Core Research Themes

In recognition of the importance of specific local context in shaping the application of international human rights, this network has adopted a regional approach to the study of human rights. New theoretical frameworks will be coupled with rich empirical analysis from leading and emerging scholars to allow for a contextualised examination of the actual processes underpinning the interaction between national, regional, and global human rights politics.

The research being developed by the network broadly falls into the following three categories:

    1. Impact of the IAHRS on domestic human rights outcomes. The Network examines the pathways through which the IAHRS affects domestic politics to generate theoretically informed and empirically rich research on the domestic impact of specific IAHRS mechanisms (e.g. individual petitions, interim orders, reports, Court rulings). Primary outcomes to be examined are the degree of human rights change (improvement or deterioration) as assessed through qualitative research, indicator development and dataset construction.
    2. Key factors explaining the IAHRS’ institutional development. Although the primary research theme is the IAHRS’ domestic impact, the Network also assesses the political factors that shape the system’s institutional development, which, in turn, help explain its impact.
    3. Lessons learnt from comparisons of regional human rights systems. The Network seeks to foster comparative study of the IAHRS’ interaction with and influences on the European and African human rights systems. The focus will not only be on the increasing jurisprudential cross-regional interaction in recent years, but also on what can be learnt from the study of the convergences and contrasts between the evolution and the comparative impact of the European, African and Inter-American human rights systems.