rights offer new insight regarding the validity and usefulness of sovereignty, and whether or not it is appropriate or not in certain circumstances.  Nongovernmental Organizations are extremely critical in the development of these rights within and across nations, along with their intergovernmental organization counterparts.  She explores these ideas primarily through research of conditions in Mexico and Argentina.

Kathryn Sikkink is an author with a focus on academic human rights research.  Her belief in this study is that these types of organizations, over the course of many years and a reasonable amount of cooperation, will be able to challenge the authority of sovereignty over human rights and how they are formed and related across the continents.  She argues that these organizations and institutions known as “issue networks” will be extremely vital if the world is going to challenge the idea that a state can treat its citizens however it wishes.  Her arguments appear highly insightful, and cut through much of the negative ideology regarding the omnipotence of a state when it comes to their own territory.

This article is extremely relevant to Human Rights in Latin America, as it not only deals directly with human rights issues in Latin America, but it addresses ways in which the situations in these regions can be improved through different types of cooperation and coordination.

Tags: Argentina, Mexico, Human Rights, Human Rights Violations, Sovereignty, Latin America, NGOs, IGOs, Ford, Transnational Actors

-Erik Laats

About Erik Laats

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