Human Rights Enforcement at the International Criminal Court: An Interdisciplinary Proposal for a Multi-level Approach Based on Wendt and Habermas

Date of Award


Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no embargo, no restriction)

Work Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MA)


Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Amos Nascimento

Second Advisor

Cynthia Howson


This paper examines the conditions that must be met in order for the International Criminal Court to develop a more robust structure for human rights enforcement. Drawing upon the proposal of Alexander Wendt and theories in the discipline of International Relations, as well as the proposal of Jürgen Habermas and insights from Philosophy and Political Theory, the author finds some common ground between these theories and disciplines and provides an interdisciplinary answer to the research question. The findings of the research suggests that the International Criminal Court could develop a more robust structure for enforcing human rights if; a) individuals have standing and full recognition to petition the court for investigation and case selections; b) limits are placed on State sovereignty; c) State membership on the U.N. Security Council is expanded and mechanisms are created to avoid a vetoing power by a single State, and d) procedures are created for a majority or super-majority vote in order to veto resolutions that come before the Security Council. The author further suggests that these measures could begin to address the struggle among States in the international system for mutual recognition and effective protection of human rights through the ICC.