Department Chair & Professor, Hitchcock Family Chair in Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs Director Political Science

Dr. Courtney Hillebrecht is the Hitchcock Family Chair in Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Hillebrecht also serves as the Director of the Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs.

Dr. Hillebrecht is the author of Saving the International Justice Regimes: Beyond Backlash against International Courts (2021) and Domestic Politics and International Human Rights Tribunals: The Problem of Compliance (2014), both published by Cambridge University Press.  Her research also has been published in a variety of academic outlets, including, among others, DemocratizationThe European Journal of International RelationsForeign Policy AnalysisHarvard International Law JournalHuman Rights Quarterly, International Interactionsand The Journal of Peace Research

Professor Hillebrecht received her Ph.D. in 2010 from the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and held doctoral research fellowships at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University and the School of Human Rights Research at Utrecht University in Utrecht, The Netherlands. She graduated suma cum laude from Middlebury College with a BA in History and Spanish in 2004.

Selected Publications

  • Women's Rights Recommendations and Compliance Explorer (

  • Jillienne Haglund, Courtney Hillebrecht and Hannah Read, “International Human Rights Recommendations at Home: Introducing the Women’s Rights Compliance Database.”  International Interactions, OnlineFirst June 2022.

  • Jillienne Haglund and Courtney Hillebrecht. 2020. “Overlapping International Human Rights Institutions:  Introducing the Women’s Rights Recommendations Digital Database.” Journal of Peace Research, 57 (5): 648-657.

  • Courtney Hillebrecht and Alexandra Huneeus. 2018. "How International Courts are Changing Peace." Harvard International Law Journal, 59 (2): 279-330. 
  • Courtney Hillebrecht and Scott Straus.  2017. "Who Prosecutes the Perpetrators? State Cooperation with ICC Indictments." Human Rights Quarterly, 39 (1): 162-188. 
  • Dona-Gene Barton, Courtney Hillebrecht and Sergion Wals. 2015.  "Perceived Human Rights and Support for New Democracies: Lessons from Mexico." Democratization, 22 (7): 1230-1249. 
  • Courtney Hillebrecht.  2014. "The Power of Human Rights Tribunals: Compliance and Domestic Policy Change." European Journal of International Relations, 20 (4): 1100-1123.
  • Courtney Hillebrecht, 2012. "The Domestic Mechanisms of Compliance with International Law: Case Studies from the Inter-American Human Rights System." Human Rights Quarterly, 34 (2): 959-985.