EJIL interview with Karen Alter of iCourts – University of Copenhagen

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08 August 2016

EJIL interview with Karen Alter of iCourts

In an episode of EJIL: Live! the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, Professor Joseph Weiler, speaks with Karen Alter, Professor of Political Science and Law at Northwestern University and Professor in iCourts, about the article she co-authored with James T. Gathii and Laurence R. Helfer, “Backlash against International Courts in West, East and Southern Africa: Causes and Consequences”, which appears in EJIL, Volume 27, Issue 2.

The video begins with a short discussion of Professor Alter’s experience as a political scientist entering the world of law, especially the initial reception to her work and the difficulties translating between the respective languages of these two fields. After an outline of the article, the conversation turns to the scientific dimension of the research. Professor Alter discusses how she and her co-authors set out to understand the dynamics of the politics of backlash, and why the sanction against the Court ultimately succeeded in the case of the SADC.

The interview concludes with a discussion of the uncertain boundaries of the politics of backlash and plans for further research into other regional organizations as well as the International Criminal Court.

The interview was recorded at the European University Institute.

Link to the video.

Link to the article.

Link to a discussion on the article.