Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Human Rights Under Pressure - Ethics, Law and Politics
Field of Research: Legitimacy, Identity and Policy Diffusion: The Diffusion of Restrictive Refugee Policies among Western States
Shani is a doctoral student in the Advanced Research-Studies Program ("Telem") at the Department of International Relations of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she completed an MA with honors in 2014. Her master's thesis dealt with cinematic films as a potential challenge to the state. In 2011 she received a BA (magna cum laude) in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During her BA studies she worked at the Prime Minister's office (and before that in other governmental agencies), an experience which greatly contributed to her perception of politics in general and "the state" in particular. In accordance with her academic and personal interests, she also studies German and Arabic (both classical and spoken) and has been volunteering with asylum seekers for several years.
The focus of Shani’s research is on recent asylum policies in Western countries. This policy realm raises interesting and important questions regarding international norms, and yet was never examined from the perspective of the literature on norm dynamics in International Relations (IR). Specifically, it will closely examine the institutionalization of the norm of granting asylum to persecuted persons in several Western countries, both European and non-European, but mainly its recent dynamics: is it being reversed, transformed, or simply violated? By doing so, this project seeks to join the growing body of literature contesting a linear perception of the evolution of international norms and to explore the possibility that states learn from each other not only to respect international norms, but also to violate them.