Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Political Science (MA)

Degree Level



Political Science


Patrick J. Conge

Committee Member

Margaret F. Reid

Second Committee Member

Andrew J. Dowdle

Third Committee Member

Ka Zeng


Social sciences, Accountability, Darfur, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Naming and shaming


This thesis examines the effectiveness of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in holding individuals accountable for grave breaches of crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. I argue that if we measure effectiveness in terms of the ability to set agenda and to publicize, the ICC accomplishes much. My thesis to shows that, as a key part of the international agenda on human rights compliance, the ICC derives its effectiveness from the various naming and shaming campaigns by national governments and non-governmental actors (NGOs).

I draw on the cases of Darfur, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to show that the ICC is effectively realizing its purpose: it gives voice to non-state actors like NGOs, regional actors, and international governmental organizations; it regularizes ways for international actors to be part of the process; it provides information to other stakeholders; and it names and shames the perpetrators of human rights violations. Hence, the ICC gives meaning to the cautious optimism that inspires liberal claims.