Victor Peskin

Victor Peskin
Assoc Professor


Assistant Professor, School of Global Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Ph.D. Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley


Victor Peskin joined the School of Global Studies as an assistant professor in Spring 2006. His research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of international relations, comparative politics, and human rights. His research seeks to understand the conflicts between international legal institutions and nation-states that have ensued with the expansion of international humanitarian and human rights law. He is particularly interested in the political and philosophical battles between international war crimes tribunals and states implicated in war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The outcome of these tribunal-state conflicts will determine the viability of the emerging system of international criminal courts to prosecute individual suspects charged with human rights violations.

Research interest

Peskin is the author of International Justice in Rwanda and the
Balkans: Virtual Trials and the Struggle for State Cooperation (New
York: Cambridge University Press, 2008). The book was selected as a
CHOICE 2008 Outstanding Academic Title. The book tells the story of
how the UN International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia
and Rwanda prod states implicated in atrocities to hand over their own
leaders for trial. Drawing on his 300 interviews with tribunal
officials, Balkan and Rwandan politicians and Western diplomats,
Peskin uncovers the politicized and protracted state-tribunal struggle
over cooperation. Key to his analysis is an explanation of how
domestic politics – including the shifting balance
of power between moderate and nationalist politicians
– shapes and is shaped by the state-tribunal
struggle over compliance. In the conclusion, Peskin examines the
Special Court for Sierra Leone and the International Criminal Court,
the next steps on the trajectory of international war crimes
tribunals. His analysis focuses on how the diminished legal authority
of these new courts affects their struggle for cooperation. Peskin
has also published articles in the Journal of International Criminal
Justice, the Journal of Human Rights, Europe-Asia Studies, Legal
Affairs, and International Peacekeeping. His research has been
supported by the United States Institute of Peace, the Institute on
Global Conflict and Cooperation at UC San Diego, the Berkeley Center
for African Studies, and the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley.
Peskin’s current research includes a project that
examines the range of challenges that the International Criminal Court
confronts in its efforts to prosecute war crimes suspects in Sudan and
Uganda. At the School of Global Studies, Peskin has developed and
taught a number of courses, including Violence, Conflict, and Human
Rights; Humanitarian Crisis and International Intervention; the
Politics of Global Justice; Working in International Organizations;
and Facing the Past: Truth, Memory and Denial After Atrocity.

School of Politics and Global Studies 
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