Sikkink, Kathryn 1955–
Sikkink, Kathryn 1955–
(Kathryn Angel Sikkink)
Born July 28, 1955; daughter of Donald E. and Arlene Angel Sikkink; married Douglas A. Johnson (a nonprofit organization executive); children: Daniel, another son. Education: University of Minnesota, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1980; Columbia University, M.A., 1983, Ph.D. (with distinction), 1988.
Home—Minneapolis, MN. Office—Political Science Department, 1414 Social Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mail—[email protected]
Washington Office on Latin America, Washington, DC, staff associate, 1979-81; United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations, New York, NY, research assistant, 1982; Instituto Universitaria de Pesquisa do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, visiting researcher, 1985-86; Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1985; Yale University, New Haven, CT, visiting fellow at Center for International and Area Studies, 1986-88; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, assistant professor, 1988-94, associate professor, 1994-98, professor, 1998-2001, Arleen C. Carlson Professor of Political Science, 2001—, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, 2005, Regents Professor of political science, 2006—, founder and advisory board director of Human Rights Program. Member of Social Science Research Council (SSRC)/MacArthur Foundation Committee on International Peace and Security, 1996-99; member of boards of Peace Research Institute, 2002-04, and SSRC, 2002-04.
American Academy of Arts and Sciences (fellow), American Political Science Association (member of Hubert H. Humphrey Award committee, 2000; member of council, 2000-01), Society for Comparative Research, Council on Foreign Relations.
Danforth fellow, c. 1981; Institute for the Study of World Politics fellow, 1984; Doherty fellow, 1984-85; Social Science Research Council fellow, 1984-85 and 1991-93; McKnight-Land Grant Professorship, 1991-93; Twentieth Century Fund grant, 1994-95; Chadwick Alger Award, International Studies Association, and Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, University of Louisville, both 2000, for Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics; Fulbright Scholar, 2001-02; distinguished teaching award, University of Minnesota, 2003-04; Guggenheim fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 2008.
Ideas and Institutions: Developmentalism in Brazil and Argentina, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1991.
(With Margaret E. Keck) Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1998.
(Editor, with Sanjeev Khagram and James V. Riker) Restructuring World Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks, and Norms, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2002.
Mixed Signals: U.S. Human Rights Policy and Latin America, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2004.
Contributor to books, including Ideas and Foreign Policy, edited by Judith Goldstein and Robert Keohane, 1993; The International Dimensions of Democratization: Europe and the Americas, edited by Laurence Whitehead, 1996; International Development and the Social Sciences: Essays in the History and Politics of Knowledge, edited by Frederick Cooper and Randall Packard, 1997; Global Prescriptions: The Production, Exportation, and Importation of a New Legal Orthodoxy, edited by Yves Dezalay and Bryant Garth, 2002; The Judicialization of Politics in Latin America, edited by Rachel Sieder, Line Schjolden, and Alan Angell, 2005.
Contributor to periodicals, including Chicago Journal of International Law, Houston Journal of International Law, International Social Science Journal, Journal of Peace Research, Latin American Politics and Society, Latin American Research Review, Political Science Quarterly, and PS: Political Science and Politics. International Organization, member of editorial board, 1996-2001 and 2002-05, member of executive committee, 1999-2000, chair of board, 2003-05; International Studies Review, member of international advisory committee, 1998-2000; member of editorial boards of American Political Science Review, 2002-04, and International Studies Quarterly, 2003-05. Author's works have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish.
"Few scholars have argued as persuasively for the power of principled ideas and global civil society in shaping world politics as Kathryn Sikkink," wrote Mark Peceny in Latin American Politics and Society. As author or editor of several books and numerous articles, Sikkink has examined various facets of human rights advocacy and international policies. She has won prestigious fellowships as well as awards for her work.
Sikkink's first book is Ideas and Institutions: Developmentalism in Brazil and Argentina. In it she examines a policy that sought to speed up industrialization in the two countries through international investment, and she discusses why the policy succeeded in Brazil but failed in Argentina. According to Laura A. Hastings, writing in the Journal of Latin American Studies, "her account is straightforward, and many of her arguments make intuitive sense." While Hastings felt that Sikkink "is less convincing in arguing that ideas themselves and the institutions which implemented them, rather than the political conflicts which emerged, were responsible for policy outcome," the reviewer pointed out several virtues of the work. She deemed "excellent" both Sikkink's account of developmentalism in the two countries during the mid-1950s and her chapter on the role of leaders' personalities and political styles, and she remarked that Sikkink "effectively translates to the reader the mood of the time."
Written with Margaret E. Keck, Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics "should be regarded as a pioneer work in the field of transnational activist networks and a major contribution to the literature on transnational relations," stated Thorsten Benner in a Millennium review. The authors discuss where effective advocacy networks come from, how they work, and in what conditions they work, using several case studies to illustrate their discussion. Benner acknowledged that due to the work's pioneering nature, "the authors inevitably could not address many issues inviting criticism," but he maintained that the book "is a benchmark and an obvious starting point for further research." Jackie Smith in the American Political Science Review observed that the work presents a neglected perspective on international politics. Pointing out the interdisciplinary aspects of the book, she claimed that "its attempt to be interdisciplinary is underdeveloped," but she nonetheless called the book "an important contribution" to scholarship in its field and remarked that it "provides rich empirical material that elicits new understandings of transnational political dynamics." Political Science Quarterly contributor David Skidmore noted that "the authors resist the temptation to idealize or oversimplify their discussion," and he summarized Activists beyond Borders as "a rich and rewarding book that provides scholars with a sophisticated set of conceptual tools for analyzing transnational grassroots politics."
