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Introducing: Salvador Santino Regilme

Salvador Regilme recently joined the Institute for History as a lecturer in International Relations. He introduces himself.

I am an international relations scholar, mainly focusing on the impact of transnational factors on domestic political change in the Global South, with thematic interests on international human rights, global governance and international institutions, state repression, international development, United States foreign policy, and EU external relations. In terms of historical time, I mainly focus on the post-Cold War, contemporary period and primarily employ comparative historical analysis, “natural experiments of history”, and counterfactual reasoning as my approach in empirical research. At Leiden University, I primarily convene courses in international relations, global governance, and human rights, while I also serve as a Member of the MA International Relations Board of Examiners and the Coordinator of the European Union Studies Minor Program.

Before coming to Leiden, I have studied philosophy, political science, international relations, North American Studies, and German language in Göttingen, Osnabrück, Hamburg, Yale, and the Freie Universität Berlin. I earned my PhD in Political Science and North American studies from the Freie Universität Berlin in 2015. I was a 2015 Käte Hamburger Postdoctoral Fellow on Global Cooperation based in Duisburg, Germany (funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) and a 2013-2014 Fox International Fellow at the MacMillan Center for Area and International Studies at Yale University. I held a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor within the Department of Political Science at Northern Illinois University, USA and very briefly taught courses in international organizations, research methods, state theory at De La Salle University in Manila. Amidst the rise of authoritarian and illiberal politics in the Philippines and the United States, I decided that moving to the Netherlands might be a good idea. After all, Leiden University was established four centuries ago as the “bastion of freedom”.

My current book project examines how US foreign aid and public diplomacy, together with the domestic political context in recipient countries, produce variation in the severity of human rights violations in partner countries over time. In this project, I research the following questions: Do US aid and public diplomacy programs undermine human rights? If so, then how and under what set of conditions does it transform the human rights situation in aid recipient countries? Closely examining several cases of US foreign policy and human rights situations in the Global South, I hope to offer a novel theory of foreign aid and diplomacy’s impact on human rights and state repression by eclectically integrating insights from comparative political history, international relations, area studies, and political sociology. After this book project on human rights and foreign aid, I intend to systematically study the various and contrasting ideological and normative conceptions of international human rights norms, particularly by comparing Western and Global South perspectives. In this way, I uncover the underlying tensions and conflict within the contemporary global human rights movement.

In late 2017, my book entitled American Hegemony and the Rise of Emerging Powers: Cooperation or Conflict, will come out from Routledge. This is a volume co-edited with James Parisot, a political sociologist based at Temple University in Philadelphia, USA. With chapter contributions from sociologists, historians, economists, and political scientists, the multidisciplinary edited volume answers the questions: Is the American-led world order currently in fundamental decline? If so, how and under what set of conditions and benchmarks is American decline demonstrated? Is world power diffusing into an era without a hegemon? To what extent are we shifting away from a US-centric world order to a multi-polar global system? I do hope that this book will help us understand the transformative changes in world politics happening right before our eyes, especially in the wake of Donald Trump’s election and the rise of illiberal populist movements both within and beyond the West.

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