Emilie Hafner-Burton

Improving Human Rights is based on an in-depth, filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Emilie Hafner-Burton, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of International Justice and Human Rights at UC San Diego and co-director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the School. This extensive conversation covers topics such international law, when and why international laws work and don’t work, the international human rights system and concrete measures that could be taken to improve it, the International Criminal Court, and the role of states in the protection of human rights.

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, Making a Difference, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

  1. Forging a Path – An unconventional route to the UN
  2. Shifting Perspectives – Considering the data
  3. Who Decides? – The perils of implementation
  4. Going Public – Towards an open exchange
  5. Fundamental Questions – Incentives and justifications
  6. The International Criminal Court – Past present and future
  7. Norm Saturation – Beyond rules and procedures
  8. Reform – Marginal and non-marginal changes
  9. Getting Concrete – Towards meaningful progress
  10. Stewardship – How states can have a positive impact
  11. Reactions and Responses – Examining opposing views
  12. Public Engagement – Media bias and joint opportunities



Available in electronic format on all major booksellers, including:





Improving Human Rights is also part of the five-part Ideas Roadshow CollectionConversations About Law, which is available in both paperback and electronic format.