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Hypocrisy and Human Rights: Resisting Accountability for Mass Atrocities, Kate Cronin-Furman

Reviewed by Line Engbo Gissel
 

“Don’t Be Vague, Go to The Hague!” This was the slogan of the justice movement following Kenya's 2008 postelection violence. Having little faith in their own government's willingness to pursue accountability for the violence, the activists sought to mobilize the International Criminal Court. The slogan illustrates the tendency for justice activists to look abroad for either an accountability mechanism or to pressure their governments to initiate one, hoping for the “boomerang effect” theorized by Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink in their seminal Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics. A new book implies, however, that domestic movements should reorient their focus.

Hypocrisy and Human Rights by Kate Cronin-Furman analyzes the barriers to accountability for mass atrocity. Combining qualitative analysis and descriptive and inferential statistics, Cronin-Furman expertly investigates the conditions under which states pursue accountability for serious human rights violations. They do so, she argues, when domestic demand for accountability is high while domestic resistance to it is low. The presence of a domestic justice movement significantly increases the odds that postatrocity governments will initiate domestic or international trials or a truth commission. They weigh the co

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