In the news

Foreign Policy The Fight Against Human Trafficking Is Too Important for Trump and Pompeo to Ignore
Foreign Policy, May 30, 2018
Ways and Means Robots, WikiLeaks & The Fight Against Human Trafficking
Ways & Means Podcast, November 14, 2017
The Hill US law to combat human trafficking earns an A+, so why doesn’t everyone support it?
The Hill, July 23, 2017
Stars and Stripes Scorecards force low-ranked nations to act
Stars and Stripes, July 10, 2017
Washington Post The State Department just released its human trafficking report. Here's why it matters.
The Washington Post, The Monkey Cage, July 3, 2017
Brookings Future Development Scorecard diplomacy: How grades drive behavior in international relations
Future Development, Brookings Institution, May 22, 2017
Policy 360 podcast What WikiLeaks Reveals About Human Trafficking
Policy 360 podcast, March 14, 2017
Sanford School of Public Policy THE BIG IDEA: Scorecard Diplomacy
Sanford School of Public Policy, February 2017
The Washington Diplomat State Department Faces Backlash Over ‘Politicized’ Trafficking Report
The Washington Diplomat, September 30, 2015
Sanford School of Public Policy 'Scorecard Diplomacy:' Rating Nations on the Fight Against Human Trafficking
Sanford School of Public Policy, April 29, 2015
Times Union U.S. must stay strong in fight against human trafficking
Times Union, November 17, 2014
Times Union Ranking the rankings
The Economist, November 8, 2014


Judith G. Kelley bridges rigorous academic research and policy relevance as realms too often divorced. She is uniquely creative in delivering unexpected conclusions and hard proof. This study offers subtle insights about what actually works in US human trafficking policy. The book sheds light on how reputation affects governments’ conduct and laws. It addresses important questions about the relative impact of rating countries, sanctions, diplomacy over time, consistency, and unilateralism in foreign policy. Scorecard Diplomacy is a major work on norms and impactful statecraft, important far beyond its fascinating case study on combating the sex and labor slavery of our time.

—Mark P. Lagon, Ph.D., Centennial Fellow, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, and former U.S. Ambassador-At-Large to Combat Trafficking Persons.

Scorecard Diplomacy is social science at its best. Marshaling a wealth of material and methods, Judith G. Kelley explains why states care about reputations and how grading of their performances affects behavior.

—Jonas Tallberg, Stockholms Universitet

A quiet revolution has occurred in global governance over the last two decades. States, international organizations, and non-state actors are scoring, ranking, and measuring states for all kinds of reasons—which country is the least corrupt, the most democratic, and on and on. But do states actually care enough to change their behavior so that they can move up in the rankings? Scorecard Diplomacy is the first place to look when trying to answer these questions. Careful, systematic, and consistently compelling, Kelley makes the case that these scores can matter. In doing so she not only provides an important statement on the new global governance, she also contributes to the ongoing recognition of the different kinds of power that exist in world affairs. A fascinating and important contribution to international relations and global governance.

—Michael Barnett, International Affairs and Political Science, George Washington University, Washington, DC

Scorecard Diplomacy is a fascinating study of how the United States uses its assessment power to influence policy change around the world. Judith G. Kelley shows that ratings matter in the public sphere. This is an incredibly insightful look at how modern US diplomacy has harnessed anxiety about ‘grades’ to provoke change in national policies—and has kept human trafficking on the global agenda.

—Beth A. Simmons, Andrea Mitchell University Professor in Law and Political Science, University of Pennsylvania