Our Students - Profiles

Jamie Rowen


Year: Doctorate in JSP


I am currently a visiting assistant professor in the Centre for Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Toronto. In 2012-2013, I was a doctoral fellow at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, IL, and completed my PhD in Fall 2012.

I was born in Alaska, educated in California and have been working with NGOs and studying international human rights since high school. I attended Swarthmore College and UC Berkeley to pursue a degree in peace and conflict studies, focusing on cross-cultural conflict resolution. My undergraduate studies brought me Costa Rica and Vietnam where I gained experience in human rights research and practice, and became interested in how courts contribute to social and political change in the wake of mass violence.

As an undergraduate and graduate student, I worked abroad in Croatia, South Africa, Morocco and Colombia, traveled through 40 countries and volunteered with a variety of human rights organizations. In my research, I attempt to shed light on how and why individuals and organizations mobilize the law to address state-sponsored violence, particularly where government authorities seem unable or unwilling to prosecute perpetrators of abuse.

I speak Spanish and French fluently, intermediate Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, remnants of Vietnamese, Hebrew, and have dabbled in Russian and Arabic. Much of my immediate family resides in California, and my twin sister is an assistant professor in obstetrics/gynecology at UCSF.


PhD (2012), Berkeley School of Law
JD (2009), Berkeley School of Law, Member of CA Bar
MA (2009), Berkeley School of Law
BA (2004), University of California, Berkeley
Peace and Conflict Studies with High Honors, Department Certificate of
Vietnam National University (2003), University of Costa Rica(2002)


Law and Society
International Law
Criminal Law
Comparative Law
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Human Rights
Social Movements
Transitional Justice
Law and Development
Professional Responsibility


Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor-Legal Studies (2011-2012)
Law and Social Inquiry Best Graduate Student Paper (2011)
Berkeley Empirical Legal Studies Fellow (2010-2011)
National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Development Grant (2009-2011)
University of California, Berkeley- Institute of International Studies Doctoral Fellow (2009-2010)
Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program Fellowship (2009)
Prosser Prize- Quantitative Methods II (2009)
University of California, Berkeley Graduate Division Summer Research Grant (2008)
Equal Justice America Summer Fellowship (2007)
Foreign Language and Areas Studies (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian)- Fellow (2005-2007)
Rotary International- Cultural Ambassadorial Fellow (2006)

Academic Experiences:

Rowen, Jamie and John Hagan. Forthcoming 2013. "Using Social Science to Frame International Crimes." International Journal of International Law and International Relations 10(1).

Rowen, Jamie. 2013. “Book Review, Humanity’s Law.” By Ruti Teitel. Journal of International Criminal Justice 4.

Rowen, Jamie. 2012. "Mobilizing Truth: Agenda Setting in a Transnational Social Movement," Law and Social Inquiry 37(3):686-718.

Rowen, Jamie. 2012. "Truth in the Shadow of Justice," in Civil Society and Transitional Justice in the Balkans, eds. Olivera Simic and Zala Volcic. Springer Publishing.

Rowen, Jamie. June 25, 2010. "Supreme Court Should Remember Mandela." Op-Ed. San Francisco Chronicle.

Rowen, Jamie. 2010. Book Review: "Multicultural Jurisprudence," eds. Alison Dundes Renteln and Marie Claire Foblets, Law and Society Review 44:2.

Rowen, Jamie. Nov. 18, 2009. "Why Question Rule of Law in 9/11 Trials?" Op-ed. San Francisco Chronicle.

Fletcher, Laurel, Harvey Weinstein with Jamie Rowen. 2009. Context, Timing, and the Dynamics of Transitional Justice: An Historical Perspective, Hum. Rts. Q. 31: 163-221.

Rowen, Jamie. 2008. "Philosophical Ideals and Social Realities in Transitional Justice Cardozo Journal of Public Law, Policy and Ethics 7:101-132.

University of Toronto: Introduction to Sociolegal Studies, International Criminal Law, Theories of Criminal Justice, Law and Morality

Assistant Director, University of California, Berkeley/United Nations University for Peace Summer Peace Institute, Costa Rica (2011).

Graduate Student Instructor, University of California,Berkeley Honors Research Methods (2012) Law and Development(2011) International Human Rights Law(2009)

Lecturer, Sonoma State University (2007) Nonviolence

Research Assistant: Professors Laurel Fletcher, Jeff Selbin, Michael Musheno, Jonathan Simon, Sarah Song, International Human Rights Law Clinic, East Bay Community Law Center.

Employment Experiences:

Legal Assistant, Pro Bono Asylum Program: Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights, San Francisco, CA (2005-2008)

Legal Assistant: Neighborhood Justice Community Clinic, East Bay Community Law Center, Berkeley, CA (2009)

Research Intern: Fondation Orient/Occident, Rabat, Morocco (2008)

Research Intern: Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), Johannesburg, South Africa (2006)

Project Developer: Ma Afrika Tikkun, Johannesburg, South Africa (2005)

Case Management Intern: International Rescue Committee, Oakland, CA. (2005)

Conflict Resolution Coordinator: University Students Cooperative Association, Berkeley, CA (2003-2004)

Research Assistant: Interamerican Institute for Human Rights, San Jose, Costa Rica (2002)

Dissertation Abstract:

My project analyzes transitional justice through a variety of law and society perspectives including social movements, legal mobilization and procedural justice. It develops a neoinstitutionalist account of agenda setting at the intersection of transnational and local organizational fields. I use participant observation, qualitative interviews and quantitative survey research to develop a theory of localization, or the ways in which transnational and local actors accommodate contradictory or competing beliefs and practices about law and social change. As unique cases to reveal these processes, I analyze the current United States efforts to redress human rights abuses of the Bush era, the recent truth commission efforts in Colombia and the ongoing truth commission efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The findings are used to explain the different processes by which a transnational social movement sets its agenda and realizes, or doesn't, its goals to ensure accountability, improve survivor well-being and prevent future violence.

Curriculum Vitae