In Mixed Signals: U.S. Human Rights Policy and Latin America, Sikkink focuses on how six U.S. administrations variously ignored or addressed human rights violations in Latin America. She discusses human rights theory and policies, examines how effective U.S. policies were in the region, and seeks to explain the effect on policy of simultaneously condoning and condemning violations. According to Luke W. Nikas in the Harvard Human Rights Journal, the book is "an excellent account of U.S. human rights policy in Latin America." Nikas identified "two drawbacks" of the work, expressing a desire for further discussion of Sikkink's theoretical framework and commenting that the book's argument depends on the belief that a solid human rights policy would have positively affected human rights in the area. He nevertheless deemed it "an important book" and stated that the author "has made a valuable contribution by reminding the reader of the dire effects of divorcing human rights from foreign policy." Other critics similarly found much to commend while pointing out relatively few weaknesses. James D. Huck, Jr., writing on H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, highlighted matters such as Sikkink's treatment of the relationship between U.S. foreign policy and domestic politics, the evolution of the concept of human rights both in the United States and abroad, the progression of U.S. policy, and the case studies illustrating her discussion. "If the book can be faulted for anything," Huck said, "it would be that it gives very scant attention to the evolution of human rights in the Latin American region itself." He concluded, however, that this concern did not overshadow the fact that the book "is an engaging and well-written seminal work on the subject of human rights and its place in recent U.S. policy towards Latin America."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
African Affairs, July, 2000, Mervyn Frost, review of The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change, p. 487.
American Journal of International Law, January, 2001, David P. Stewart, review of The Power of Human Rights, pp. 227-235.
American Political Science Review, September, 1992, D. Michael Shafer, review of Ideas and Institutions: Developmentalism in Brazil and Argentina, p. 827; September, 1999, Jackie Smith, review of Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics, p. 757.
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, September, 1993, Roderick J. Barman, review of Ideas and Institutions, p. 183.
Canadian Journal of Political Science, September, 1999, Nancy Thede, review of Activists beyond Borders, p. 608.
Choice, February, 1992, R.E. Will, review of Ideas and Institutions, p. 939; February, 2000, C.E. Welch, review of The Power of Human Rights, p. 1169; July-August, 2005, J.A. Rhodes, review of Mixed Signals: U.S. Human Rights Policy and Latin America, p. 2064.
Comparative Political Studies, December, 2000, Jeffrey T. Checkel, review of The Power of Human Rights, p. 1337.
Comparative Politics, January, 1997, Mark M. Blyth, review of Ideas and Institutions, p. 229.
Contemporary Sociology, January, 1999, Francesca Polletta, review of Activists beyond Borders, p. 96.
Diplomatic History, winter, 2001, Mark H. Lytle, review of Activists beyond Borders, p. 121; April, 2006, David F. Schmitz, review of Mixed Signals, pp. 311-314.
Economic Development and Cultural Change, January, 1994, Werner Baer, review of Ideas and Institutions, p. 441.
Foreign Affairs, July-August, 1998, Francis Fukuyama, review of Activists beyond Borders, p. 123; March-April, 2005, Richard Feinberg, review of Mixed Signals, p. 161.
Harvard Human Rights Journal, spring, 2005, Luke W. Nikas, review of Mixed Signals, pp. 295-296.
Hispanic American Historical Review, August, 1992, Steven C. Topik, review of Ideas and Institutions, p. 445.
Human Rights Quarterly, February, 2000, Claude E. Welch, Jr., review of Activists beyond Borders, p. 298.
International Affairs, April, 1999, Jan Aart Scholte, review of Activists beyond Borders, p. 394; September, 2006, Nicola Phillips, review of Mixed Signals, p. 1033.
Journal of Economic Literature, June, 1992, review of Ideas and Institutions, p. 1019.
Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, summer, 1992, Catalina Smulovitz, review of Ideas and Institutions, p. 179.
Journal of Latin American Studies, February, 1993, Laura A. Hastings, review of Ideas and Institutions, p. 216; August, 2005, Alexander Wilde, review of Mixed Signals, p. 623.
Latin American Politics and Society, summer, 2006, Mark Peceny, review of Mixed Signals, p. 189.
Latin American Research Review, winter, 2007, Silvia Borzutzky, "The Politics of Impunity: The Cold War, State Terror, Trauma, Trials, and Reparations in Argentina and Chile," p. 167.
Law Society Journal, February, 2000, Darren Dick, review of The Power of Human Rights, p. 93.
Millennium, March, 1999, Thorsten Benner, review of Activists beyond Borders, pp. 188-190.
Political Science Quarterly, summer, 1999, David Skidmore, review of Activists beyond Borders, p. 336; winter, 2005, Cynthia J. Arnson, review of Mixed Signals, p. 713.
Review of Politics, spring, 1992, Scott Mainwaring, review of Ideas and Institutions, p. 333.
Signs, winter, 2001, Karen Beckwith, review of Activists beyond Borders, p. 602.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (March, 2007), James D. Huck, Jr., "Two Steps Forward, One Step Back."
University of Minnesota Department of Political Science,http://www.polisci.umn.edu/ (September 22, 2008), faculty profile.