Inaugural Lecture - Professor Neil Mitchell (International Relations)

17 October 2012

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7 May 2013
UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, Wilkins Building UCL - 6.30pm

Professor Neil Mitchell (International Relations)

Neil Mitchell joined the School of Public Policy at UCL in September 2011. He was previously professor of politics and Sixth Century Chair at the University of Aberdeen and before that taught at the University of New Mexico in the United States. His research interests include business and other non-state actors, conflict, and human rights. His latest book is Democracy’s Blameless Leaders (NYU Press, March 2012).


Title: Delegation, accountability and democracy: The case of human rights violations

Accountability and how democracies manage the blame for human rights violations will be the focus of this lecture. Of all systems we expect the most of democracies. But there has been little analysis of whether the assumptions of scholars and democratic leaders about the relationship between democracy and accountability are supported by performance in this policy area. The broad theoretical claim of the talk is that the analysis of delegation, developed by economists and public policy scholars with other topics on their minds, offers an elegant and policy-rich path of inquiry, and political science has something to offer in return.

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