People Archive


Jamie Mayerfeld

LAPA Visitor, 2006-2007
Former Rockefeller Visiting Fellow at the University Center for Human Values
University of Washington

University of Washington, Department of Political Science, Box 353530, Seattle, WA 98195-3530
phone: 609-258-2737

Jamie Mayerfeld is associate professor of political science at the University of Washington, where he holds an adjunct appointment in the Law, Societies & Justice program, and serves as Seattle campus advisor to the human rights minor. In his current book project he argues that constitutional democracy is incomplete unless domestic human rights institutions are bolted into a system of international guarantees. In developing this argument, he has written papers about the International Criminal Court, the origins of the US torture policy, and the justification of human rights. In 2000 he received a Human Rights Teaching Fellowship from Columbia Law School, and this year is a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellow at the Princeton Center for Human Values. He is the author of Suffering and Moral Responsibility (Oxford University Press, 1999).
Life after LAPA: 
Since LAPA, I have continued to work on my book project, The Architecture of Human Rights, devoted to showing the need for, and legitimacy of, international human rights institutions. The main claim is that international human rights institutions are a necessary extension of domestic checks and balances, and therefore a requirement of constitutional democracy itself. I presented one piece of the argument to the LAPA Seminar, in a paper subsequently published as “The Democratic Legitimacy of International Human Rights Law” in the Indiana International and Comparative Law Review, vol. 19, no. 1 (2009): 49-88.

Other articles published since LAPA are as follows: “The High Price of American Exceptionalism: Comparing Torture by the United States and Europe after 9/11,” forthcoming in Michael Goodhart and Anja Mihr, eds., Human Rights in the 21st Century: Continuity and Change since 9/11, Palgrave/Macmillan, 2011. “A Madisonian Argument for Strengthening International Human Rights Institutions: Lessons from Europe,” forthcoming in Luis Cabrera, ed., Global Governance, Global Government: Institutional Visions for an Evolving World System, SUNY Press, 2011. “Ruthlessness, Impunity, and the Effacement of International Human Rights Law,”Santa Clara Journal of International Law, vol. 8 (2010): 289-312. “In Defense of the Absolute Prohibition of Torture,” Public Affairs Quarterly, vol. 22, no. 2 (April 2008): 109-28. “Playing by Our Own Rules: How U.S. Marginalization of International Human Rights Law Led to Torture,” Harvard Human Rights Journal, vol. 20 (Spring 2007): 89-140. "Playing by Our Own Rules: How the United States' Marginalization of International Human Rights Law Led to Torture," forthcoming in the Harvard Human Rights Journal, vol. 20 (Spring 2007).

"Ending Impunity, a Response to Larry May in Crimes Against Humanity," Ethics and International Affairs, vol. 20, no. 3 (September 2006), pp. 361-66.