Ph.D., Univ. of Virginia (1999)
M.A., Univ. of Virginia (1991)
B.A., Tulane Univ. (1989)
Sonia Cardenas is Associate Academic Dean and Professor of Political Science; she directed Trinity's Human Rights Program from 2007-13. Working at the intersection of International Relations and Human Rights, her research explores the relationship between international norms and state practices around the world. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters, in addition to opinion pieces and reviews. She is also the author of Conflict and Compliance: State Responses to International Human Rights Pressure (2007), Human Rights in Latin America: A Politics of Terror and Hope (2010), and Chains of Justice: The Global Rise of National Human Rights Institutions (2014), all from the University of Pennsylvania Press. Professionally, Cardenas is most active in advancing the interdisciplinary study of human rights. Before joining Trinity, she was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame.
In her teaching, Professor Cardenas challenges her students to use a multiplicity of theories and methods to understand international politics. Her classes are highly interactive, with students debating controversial issues, engaging in simulations, designing research projects, and exploring links to other disciplines and the policy world. She strives to provide students with detailed direction and feedback, as well as the freedom to develop their own intellectual voices.
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