Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Bowers, J.D.

Degree Name

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Anthropology||Department of History||Department of Political Science


This work examines the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its capacity for preventing and deterring atrocity crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes) in relation to its historical development and current standing. Prevention and deterrence at the international level are very difficult to measure empirically, so this work focuses on the perceived successes and challenges of the ICC’s deterrent capacity as a “Court of last resort," in light of international legal and institutional norms. The Court, now in its thirteenth year, is the first of its kind, leaving it vulnerable to (sometimes) unrealistic criticisms and expectations as it builds a network of external cooperation and works to modify its procedures in favor of effectiveness and efficiency for the coming years. In analyzing the various claims, I argue that while deterrence is not total, the ICC has developed a growing preventative impact that will continue to progress alongside as well as shape the emerging field of international criminal law.


51 pages




Northern Illinois University

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