The World Policy Institute understands that policymakers and opinion leaders need creative ways to catalyze innovation and engage wider coalitions in solving some of the world’s biggest challenges. By working with artists focused on the same issues, this cross-cutting initiative seeks to build a new, collaborative model for social change.
In Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World, World Policy Institute Senior Fellow Ian Bremmer illustrates a historic shift in the international system and the world economy—and an unprecedented moment of global uncertainty.
Expertise: international law, human rights law and policy, international criminal law, comparative law, transitional justice, refugee law, freedom of expression and hate speech, Latin America, Haiti.
Susan Benesch is the Project Director for WPI’s “Dangerous Speech on the Road to Mass Violence" working to identify speech that is likely to catalyze violence, and to find the best policies to limit the force of such speech without curbing freedom of expression. This work began in February 2010 as a pilot project for the U.N. Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide, and has been extended into 2013, thanks to renewed funding from the MacArthur Foundation and a new grant from the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Benesch also teaches advanced international human rights at American University's School of International Service. She has taught human rights and refugee law at Georgetown and Princeton, among other universities, and has lectured at schools including Yale, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Virginia, and Humboldt University in Berlin. A human rights lawyer trained at Yale, she has also worked for the Center for Justice and Accountability, Amnesty International, and the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First).
Her publications related to speech include: "The Innocence of YouTube" (with Rebecca MacKinnon), Foreign Policy, Oct. 5. 2012; "Song as a Crime Against Humanity," in Trials and Tribulations of International Prosecution (Lexington Books, in press); "Words as Weapons," World Policy Journal 24.1 (Spring 2012); "The Ghost of Causation in International Speech Crime Cases," in Propaganda, War Crimes Trials & International Law: From Speakers’ Corner to War Crimes (Routledge, 2011); "The ICTR’s Prosecution of a Pop Star: The Bikindi Case," African Yearbook of International Law 17 (2009); "Vile Crime or Inalienable Right: Defining Incitement to Genocide," 48 Virginia Journal of International Law 485 (2008) and "Inciting Genocide, Pleading Free Speech," World Policy Journal 21.2 (Summer 2004).
Benesch’s interest in speech dates back to her first career as a journalist. Before law school, she was chief staff writer for the Miami Herald in Haiti. She also covered wars in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala, and reported from many countries for the New Republic, the Columbia Journalism Review, and the Crimes of War website, among other publications.
Website: http://voicesthatpoison.org/ - Inflammatory speech: how to define it and limit its dangerous effects.
The Innocence of Youtube, Foreign Policy, October 5, 2012
Words as Weapons, World Policy Journal Vol. 29, No. 1 Spring 2012.
Dangerous Speech: A Proposal to Prevent Group Violence, January 12, 2012.
Election-Related Violence: The Role of Dangerous Speech, Proceedings of the American Society of International Law, 2011, Elections and Ethnic Violence
Incitement as International Crime Contribution to OHCHR Initiative on Incitement to National, Racial, or Religious Hatred, February 2011.
“Are We There Yet: Ideas For Evaluating the Progress of Transitional Justice,” Global Studies Review Vol. 5 No. 3 Fall 2009, George Mason University.
“Daring Guatemalan Publisher Convicted on Trumped-Up Charge,” Huffington Post, August 28, 2009.
“The Danger of Caution,” Huffington Post, April 23, 2009.
“Vile Crime or Inalienable Right: A Model to Distinguish Hate Speech form Incitement to Genocide,” Virginia Journal of International Law, Volume 48, 2008.
Inciting Genocide, Pleading Free Speech World Policy Journal 21.2, 2004.
Lectures & Appearances
Mediatwits #59: Special Roundtable on Hate Speech vs. Free Speech Online, MediaShift PBS, October 12, 2012
"Susan Benesch on Dangerous Speech," Interview with Timothy Garton Ash on the new global website Free Speech Debate, posted January 23, 2012
Speech, Song, Crime? Dangerous Speech on the Road to Atrocities, Mass Attrocity Response Operations Presentation, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, April 27, 2011.
Susan Benesch was a lecturer at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University as part of the Human Rights Speaker Series on “Song as Crime: The Prosecution of a Rwandan Pop Star,” October 19, 2009.
The New Law of Incitement to Genocide: A Critique and a Proposal Speech, Power, Violence: A Seminar of Experts. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, April 2009.
February 11, 2013
January 23, 2013
January 23, 2013
March 26, 2012
March 26, 2012
April 25, 2011
January 13, 2011
November 11, 2010
March 10, 2010
February 22, 2010