About Me

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I am the Hitchcock Family Chair in Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  I also serve as the Director of the Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs.  My research interests are in international relations, human rights and international law.  I am particularly interested in understanding the nexus between domestic politics and the international governance of human rights.

I am the author of Saving the International Justice Regime: Beyond Backlash against International Courts (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and Domestic Politics and International Human Rights Tribunals:  The Problem of Compliance, (Cambridge University Press, 2014).  My research has also appeared in Democratization, The European Journal of International RelationsForeign Policy Analysis, The Harvard International Law Journal, Human Rights Quarterly, Human Rights Review, International Interactions, The Journal of Human Rights, The Journal of Peace Research and The Law and Society Review, among other outlets.

I also am co-PI, with Jillienne Haglund, on a National Science Foundation grant, the goal of which is to unpack the effects of overlapping human rights institutions on women’s rights protections.  This multi-method project features new datasets on the quality of and compliance with women’s rights recommendations.  You can learn more about work and explore our data on our website, The Women’s Rights Recommendations and Compliance Explorer.

In addition to my scholarship and teaching, I serve as an Associate Editor of International Studies Quarterly as part of the 2019-2023 editorial team.  I also am Past-Chair of the International Studies Association Human Rights Section and a founding and executive committee member of the Inter-American Human Rights Network, an interdisciplinary community of researchers focused on the Inter-American Human Rights System.  I have previously served as the Social Media Coordinator of the Human Rights Section of the American Political Science Association.  On the UNL campus, I also have served as the Faculty Coordinator for the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community.

I received my Ph.D. in 2010 from the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  While in graduate school, I had research fellowships at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University and the School of Human Rights Research at Utrecht University in Utrecht, the Netherlands.  Before starting my graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, I attended Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT.  I graduated suma cum laude from Middlebury with a B.A. in History and Spanish in 2004.

Originally from Stafford Springs, CT (check it out in this video here), I now live in Lincoln with my husband, Carrick Detweiler, and our family.  I spend my free time traveling (I occasionally write about our travels here), reading, running, exploring Lincoln and best of all, spending time with our two daughters.  Although I don’t get to do it too often anymore, I grew up skiing and snowboarding and taught skiing for eight years at Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, VT.  I completed my first marathon in May 2012, and with a 26.2 under my belt, I’ve since discovered that half marathons are half the distance but twice the fun.  I’ve more recently started playing tennis and am discovering that learning a new sport as an adult is a ton of fun!