WVPU Professor Conducts Summer Research in Guinea

Bocchese in Conakry with three colleaguesWebster Vienna Private University (WVPU) is an accredited, private, nonprofit institution dedicated to providing students with a transformative education. At WVPU, our focus is on bringing research into the classroom, equipping students with the skills they need to become lifelong independent learners and leaders in their chosen fields.

Professor Marco Bocchese, an assistant professor of International Relations since August 2021, exemplifies this commitment through his recent research endeavors. This summer, Bocchese embarked on a journey from Vienna, the capital of Austria, to Conakry, the capital of Guinea. There, he conducted a series of interviews with key individuals including politicians, government officials, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and victims of state violence. This immersive experience was made possible through the generous support of a 2023 Webster University Faculty Research Grant. The title of his proposal was “Justice in the Fog of War: Explaining State Cooperation with International Prosecutions.”

Between May 28 and June 11, Professor Bocchese collected 25 interviews onsite in Conakry, delving into the complex realm of International Criminal Court-state relations over time. His primary focus was to investigate whether state authorities have fulfilled their treaty obligations as the trial of former junta members accused of crimes against humanity unfolds.

Central to his research was the examination of the 1998 Rome Statute, the foundational treaty that established the International Criminal Court. This treaty imposes a clear obligation on state authorities to provide full judicial assistance to the court. However, Professor Bocchese's findings suggest that despite this obligation, state authorities are often enticed to shield power-wielders and other influential domestic actors from the scrutiny of international justice mechanisms.

ICC monitoring of Guinea has taken place from October 2009 to late September 2022.

“Over the course of 13 years, promises have been made and broken, and the pursuit of justice remains elusive,” Bocchese said.

Professor Bocchese's research not only sheds light on the intricate dynamics between the International Criminal Court and state authorities but also highlights the significance of studying such complex issues in a real-world context. This is precisely the approach that Webster Vienna Private University takes in its commitment to bringing research into the classroom. By exposing students to cutting-edge research and encouraging them to engage with real-world challenges, WVPU prepares them to become informed, critical thinkers capable of effecting positive change.

Through the efforts of scholars like Professor Bocchese, WVPU continues to solidify its position as a leading institution dedicated to academic excellence, innovation, and the pursuit of knowledge. Students at WVPU become part of research-driven learning while in Vienna.

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