Kathryn Sikkink (born 1955) is an author, human rights academic, and scholar of international relations working primarily through the theoretical strain of constructivism. She received her B.A. in international relations from the University of Minnesota and her M.A. and PhD in political science from Columbia University.
Prior to her career at Harvard University, Sikkink previously served as a Regents Professor and the McKnight Presidential Chair of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. Currently she is the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Sikkink studies international norms and institutions, transnational advocacy networks, the impact of human rights law and policies, and transitional justice.
In 2008, Sikkink received a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2012, she won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for her book on international human rights titled The Justice Cascade, which discusses the origins and effects of human rights trials on geopolitics and global justice. She was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2013. She is also the recipient of the Grawemeyer World Order Award for her book (with Margaret Keck) Activists Beyond Borders (1998). In 2017, Sikkink released the essay Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century, where she states that human rights institutions have been successful in their goals, despite their flaws and limitations, and will continue to deliver in the next years.
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- Review – Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century - Daniel Braaten, E-International Relations, 7 April 2018
- What Are Human Rights Good For? - Mark Goodale, Boston Review, 19 July 2018