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Center on Law and Globalization

The Center on Law and Globalization brings together leaders of international organizations, journalists, and legal scholars to understand the legal dimensions of key global issues, to stimulate exchanges on how these issues are addressed, and to advance research and conclusions on major topics in global debates. The Center focuses on international human and legal rights issues, notably justice and security, the international economy and marketplace, and health. By advancing social scientific understanding of global law, global legal institutions and global legal behavior, Center scholars lay foundations for potential solutions to better society and help global leaders advance the proper use of law and justice in complex international situations.

Research on War Crimes in Darfur and Sudan


John Hagan, Ph.D., is a Co-Director of the Center on Law and Globalization, a Research Professor with the American Bar Foundation, and the John D. MacArthur Chair in Sociology at Northwestern University. Hagan won the 2009 Stockholm Prize in Criminology for his innovative research on genocide in Darfur and the Balkans.

Collective violence such as genocide, war crimes, and other atrocities, has been increasingly defined and treated as crime during the late 20th century.  In Hagan's empirical work on violence in Darfur in 2003-2005, he pioneered the application of advanced crime measurement techniques to the study of genocide. Using systematic methods of estimating crime volumes from victimization surveys administered by the US State Department, Hagan and his colleagues found substantial under-counting of murders in Darfur. Their more advanced demographic methods produced evidence of  homicides over four times more than previous estimates.

Hagan's team also showed that there was substantial evidence of racial motivation in the killings and rapes, with little evidence of a strategic response to rebellion as claimed by Sudanese authorities. Their conclusions have been widely reported and have helped transform the public comprehension and the discussion of the tragedy in Sudan. It can also be seen how this work might aid the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) plea for new methods to reach high-ranking leaders without collecting painstaking forensic evidence or requiring victims to be traumatized again in international tribunal.

Resources Presented by the Center on Law and Globalization:

  • Read an article written by Center on Law and Globalization's Co-Director, John Hagan, Voices of the Darfur Genocide featured in the American Sociological Association's Journal, Contexts, (Summer 2011). This article describes how social scientific research is uniquely poised to document the patterned and probabilistic evidence helpful in achieving legal accountability for mass atrocities—and offers a voice to those who would not otherwise be heard.
  • Discourses on Darfur Interview Podcast John Hagan gave the  2010 Annual BJS Lecture at the London School of Economics. Following which,  Richard Wright, editor-in-chief of The BJS, interviewed Dr. Hagan about his work exploring the processes associated with the forced displacement of over  300,000 black Africans in Darfur from February 2003- August 2004.
  • Read about John Hagan's reaction to the ICC's decision to consider expanding the arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to include changes of genocide in this Feb 2010 Press Release.
  • Darfur and the Crime of Genocide (co-authored by Center Co-Director, John Hagan) was published late in 2008 by Cambridge University Press. This research on estimating the death toll in Darfur has re-defined the scope of this tragedy as genocide. Through the use of advanced crime measurement techniques, sophisticated demographic methods, and drawing on interviews with actual victims, Dr. Hagan and his colleagues concluded that the murders have numbered between 200,000 and 400,000 when, as you well know,  original estimates had placed the number in the tens of thousands.
  • Smart Libraries created by the Center on Law and Globalization provide non-specialists with access to user-friendly executive summaries of seminal research. Click to view the Center's Smart Library on Genocide.

Systematic Sexual Violence as an International Crime

Interdisciplinary Colloquia on Systematic Sexual Violence

Our Center on Law and Globalization has a major thematic focus on the protection of women, men, children, and families from systematic sexual violence in wars, civil conflicts and trafficking. In the arena of international criminal law and sexual violence, the Center is undertaking what we believe to be path-breaking initiatives that facilitate the development of a global community and use social science evidence to reach high-level perpetrators and enhance the power of law to protect individuals from systematic sexual violence.

Through the Center's Sexual Violence Program it is our vision to...

  • Develop partnerships that produce social science pattern evidence, sound research methodology and reliable results to assist in the prosecution of systematic sexual violence, protect the victims, and, ideally, predict when and where it will occur. We aim to disseminate important findings to victims attorneys/representatives, local and international activists, specialists in compensation for victims, the media, social scientists, nonprofit leaders, and international lawyers and court officials.
  • Host periodic interdisciplinary meetings at The Hague and around the world, both large colloquium and more focused working groups, which will focus a spotlight on foremost problems of systematic violence.
  • Build a network of scholars and activists working in the area of systematic sexual violence in civil and international conflicts to broaden communication, enhance knowledge, and resource sharing and produce concerted and coordinated action. Social media platforms, the Center's electronic newsletter and this website will be used to create a general resource of case law, institutions, and individuals who are working in this area.

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