Professor Ryan Goodman delivered a talk in honor of his recent appointment to the Rita E. Hauser Professorship of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law on Monday evening, April 16. In her introduction, Dean Elena Kagan ’86 lauded Goodman as “the premier scholar of his generation in the fields of public international law, human rights law, and the law of armed conflict.”
In a lecture entitled “Socializing States: Promoting Human Rights through International Law,” Goodman discussed a forthcoming book he co-authored with Professor Derek Jinks of the University of Texas School of Law. Goodman argued that international law can have a socializing effect on nation-states, with the positive outcome of better state implementation and enforcement of human rights laws.
“The field of international law still focuses on whether norms affect state behavior, not how norms affect state behavior,” Goodman said in his lecture. “The idea that states are like individuals rubs up against strong intuitions. And, because of that, the body of sociological work on behavioral logic is largely absent from the discussion. Sociological studies, however, point to states being in a wider institutional environment that shapes their preferences and practices.”
Goodman is the first appointee to the Hauser chair, which was established in 2006 by Gustave ’53 and Rita ’58 Hauser. The chair is named for Rita, who is an international lawyer at Stroock, Stroock & Lavan in New York City, where she is a senior partner. From 2001-2004, Hauser served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and currently chairs the International Peace Academy, which is affiliated with the United Nations.
A prominent philanthropist, Hauser is the president of The Hauser Foundation and has served on the boards of several organizations, including the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the RAND Corporation, and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. In April of 1997, the Hauser’s founded The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at the Kennedy School of Government, and she is currently chair of its Advisory Board. Also members of the HLS Dean’s Advisory Board, the Hausers are longtime supporters of the law school and in the 1990s made a critical gift to support the construction of Hauser Hall.
Goodman joined the Harvard Law faculty in 2002 after receiving a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale. He also holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in Government and Philosophy.
The director of the Human Rights Program at HLS, Goodman is currently working on several books, including “International Humanitarian Law,” “Socializing States: Promoting Human Rights through International Law,” and “International Human Rights in Context.” He was recently named to the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law, and his work has appeared in several scholarly journals.