Monday, December 13, 2021

Most Interesting 2021: Reiners, Transnational Lawmaking Coalitions for Human Rights

Many thanks to all those who submitted their choices for most "interesting, important, or influential" article or book published in 2021. As a reminder, the call was open exclusively to junior scholars. Beginning today, I will post the submissions. Each post will include the article and/or book and a statement from the recommender explaining the reason why they believe the article/book is interesting, important, or influential. The full series will be available at the label "Most Interesting 2021." Here's the first post:

Nina Reiners, Transnational Lawmaking Coalitions for Human Rights (Cambridge Univ. Press 2021)

This fascinating and well-written book provides an in-depth study of the lawmaking process at the UN human rights treaty bodies. It looks at the importance of informal collaborations in developing treaty interpretations. Empirically the book focuses on the debates and the General Comment on the ‘Right to Water’. However, by going beyond the study of formal processes, Reiners demonstrates the crucial role of various actors, including NGO representatives and human rights professionals in the actual lawmaking process. Reiners identifies, conceptualises, and studies these actors working together as ‘Transnational Law Making Coalitions’.

The book achieves the study with the help of an innovative theoretical framework. It provides several detailed case studies and new and original data. This book is fascinating not only for the empirical insights it provides but also for the novel conceptualisation of transnational lawmaking coalitions. The book also appeals to scholars of International Law interested in the lawmaking process beyond the formal aspects and International Relations scholars interested in the practical workings of the UN human rights treaty bodies. But it also appeals to those interested in human rights or international organisations more generally. It is a stellar example of an interdisciplinary work that bridges International Law and International Relations in a meaningful way, from which scholars from both disciplines can benefit.

Sassan Gholiagha
Visiting Researcher
WZB Berlin