Katerina Linos’ research and teaching interests include international law, comparative law, European Union law, employment law and health care law. To address questions in these fields, her work combines legal analysis with empirical methods.
Her research examines why law reforms and policy innovations spread around the world in waves. The conventional wisdom focuses on international elites and technocratic networks. Linos’ new book The Democratic Foundations of Policy Diffusion: How Health, Family, and Employment Laws Spread Across Countries (Oxford University Press, 2013), emphasizes a different set of actors: ordinary citizens and elected politicians. Democratic Foundations won the 2014 Chadwick Alger prize as the best book on international organization and multilateralism, the 2014 Peter Katzenstein prize for an outstanding first book in international relations, the 2014 Giovanni Sartori prize as the best book on qualitative methods, and was reviewed by nine international law professors for an Opinio Juris symposium.
The law and politics of the European Union are another key area of Linos’ research. Despite being the most integrated international legal order we know, the European Union has stumbled in its efforts to fully harmonize the laws of its member states. Linos finds that member states delay the implementation of EU directives not out of strategic motivations, but mostly due to limitations in state capabilities.
To further explore the gap between widely diffused, internationally accepted norms and their uneven implementation on the ground, Linos’ recent work focuses on human rights. She studies the transition from broad international commitments to effective national institutions and laws, and explores how international norms affect outcomes at the national level. She has won an award from the Hellman Family Fund to study National Human Rights Institutions empirically.
Linos’ research appears in leading law reviews and peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of International Law, the American Journal of Political Science, the California Law Review, Comparative Political Studies, the European Sociological Review, International Organization, the Journal of European Public Policy and the Yale Journal of International Law. She holds a J.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard, and was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows.
B.A., Harvard College (2000)
Diploma, European University Institute (2002)
J.D., Harvard Law School (2006)
Ph.D., Harvard University (2007)