Enforcing and Protecting Rights in a Federal Context. The case of Argentina´s Domestic Violence Laws


Monday, November 25, 2019, 4:00pm


CGIS South, S216

Speaker: Catalina Smulovitz, Vicerrectora, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
Moderator: Kathryn Sikkink, Ryan Family Professor, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

How rights are protected and implemented in a federal context? The purpose of this presentation is to analyze the impact that federalism has on the way laws are defined, legal representation is supplied and resources for implementation are allocated at the local level. Analysis focus on the implementation of domestic violence laws in the Argentinian provinces and on the factors explaining heterogeneity in right protection among these subnational districts.

Catalina Smulovitz holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from The Pennsylvania State University. She is Full Professor of Political Science at Universidad Di Tella , and a CONICET researcher. Professor Smulovitz served as Provost of Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (2013-2019) and has written on human rights and civil military relations, the uses and access to legal systems and citizenship and accountability in Latin America. Her recent scholarship focuses on inequality in the protection of rights in Argentina. Her latest publication is “Public Defense and Access to Justice in a Federal Context: Who Gets What, and how in the Argentinian Provinces” in Kapiszewski, Diana and Ingram, Matthew (editores) Beyond High Courts, Notre Dame Press, 2019.

Kathryn 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 Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions are Changing World Politics (awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Center Book Award, and the WOLA/Duke University Award); Mixed Signals: U.S. Human Rights Policy and Latin America; Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (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, (co-edited with Thomas Risse and Stephen Ropp).

She holds an MA and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Sikkink has been a Fulbright Scholar in Argentina and a Guggenheim fellow. She is a fellow of the American Philosophical Society, the American Association for Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the editorial board of the International Studies Quarterly, International Organization, and the American Political Science Review.

Presented in collaboration with the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School