Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Human Rights Institutions, Sovereignty Costs and Democratization

Abstract

Why do countries join international human rights institutions, when membership often yields few material gains and constrains state sovereignty? This article argues that entering a human rights institution can yield substantial benefits for democratizing states. Emerging democracies can use the ‘sovereignty costs’ associated with membership to lock in liberal policies and signal their intent to consolidate democracy. It also argues, however, that the magnitude of these costs varies across different human rights institutions, which include both treaties and international organizations. Consistent with this argument, the study finds that democratizing states tend to join human rights institutions that impose greater constraints on state sovereignty.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All

School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and Department of Political Science, University of California, San Diego (email: ehafner@ucsd.edu); Department of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania (email: emansfie@sas.upenn.edu); Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison (email: pevehouse@polisci.wisc.edu). Earlier versions of this article were presented at the 2009 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Toronto; the 2012 annual convention of the International Studies Association, San Diego; and colloquia at the University of Chicago Law School, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Virginia and University of Wisconsin. For helpful comments and suggestions, we are grateful to the participants in these conferences and seminars, in particular Alice Kang, Kal Raustiala, Peter Rosendorff, Jana von Stein and Erik Voeten. For research assistance, we thank Tana Johnson, Kathryn Chylla, Devra Cohen, and especially Felicity Vabulas. Data replication sets and online appendices are available at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1017/S0007123413000240.

Footnotes
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Nathaniel Beck , Jonathan N. Katz Richard Tucker . 1998. Taking Time Seriously: Time-Series-Cross-Section Analysis with a Binary Dependent Variable. American Journal of Political Science 42:12601288.

Wade M Cole . 2005. Sovereignty Relinquished? Explaining Commitment to the International Human Rights Covenants, 1966–1999. American Sociological Review 70:472495.

Kristian Gleditsch Michael Ward . 1999. A Revised List of Independent States since the Congress of Vienna. International Interactions 25:393413.

Nils Petter Gleditsch , Peter Wallensteen , Mikael Eriksson , Margareta Sollenberg Håvard Strand . 2002. Armed Conflict 1946–2001: A New Dataset. Journal of Peace Research 39:615637.

Emilie M. Hafner-Burton 2012. International Human Rights Regimes. Annual Review of Political Science 15:265286.

Emilie M. Hafner-Burton Kiyoteru Tsutsui . 2005. Human Rights in a Globalizing World: The Paradox of Empty Promises. American Journal of Sociology 110:13731411.

Oona A Hathaway . 2002. Do Human Rights Treaties Make a Difference? The Yale Law Journal 111:19352042.

Oona A. Hathaway . 2007. Why Do Countries Commit to Human Rights Treaties? Journal of Conflict Resolution 51:588621.

Keith Jaggers Ted Robert Gurr . 1995. Tracking Democracy's Third Wave with the Regime Type III Data. Journal of Peace Research 32:469482.

Edward D. Mansfield Jon C. Pevehouse . 2006. Democratization and International Organizations. International Organization 60:137167.

Edward D. Mansfield Jack Snyder . 2002. Incomplete Democratization and the Outbreak of Military Disputes. International Studies Quarterly 46:529549.

Eric Neumayer . 2005. Do International Human Rights Treaties Improve Respect for Human Rights? Journal of Conflict Resolution 49:925953.

Jon Pevehouse , Timothy Nordstrom Kevin Warnke . 2004. The Correlates of War 2 International Governmental Organizations Data Version 2.0. Conflict Management and Peace Science 21:101119.

Frank Schimmelfennig . 2005. Strategic Calculation and International Socialization: Membership Incentives, Party Constellations, and Sustained Compliance in Central and Eastern Europe. International Organization 59:827860.

Beth Simmons . 2009. Mobilizing for Human Rights: International Law in Domestic Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Tony Smith . 1994. In Defense of Intervention. Foreign Affairs 73:3446.

James Raymond Vreeland . 2008. Political Institutions and Human Rights: Why Dictatorships Enter into the United Nations Convention Against Torture. International Organization 62:65101.

Joseph Wright . 2009. How Foreign Aid Can Foster Democratization in Authoritarian Regimes. American Journal of Political Science 53:552571.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Hafner-Burton Supplementary Material
Appendix

 Word (31 KB)
31 KB
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Hafner-Burton Supplementary Material
Supplementary Materials

 Word (25 KB)
25 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 14
Total number of PDF views: 203 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 614 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 29th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.