Kathryn A. Sikkink

Harvard Kennedy School
Political scientist; Educator
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Political Science

Kathryn A. Sikkink is the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she has served since 2014. She is also an affiliated faculty member at Harvard Law School. Earlier, she was the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute in 2014-19, and held the McKnight Presidential Chair in Political Science (2008-13) at the University of Minnesota, where she was also the Regents Professor (2006-13), the Distinguished McKnight University Professor (2005-09), and the Arleen Carlson Professor of Political Science (2001-07). She taught at the University of Minnesota from 1988 to 2013. Sikkink works on international norms and institutions, transnational advocacy networks, the impact of human rights law and policies, and transitional justice. Her publications include The Hidden Face of Rights: Toward a Politics of Responsibilities (2020); Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century( 2017); The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions are Changing World Politics (2011; awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Center Book Award, and the WOLA/Duke University Award); Mixed Signals: U.S. Human Rights Policy and Latin America (2004); Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (1998; co-authored with Margaret Keck and awarded the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas for Improving World Order, and the ISA Chadwick Alger Award for Best Book in the area of International Organizations); and The Persistent Power of Human Rights: From Commitment to Compliance, (2013; co-edited with Thomas Risse and Stephen Ropp). Sikkink has been a Fulbright Scholar in Argentina and a Guggenheim fellow. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the Council on Foreign Relations, a corresponding fellow of the British Academy, and a member of the editorial board of International Organization and the American Political Science Review. Sikkink has served on the governing Council of the American Political Science Association, and on the Board of Directors of the Social Science Research Council. Sikkink was elected a Fellow of the American Academy in 2001 and has served as the Chair of the Class III:3 membership panel and a member of the Committee on International Security Studies.


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