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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Justice and inclusion in global politics : victim representation and the International Criminal Court Tenove, Christopher John


There are widespread concerns that those people who ought to benefit from global governance are instead ignored, disempowered or harmed by it. Central to these concerns, this dissertation argues, is the principle of inclusion. Bringing together normative and empirical inquiry, this dissertation explains why inclusion matters and how it might be achieved in global governance, and uses this approach to assess the oft-criticized relationship between the International Criminal Court (ICC) and victims of international crimes. Inclusion is crucial for both justice and democratic legitimacy. Inclusion can empower constituencies to address injustices they face and negotiate what justice should entail. Inclusion is also necessary to address democratic deficits in global governance, when constituencies are excluded from decision-making processes that significantly affect them. The complexity and large scale of global governance make inclusion difficult to conceptualize and promote. Building on democratic theory, this dissertation proposes the framework of mediated inclusion, which identifies the key activities of representation and communication needed for constituencies to understand and influence decision-making. It then engages with International Relations scholarship to identify actors, institutional design features and contexts that can promote or frustrate the inclusion of the intended beneficiaries of global governance. This analysis reveals both persistent challenges and positive trends in opportunities for inclusion at international organizations. These insights are used to assess the inclusion of victims in the creation and operations of the ICC. This analysis draws on over 100 interviews with ICC staff, state officials and civil society members, as well as focus groups with survivors of violence in Uganda and Kenya. Close examination of negotiations to create the ICC reveals how advocates for victims’ rights achieved a strong legal framework for victim inclusion. Case studies of the ICC’s interventions in Uganda and Kenya evaluate diverse advocates for victims, and identify opportunities and limitations for victim inclusion in judicial, bureaucratic and diplomatic decision-making sites. Contributing to debates on global democracy, transnational advocacy, international organization design and international criminal justice, this dissertation shows how the principle of inclusion can be used to critically assess global governance and to create institutions that are more legitimate and just.

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