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Carraro, V (Valentina)

Dr. Valentina Carraro is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University since April 2017. She is currently on research leave (April 2018-April 2020), working as a Visiting Researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights in Vienna. Her research interests include human rights, global governance, and the use of expertise in public organizations.


In January 2018 Valentina was awarded a Rubicon fellowship by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to carry out a two-year research project at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, under the supervision of Prof. Manfred Nowak. 

The project is titled "The More the Better? The Complementarity of Human Rights Reviewing Mechanisms in the United Nations". 



Career History

Valentina Carraro holds a PhD in International Relations from Maastricht University (2013-2017). Between September and December 2015, she was a Visiting PhD Candidate at Harvard Law School. She had previously obtained a MA degree in European Studies from Maastricht University (cum laude - highest honors), a MA degree in International Relations from Ca' Foscari University in Venice (110/110 cum laude - highest honors), and a BA degree in Modern Langauges and Literature from the University of Bologna.

Prior to starting her PhD, Valentina Carraro gained professional experience at the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) in Maastricht (2011-2012) and at the European Union Delegation to the United Nations in New York (2012).

Research Projects

Valentina Carraro is currently conducting an NWO-funded research project (Rubicon fellowship) titled: "The More the Better? The Complementarity of Human Rights Reviewing Mechanisms in the United Nations". Please find below a short summary:


The surge in international human rights treaties since the end of the Second World War led to the establishment of numerous instruments monitoring treaty compliance. Within the United Nations (UN), the two main instruments to this aim are the examination of state reports by Treaty Bodies and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Yet, the co-existence of these mechanisms might give rise to duplications or even contradictions in their output, which includes a set of recommendations for states to improve their performance. This might in turn hinder their ability to improve the human rights situation in reviewed countries. 

This project assesses the extent to which the UPR and the Treaty Bodies deliver complementary, duplicating or contradicting recommendations, and what this implies for states’ implementation of these recommendations. This assessment is necessary in view of improving the functioning of these instruments, stimulating states’ compliance with human rights.










‘The Politics of Information: The Case of the European Fundamental Rights Agency’, Research Master European Studies


‘The European Commission: Safeguarding the European Interest?’, Minor European Studies


'Peer Reviews in International Organizations and their Authority: a Useful Form of Implementation and Evaluation?', European Public Affairs Master





‘Europeanization in practice: transposition in comparative perspective’, Master European Studies


'Introduction to Atlas.ti', Graduate School of the Faculty of Law





'EU Politics: theories, institutions and challenges', BA European Studies


‘Negotiation skills’, BA European Studies and Minor European Studies


‘The Idea of Europe’, Minor European Studies


‘Great Expectations’, Minor European Studies


'Europe: a critical reflection', Minor European Studies



Student supervision:


Supervision of final theses: MA European Studies, MA Globalization and Development Studies, BA European Studies


Mentorship program first year students, BA European Studies





Member of a panel on research ethics for the course 'Research Methods in Globalization and Development', MA Globalization and Development Studies





Work for third parties

Professional presentations

Carraro, V., Conzelmann, T. & Jongen, H. (2015) ’The UPR: a shining star in the peer reviews galaxy?’, Side event to the 29th meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Palais des Nations, Geneva, 26 June 2015.