Transnational Lawmaking Coalitions for Human Rights

General comments allow the United Nations (UN) treaty bodies to set standards for future human rights law and practice. As such, it is essential to understand other actors’ influence on the treaty bodies’ operations and outcomes. Based on case studies, the paper puts forward the argument that transnational actors not only play an indispensable role for agenda-setting, monitoring, and implementation of human rights, but also for their interpretation. For this aim, this paper introduces the concept of Transnational Lawmaking Coalitions, explains how these coalitions operate and evaluates their empirical and theoretical significance. Such a coalition typically includes individuals from the treaty bodies, civil society, and other international institutions. Operating beneath the surface of the UN human rights system’s formal actors, access rules, and processes, transnational lawmaking coalitions update our assumptions on which actors really make “rules for the world”.