Friday, November 5, 2021 12:00 PM
Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs
Comparative Politics / International Relations
Zvobgo: Do Americans Support War Crimes Prosecutions?
Do Americans support war crimes prosecutions? Historically, the
United States has touted itself as a torchbearer of international criminal
justice, leading the establishment of multiple international tribunals, from
Germany and Japan to the Balkans and Rwanda. The United States even
participated in the drafting of the governing treaty of the International
Criminal Court (ICC). Yet the nation has never itself been the subject of an
international criminal tribunal – until now. In 2020, the ICC's chief
prosecutor opened a formal investigation into alleged U.S. atrocity crimes
relating to the war in Afghanistan. Prior research shows that Americans support
the ICC and U.S. membership. However, this work precedes the Afghanistan
investigation, leaving open two important questions: (1) is the public's
support conditional on the ICC not investigating and prosecuting U.S. personnel
and (2) what discursive frames support or undermine the ICC's efforts? Building
on the literature on U.S. foreign policy public opinion, we theorize that human
rights frames increase and national interest frames decrease support for the
ICC's work in Afghanistan. We administer an online survey experiment to test
these expectations. We also explore Americans' preferred venue for war crimes
prosecutions: the ICC, U.S. domestic courts, or foreign domestic courts.
Zvobgo is an Assistant Professor of Government at William & Mary and
Founder and Director of the International Justice Lab. Dr. Zvobgo’s research
engages questions in human rights, transitional justice, and international law
and courts, and has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals,
including International Studies Quarterly and the Journal of Human
Rights. It has also been featured in a variety of U.S. media, including
newspapers, magazines, podcasts, and television. She holds a Ph.D. in Political
Science and International Relations from the University of Southern California.
For more information, contact Dan McDowell, firstname.lastname@example.org. For accessibility accommodations, please contact email@example.com.