Kelebogile Zvobgo is a pre-doctoral fellow at W&M's Global Research Institute, and founder and director of the International Justice Lab. Currently, Professor Zvobgo is completing a Ph.D. in political science and international relations from the University of Southern California, where she holds the Provost Fellowship in the Social Sciences. She is also a recipient of a three-year Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. She will join the Government Department on the tenure track in Fall 2021.
Professor Zvobgo's research broadly engages questions in human rights, transitional justice, and international law. Her work is published or forthcoming in the International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Human Rights, and Journal of Political Science Education, and has appeared in popular outlets such as The Washington Post and The Conversation. Her work has also won multiple awards, including the 2019 Best Paper Award from the International Studies Association's Human Rights Section and the 2019 Best Paper Award from the American Political Science Association's Human Rights Section.
Zvobgo’s primary research focuses on quasi-judicial bodies that have proliferated across the globe to fill the gaps left by domestic and international law and courts. Like courts, these accountability mechanisms collect statements from individuals who have been harmed by state or non-state actors, conduct an investigation, and enjoin appropriate reparative actions. Thus far, her work in this area has extended to truth commissions and international development banks' compliance mechanisms.
Her dissertation/book project, Governing Truth: NGOs, Accountability Politics, and Truth Commissions, develops and tests a theory of how transnational advocates guide the creation, design, and impact of truth commissions following political violence. The cornerstone of this research is a novel dataset that captures (1) patterns across commission mandates and powers, (2) the nature and frequency of commissions’ policy recommendations, and (3) the extent to which policy makers have implemented recommendations.