The International Studies Public Forum presents

"The Global Diffusion of Law: Transnational Crime and the Case of Human Trafficking"
with Beth Simmons, Harvard University

Thursday, March 1, 2012
3:30-5:00 p.m.
UCI Student Center, Doheny Beach Room A  (PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF PLACE)

About the talk:
The past few decades have seen the proliferation of new laws criminalizing certain transnational practices, from money laundering to corruption; from insider trading to trafficking in weapons and drugs.  Human trafficking is one example.  How do we understand the fairly rapid move in the past two decades for many countries to criminalize the exploitative transshipment of people across borders?  In her talk, Simmons will argue that (1) issue framing is crucial; (2) once human trafficking is framed as linked to transnational crime, governments are more likely to adopt a prosecutorial approach to address it; and (3) the transnational crime frame explains the diffusion pattern of criminal statutes internationally.  She has tested the argument by documenting the effect of issue framing and physical vulnerability on the diffusion of criminal law in this area.  These results suggest the importance of combining both ideational and material factors to understand the spread of criminal law world-wide.

About the speaker:
Beth Simmons is the Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs and director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.  Her book, Who Adjusts? Domestic Sources of Foreign Economic Policy During the Interwar Years, 1924-1939, was recognized by the American Political Science Association in 1995 as the best book published in 1994 in government, politics, or international relations, as was her recent book, Mobilizing for Human Rights: International Law in Domestic Politics (2009).  The latter also won best book awards from the American Society for International Law, the International Social Science Council and the International Studies Association. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009, and is the current president of the International Studies Association.

For further information please contact Sandy Cushman, scushman@uci.edu or 949-824-3344.

 

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