States of Justice: The Politics of the International Criminal Court
(Cambridge University Press, 2020) theorizes the ways in which states that are presumed to be weaker in the international system use the International Criminal Court (ICC) to advance their security and political interests. Ultimately, the book contends that African states have managed to instrumentally and strategically use the international justice system to their advantage, a theoretical framework that challenges the “justice cascade” argument. The empirical work of this study focuses on four major themes around the intersection of power, states’ interests, and the global governance of atrocity crimes: first, the strategic use of self-referrals to the ICC; second, complementarity between the national and the international justice systems; third, the limits of state cooperation with international courts; and fourth, the use of international courts in domestic political conflicts.
Oumar Ba is an assistant professor of political science at Morehouse College. The draft manuscript on which his book was based was the 2019 International Studies Association (ISA) Northeast Scholars’ Circle honoree. In 2020, Opinio Juris hosted a symposium
on States of Justice
, and Africa is a Country hosted a discussion
on race and international relations with Oumar Ba and Samar al-Bulushi.
Madina Thiam is a PhD candidate in history at UCLA.