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Dr. Nina Reiners

Foto: Tobias Vilén

Nina Reiners is a political scientist, specialized in International Relations and International Law. She completed her doctoral thesis "Transnational Lawmaking Coalitions for Human Rights" at the University of Potsdam in 2017 ("summa cum laude"). During her doctorate, she worked as a research fellow at the Chair of International Politics, was a visiting scholar at the University of San Diego and had several research stays with the United Nations in Geneva.

Nina received funding for her postdoctoral research project from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation (2017-2019). The project is interested in the development of the human rights treaty system; especially with regard to the roles of non-state actors. From October 2018 until April 2019, she is a visiting fellow at the Graduate Institute Geneva. Nina studied Political Science, English Literature, and Public Law in Giessen and Madrid.


 CV (Nov. 2018)


From International to Transnational Human Rights Lawmaking? The Development of the UN Human Rights Treaty Body System


This postdoctoral project focuses on the United Nations (UN) human rights treaty bodies and is interested in whether their interpretations of human rights norms changed from international towards more transnational forms of lawmaking. Lawmaking is understood as a complex process of decision-making which may be accessed by other actors than those formally acknowledged as lawmakers.

The project starts from the observation that civil society actors and treaty body members form coalitions for international human rights lawmaking. These transnational lawmaking coalitions were not intended by states when the latter delegated the monitoring and interpretation of human rights law to expert committees. Accordingly, states parties have recently called for reforms of the working methods in the treaty bodies. This observation raises broader questions on the nature and possible change of global governance. Is lawmaking in international organizations, a process traditionally protected by state sovereignty, opening up towards transnational actors? Does that mean that international human rights law developed into transnational law, and under which conditions and guided by which motifs do independent experts and civil society actors join forces to set legal standards? And how do these institutions react when they are confronted with critique of their procedures?  

Foto: Tobias Vilén


Reiners, Nina (2018): Die Interpretation von Menschenrechtsnormen durch die Vertragsausschüsse der Vereinten Nationen. In: MenschenRechtsMagazin, vol. 23, issue 1, 5-14. 

Reiners, Nina (2018): Giving Human Rights a Future: The Transnational and Transformative Character of a Business and Human Rights Treaty, Völkerrechtsblog, 27 July 2018, doi: 10.17176/20180724-155129-0

Reiners, Nina (2018): General Comment No. 15 on the Right to Water (2002), in: Quellen zur Geschichte der Menschenrechte, herausgegeben vom Arbeitskreis Menschenrechte im 20. Jahrhundert, unter: https://www.geschichte-menschenrechte.de/general-comment-no-15-on-the-right-to-water-2002/

Reiners, Nina (2017): Transnational Lawmaking Coalitions for Human Rights. Dissertation. University of Potsdam.

Reiners, Nina und Liese, Andrea (2015): Nichtstaatliche Akteure in der Menschenrechtspolitik: von Normanwälten über Komplizen zu Infragestellern und Herausforderern, in: Zeitschrift für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, vol. 8, issue 2, 651-676. *peer-reviewed

Reiners, Nina (2014): Der Aufstieg der “zweiten Generation” der Menschenrechte (Rezension zu Michael Krennerich 2013: Soziale Menschenrechte zwischen Recht und Politik; Schwalbach/Taunus: Wochenschau Verlag), in: Vereinte Nationen. Zeitschrift für die Vereinten Nationen und ihre Sonderorganisationen, vol. 62, issue 5, 230.