Nicole De Silva wins International Studies Association’s 2016-17 Stephen C. Poe Award

Congratulations to Nicole De Silva, who has been awarded the International Studies Association’s 2016-17 Stephen C. Poe Award for her paper, “Africa versus the International Criminal Court: The Strategy of Regionalizing International Criminal Justice.” The award recognizes the best paper in the field of human rights.

Nicole’s paper examines how African states’ opposition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) has escalated over time, culminating in proposals for creating regional criminal courts in the African Union (AU) and East African Community (EAC).

When presenting the award at recent ISA Convention in Baltimore, the committee noted:

“De Silva’s Africa versus the International Criminal Court: The Strategy of Regionalizing International Criminal Justice is a timely and important piece of scholarship that examines the regional alternatives to multinational institutions. Drawing on institutional choice theory, De Silva enriches the growing literature on the ICC by offering a careful analysis of the interrelationship between institution building at the national, regional and international levels. In this careful analysis, De Silva illustrates how state dissatisfaction with the institutional status quo can drive regional institution building. Using the African dissatisfaction with the International Criminal Court as her case study, De Silva compares how members of the African Union and East African Community have pursued proposals to expand their regional courts—the African Court of Justice and Human Rights and East African Court of Justice—to cover international crimes. Through her thorough analysis, De Silva delineates the factors that promote and inhibit regional institution building as a strategy for regionalizing international criminal justice. De Silva’s findings may offer broader implications for the conditions under which regional actors may pursue regional alternatives to multinational institutions rather than simply fighting for reform or withdrawal from these institutions.”

This paper also recently won the 2016 British International Studies Association (BISA) African Affairs Paper Prize.

Nicole’s research broadly focuses on the role of international organizations and international law in regional and global governance. You can find out more about her research by visiting her website.

Dr Nicole De Silva is IKEA Research Fellow in International Relations