The Causes and Effects of Hybrid Anti-impunity Commissions: Outline of a Research Agenda

Theresa Reinold

Global Cooperation Research Papers 26, Duisburg 2020

Keywords: Hybridity; anti-impunity commissions; shared-sovereignty arrangements; International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala; Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras

DOI: 10.14282/2198-0411-GCRP-26


In a variety of issue-areas in global governance, hybrid solutions have been experimented with in order to address the dilemma created by the export of Western templates of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, etc. to non-Western contexts. The latest manifestation of this global trend towards hybridity are hybrid anti-impunity commissions which have begun to proliferate in Latin America, and which are likely to produce ripple-effects beyond the continent. Their prototype, the Comision Internacional Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala (CICIG), was deployed in Guatemala; later, variants of CICIG were created in Honduras, El Salvador, and Ecuador. However, the new hybrids remain largely underresearched. This contribution therefore discusses the state of art and outlines a research agenda on these new hybrid commissions, arguing that, on the one hand, the effects of these mechanisms require further scrutiny – how do hybrid anti-impunity commissions shape a variety of possible outcomes including the rule of law, statehood, sovereignty, democracy, and the like? On the other hand, we should investigate the factors that contribute to the establishment, successes, and failures of these hybrids, thus treating them as outcomes to be explained.

The Author

Theresa Reinold is junior professor of global and transnational cooperation research at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Trained as a political scientist, her research interests lie at the intersection of international relations theory and international law. She recently finalized a research project entitled ‘The rule of law in African regionalism’, funded by the Thyssen Foundation, which explores how global rule of law scripts are translated into (sub-) regional African practices. Her work has been published inter alia in the American Journal of International Law, Third World Quarterly, Review of International Studies, The International Journal of Constitutional Law, and Global Constitutionalism.

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