Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Are Human Rights Practices Improving?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 June 2018


DAVID CINGRANELLI
Affiliation:
Binghamton University
MIKHAIL FILIPPOV
Affiliation:
Binghamton University
Corresponding

Abstract

Has government protection of human rights improved? The answer to this and many other research questions is strongly affected by the assumptions we make and the modeling strategy we choose as the basis for creating human rights country scores. Fariss (2014) introduced a statistical model that produced latent scores showing an improving trend in human rights. Consistent with his stringent assumptions, his statistical model heavily weighted rare incidents of mass killings such as genocide, while discounting indicators of lesser and more common violations such as torture and political imprisonment. We replicated his analysis, replacing the actual values of all indicators of lesser human rights violations with randomly generated data, and obtained an identical improving trend. However, when we replicated the analysis, relaxing his assumptions by allowing all indicators to potentially have a similar effect on the latent scores, we find no human rights improvement.


Type
Letter
Copyright
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2018 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

Footnotes

The authors thank Rodwan Abouharb, Sabine Carey, David Davis, Peter Haschke, Neil Mitchell, and David Richards for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. Replication files are available at the American Political Science Review Dataverse: https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/KGVBNC.


References

Bolck, Annabel, Croon, Marcel, and Hagenaars, Jacques. 2004. “Estimating Latent Structure Models with Categorical Variables.” Political Analysis 12 (1): 327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cingranelli, David, and Filippov, Mikhail. 2018. “Problems of Model Specification and Improper Data Extrapolation.” British Journal of Political Science 48 (1): 273–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cingranelli, David, and Richards, David. 2010. “The Cingranelli and Richards (CIRI) Human Rights Data Project.” Human Rights Quarterly 32 (2): 401–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clark, Ann Marie, and Sikkink, Kathryn. 2013. “Information Effects and Human Rights Data.” Human Rights Quarterly 35 (3): 539–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dahl, Robert. 1961. Who Governs. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Fariss, Christopher. 2014. “Respect for Human Rights Has Improved over Time: Modeling the Changing Standard of Accountability.” American Political Science Review 108 (2): 297318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fariss, Christopher. 2018. “The Changing Standard of Accountability and the Positive Relationship Between Human Rights Treaty Ratification and Compliance.” British Journal of Political Science 48 (1): 239–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gutiérrez-Sanín, Francisco, and Wood, Elizabeth. 2017. “What Should We Mean by ‘Pattern of Political Violence’?Perspectives on Politics 15 (1): 2041.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hafner-Burton, Emily, and Ron, Jaames. 2009. “Seeing Double: Human Rights Impact through Qualitative and Quantitative Eyes.” World Politics 61 (2): 360401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Harff, Barbara, and Gurr, Ted Robert. 1988. “Toward Empirical Theory of Genocides and Politicides.” International Studies Quarterly 32 (3): 5971.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haschke, Peter, and Gibney, Mark. 2017. “Are Global Human Rights Conditions Static or Improving.” In Peace and Conflict, eds. Backer, David, Bhavnani, Ravi, and Huth, Paul. New York: Routledge Press, 8797.Google Scholar
Hill, Daniel. 2016. “Democracy and the Concept of Personal Integrity Rights.” Journal of Politics 78 (3): 822–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hunter, Floyd. 1953. Community Power Structure. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
Martin, Andrew, and Quinn, Kevin. 2002. “Dynamic Ideal Point Estimation Via Markov Chain Monte Carlo for the US Supreme Court, 1953–1999.” Political Analysis 10 (2): 134–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Poe, Steven, and Tate, Neal. 1994. “Repression of Human Rights to Personal Integrity in the 1980s.” American Political Science Review 88 (4): 853–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Richards, David. 2016. “The Myth of Information Effects in Human Rights Data.” Human Rights Quarterly 38 (1): 477–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rummel, Rudolph. 1994. Death by Government. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Press.Google Scholar
Schnakenberg, Keith, and Fariss, Christopher. 2014. “Dynamic Patterns of Human Rights Practices.” Political Science Research and Methods 2 (1): 131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wang, Xiaojing, Berger, James, and Burdick, Donald. 2013. “Bayesian Analysis of Dynamic Item Response Models in Educational Testing.” The Annals of Applied Statistics 7 (1): 126–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wood, Reed, and Gibney, Mark. 2010. “The Political Terror Scale (PTS): A Re-Introduction and a Comparison to CIRI.” Human Rights Quarterly 32 (2): 367400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Cingranelli and Filippov Dataset

Link

Cingranelli and Filippov supplementary material

Online Appendix

[Opens in a new window]
PDF 2 MB

Altmetric attention score


Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 142
Total number of PDF views: 1017 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 13th June 2018 - 2nd December 2020. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Hostname: page-component-79f79cbf67-hp6v8 Total loading time: 0.281 Render date: 2020-12-02T23:36:31.736Z Query parameters: { "hasAccess": "0", "openAccess": "0", "isLogged": "0", "lang": "en" } Feature Flags last update: Wed Dec 02 2020 23:06:56 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time) Feature Flags: { "metrics": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "peerReview": true, "crossMark": true, "comments": true, "relatedCommentaries": true, "subject": true, "clr": false, "languageSwitch": true }

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Are Human Rights Practices Improving?
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Are Human Rights Practices Improving?
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Are Human Rights Practices Improving?
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *