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Global human rights governance and orchestration: National human rights institutions as intermediaries

Pegram, T; (2015) Global human rights governance and orchestration: National human rights institutions as intermediaries. European Journal of International Relations , 21 (3) pp. 595-620. 10.1177/1354066114548079. Green open access

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Abstract

The United Nations remains the principal international governmental organisation for promoting human rights. However, serious concerns focus on persistent compliance gaps between human rights standards and domestic practice. In response and against a backdrop of growing regime complexity, United Nations human rights agencies have increasingly sought to bypass states by coordinating new forms of non-state and private authority. International Relations scholarship has captured this governance arrangement using the concept of orchestration, defined as when an international organisation enlists and supports intermediary actors to address target actors in pursuit of international governmental organisation governance goals. This article explores the implications of an orchestration topology for human rights governance by analysing national human rights institutions in the context of an established global human rights regime and its dedicated orchestrator: the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. I use the experience of national human rights institutions to further refine the concepts of managing versus bypassing states to capture how networked intermediaries are affected by, and respond to, new opportunities within international governmental organisation structures. The article identifies the conditions under which orchestration may be particularly well-suited to a human rights governance function. It further examines the analytical limitations of this mode of influence for addressing a multi-level compliance gap, as well as what the analysis means for international organisations and understanding orchestration more generally.

Type: Article
Title: Global human rights governance and orchestration: National human rights institutions as intermediaries
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1354066114548079
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1354066114548079
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2014.
Keywords: Global governance, global institutions, human rights, theory and practice, transnational actor, United Nations
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1480277
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