Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The Power Politics of Regime Complexity: Human Rights Trade Conditionality in Europe

  • Emilie M. Hafner-Burton (a1)

This article argues that international regime complexity has shaped Europe's politics of human rights trade conditionality by creating opportunities for various types of “forum shopping,” and, consequently, that some of the most significant politics of human rights enforcement have occurred in an entirely separate issue area—trade—which are being worked out partly during lawmaking and partly during implementation. The presence of nested and overlapping institutions creates incentives for rival political actors—whether states, institutions, or policymakers—to (1) forum shop for more power, (2) advantage themselves in the context of a parallel or overlapping regime, and (3) invoke institutions á la carte to govern a specific issue but not others. Each tactic creates competition between institutions and actors for authority over the rules, setting hurdles for IO performance. Even so, (4) regime complexity can make enforcement of rules that are impossible to implement in one area possible in another area.

Hide All
Alston Philip, Bustelo Mara R., and Heenan James, eds. 1999. The EU and Human Rights. Oxford, UK and New York: Oxford University Press.
Bartels Lorand. 2005. Human Rights Conditionality in the EU's International Agreements. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Brandtner Barbara, and Rosas Allan. 1998. Human rights and the external relations of the European Community: An analysis of doctrine and practice. European Journal of International Law 3 (9): 468ff.
European Commission. 1995. Communication “On the inclusion of respect for democratic principles and human rights in agreements between the Community and third countries.” COM (95)216 of 23 May 1995.
European Council. 1991. Council Regulation (EEC) No. 3300/91 of 11 November 1991 (OJ 1991 L 315).
European Council. 2003. EU Annual Human Rights Report, 10 October 2003.
European Report. 1997. EU/Australia: Minister Fails to Solve Wrangle on Human Rights Clause. February 1.
Hafner-Burton Emilie M. 2005. Trading human rights: How preferential trade agreements influence government repression. International Organization 59 (3): 593629.
Hafner-Burton Emilie M. 2009. Forced to be Good: Why Trade Agreements Boost Human Rights. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Hafner-Burton Emilie M., and Tsutsui Kiyoteru. 2005. Human rights in a globalizing world: The paradox of empty promises. American Journal of Sociology 110 (5): 1373–411.
Hathaway Oona A. 2002. Do human rights treaties make a difference? The Yale Law Journal 111: 19352042.
Kelly Judith. 2004. International actors on the domestic scene: Membership conditionality and socialization by international institutions. International Organization 58 (3): 459–59.
Recommend this journal

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

Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
  • URL: /core/journals/perspectives-on-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 77 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 234 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.