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Simmons elected to American Philosophical Society

May 11, 2017

Penn Law professor Beth Simmons, an expert on international relations and human rights, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society. She was one of 32 new members elected by the society’s membership this April.

Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin and headquartered in Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society promotes science and the humanities through scholarly research, publications, and outreach. In addition to the newly elected Simmons, the society’s membership also includes Penn Law Emeritus Professor of Law Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr.

“Beth Simmons’ research has shed new light on human rights on the global stage,” said Ted Ruger, Dean of Penn Law and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law. “Her election shows the vital role that her scholarship plays in the field of international relations and her status as a leader in the field.”

“It’s an honor to be elected to the American Philosophical Society,” said Simmons. “Their longstanding support of and advocacy for research has been a tremendous resource for scholars from around the country.”

Simmons is the Andrea Mitchell University Professor and the University’s 18th Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) Professor, holding joint appointments at the Law School and in the Department of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences. She joined the Penn Law faculty last year, moving from Harvard University.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she is former President of the International Studies Association and author of two landmark books: Mobilizing for Human Rights: International Law in Domestic Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and Who Adjusts? Domestic Sources of Foreign Economic Policy During the Interwar Years, 1924-1939 (Princeton University Press, 1994). Both books won the Woodrow Wilson Award of the American Political Science Association as the best book of the year published in the United States on government, politics, or international affairs, as well as additional major awards from the International Studies Association, the International Social Science Council, and the American Society for International Law. 

Her recent scholarship investigates whether or not the International Criminal Court can deter international crimes, and her latest project looks at international borders over time, using satellite imagery of major border crossings between states.