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MS Michelle Carmody


  • Amnesty International
  • Cold War
  • History of human rights
  • History of transitional justice and late-twentieth century democratisation
  • Neoliberalism
  • Non-governmental organisations



  • I am an interdisciplinary scholar: I share social scientists’ interest in political processes, organisations and institutions, while emphasizing historians’ concern for human agency, context, and contingency. In both my research and my teaching, I am interested in looking at Latin America as the crucible of many important global historical and political processes, such as the rise of human rights, the development and implementation of transitional justice, and shifting ideas around democratization during the late Cold War. My doctoral research looked at competing engagements with and instrumentalizations of human rights in post-authoritarian Argentina. My book, Human Rights, Transitional Justice, and the Reconstruction of Political Order in Latin America, examines transitional justice and the instrumentalization of human rights in the service of both structural and cultural democratic change the late 20th and early 21st century. I have also published on the cultural politics of the Guatemalan truth commissions and have forthcoming work on the creation of human rights archives in Argentina and Paraguay. My most recent research direction focuses on the history of international NGOs, in particular Amnesty International, and how different national and local political traditions both shaped and were shaped by new forms of international organizing in the late 20th century. I join the Faculty after five years in the Institute for History, Leiden University, The Netherlands.   


Selected publications


Education and training

  • PhD, La Trobe University



Available for supervision

  • N