Can the International Criminal Court Deter Atrocity?

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Jo, Hyeran; Simmons, Beth A.
International Criminal Court (ICC); international criminal justice; deterrence; peace; insurgent groups; civil war; war crimes; Criminal Law; Human Rights Law; International Humanitarian Law; International Relations; Law; Law and Politics; Legal Remedies; Models and Methods; Other International and Area Studies; Peace and Conflict Studies; Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation; Political Science; Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration; Public Law and Legal Theory; Public Policy
article description
Whether and how violence can be controlled to spare innocent lives is a central issue in international relations. The most ambitious effort to date has been the International Criminal Court (ICC), designed to enhance security and safety by preventing egregious human rights abuses and deterring international crimes. We offer the first systematic assessment of the ICC's deterrent effects for both state and nonstate actors. Although no institution can deter all actors, the ICC can deter some governments and those rebel groups that seek legitimacy. We find support for this conditional impact of the ICC cross-nationally. Our work has implications for the study of international relations and institutions, and supports the violence-reducing role of pursuing justice in international affairs.