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The International Politics of Law-enforcement Cooperation

Final Report Summary - IPLEC (The International Politics of Law-enforcement Cooperation)

The goal of the project during the reporting period was to shed light on international cooperation in matters of justice and law enforcement. This subject was addressed through five studies. These studies yielded articles that have been published in the leading journals in the field of international relations, including International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, and the European Journal of International Relations.

Study 1 examined the global efforts against the organ trade, led by the international medical community. These efforts were used as a case study for analyzing socialization processes of nonstate actors and how these facilitate the spread of international norms. This is the first study to empirically examine the political dynamic of the organ trade. For policymakers, this study contains important insights that can enhance the efforts against organ trafficking.

This study yielded an additional article that compared organ trafficking to sex trafficking and labor trafficking. These three phenomena are often conflated as different forms of human trafficking. This article identifies important differences between these phenomena, with implications for scholarly analysis and for policy. It offers insights that are important for the design of anti-trafficking policies.

Study 2 examined the deployment of international police liaisons – a major channel of cooperation against crime and terrorism. Specifically, this study focused on the FBI's presence abroad. Survival analysis found that human rights violations in the host countries significantly reduce the likelihood of an FBI deployment. This study is the first to substantiate a systematic link between human rights and counterterrorism cooperation. It yields implications concerning the establishment of counterterrorism cooperation ties with repressive governments.

Study 3 examined the political economy of international child adoption. It provides the first systematic analysis of the determinants of international adoption flows. More broadly, it advances our understanding of how political influences, such as corruption, shape international migration.

Study 4 examines how states resolve transnational jurisdictional conflicts through deference. In a globalized world, the crossborder movement of people, goods, and information frequently results in legal disputes that come under the jurisdiction of multiple states. The principle of deference – acceptance of the exercise of legal authority by another state – is one mechanism to manage such jurisdictional conflicts. This study sheds light on this overlooked mechanism by exploring the efforts against parental child abduction and how they are shaped by fairness considerations. This has important implications for understanding the legal frictions that accompany globalization.

Study 5 examines international legal harmonization: the efforts to boost international trade by unifying the private-law rules governing transnational commercial matters. Specifically, this study investigates the relationship between private-law harmonization and the public-law instrument of preferential trade agreements. This allows us to paint a fuller picture of the international efforts to enhance trade.

Overall, Dr. Efrat has shown a strong ability to communicate the findings of these studies to diverse audiences. His research has been published in leading journals in the field of international relations as well as journals in the fields of criminology and medicine.