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Are Things Really Getting Better? How To Validate Latent Variable Models of Human Rights

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Department of Political Science, University of Michigan (email:; I would like to thank Margaret Ariotti, Megan Becker, Daniel Berliner, Nicole Bonoff, Chad Clay, Charles Crabtree, Geoff Dancy, Cassy Dorff, Jesse Driscoll, Maya Duru, Kristine Eck, Daniel Enemark, James Fowler, Micah Gell-Redman, Holly Guthrey, Peter Haschke, Cullen Hendrix, Danny Hill, Alex Hughes, Michael Kenwick, Milli Lake, Yon Lupu, Jonathan Markowitz, Kyle Marquardt, Jamie Mayerfeld, Amanda Murdie, Michael Nelson, Dan Pemstein, Keith Schnakenberg, Paul Schuler, Jaime Settle, Brigitte Seim, Tara Slough, Reed Wood, and Thorin Wright for many helpful comments and suggestions. The code and data files necessary to implement the models in R are available in Harvard Dataverse at: doi:10.7910/DVN/KWM3CY and, which can be linked to through This research was supported in part by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy Innovation Grant, and the College of Liberal Arts, both at Pennsylvania State University. The online appendices are available at

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British Journal of Political Science
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