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Hathaway, Oona A. 2007. Why Do Countries Commit to Human Rights Treaties? Journal of Conflict Resolution 51 (4):588-621. PowerPoint Presentation
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Human Rights * Part 1 (July 21): The United Nations Human Rights Conventions *Part 2 (July 22):The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

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slide1

Human Rights*Part 1 (July 21): The United Nations Human Rights Conventions*Part 2 (July 22):The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Hathaway, Oona A. 2007. Why Do Countries Commit to Human Rights Treaties? Journal of Conflict Resolution 51 (4):588-621.

Moravcsik, Andrew. 2000. The Origins of Human Rights Regimes: Democratic Delegation in Postwar Europe. International Organization 54 (2):217–52.

plan for today tomorrow
Plan for today & tomorrow
  • Go over the exam
  • Various explanations of why governments enter into human rights treaties
    • Lock-in Story
    • Domestic enforcement
    • Signaling of resolve
    • Domestic pressure
    • International norm
  • Historical background
    • The United Nations Human Rights Conventions
    • The European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
slide4

D

D+

C

C+

B

B+

A

A+

slide5
Mid-term

All questions came from class lectures

Review session went over many questions explicitly

Answers were explicitly provided during the last class before the exam

Collectively, you have learned a lot…

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Final

Questions will be based on a close reading of required texts

Given our strong base, students are now encouraged to send in more challenging questions based on readings and lectures

Exams are about commitment problems – it’s time to up the ante!

Exam
confidence
Confidence
  • Raise your hand!
human rights treaties
Human Rights Treaties
  • Moravscik: HR treaties are fundamentally different from agreements regarding trade, monetary policy, the environment, or security
  • HR treaties hold governments accountable for purely internal activities
  • However, Hafner-Burton’s research shows the impact of human rights clauses in PREFERENTIAL TRADE AGREEMENTS (PTAs) http://www.princeton.edu/~ehafner/pdfs/trading_hr.pdf
  • PTAs are more effective than softer human rights agreements in changing repressive behaviors when they supply hard standards that tie material benefits of integration to compliance with human rights principles
  • PTAs improve members’ human rights through coercion, by supplying the instruments and resources to change actors’ incentives to promote reforms that would not otherwise be implemented
  • So what are the “soft” human rights agreements about?...
  • Domestic politics!
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Why would any government, democratic or dictatorial, favor establishing an effective independent international authority, the sole purpose of which is to constrain its domestic sovereignty?

lock in
Lock-in
  • European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) established a Commission on Human Rights
    • could investigate the case, seek to settle it, or forward it under certain circumstances to a court of human rights, whose decisions governments are legally bound to follow
  • Two optional clauses of the ECHR, Articles 25 and 46, were subsequently adopted by all member states
    • they permit individual and state-to-state petitions and recognize the compulsory jurisdiction of the court
    • established "effective supranational adjudication" in Europe
  • Established democracies allied with dictatorships and transitional regimes in opposition to reciprocally binding human rights enforcement
  • Argues governments enter international agreements when the benefits of reducing future political uncertainty outweigh the ‘‘sovereignty costs’’ of membership
  • "self-binding" is of most use to newly established democracies
alternative way to test
Alternative way to test
  • Draws on theory/empirics regarding the survival of democracy (Przeworski et al. 2000. Democracy & Development)
  • Uses “contested elections” & “per capita income” instead of “undemocratic”/“newly established”/“established democracy”
  • STATA!
domestic enforcement story
Domestic enforcement story
  • The domestic enforcement of the treaty and the treaty’s collateral consequences
  • Democratic states with strict human rights legislation are de facto compliant, so they ratify
  • Democratic states without strict human rights legislation, but where international treaties may impact domestic law do not ratify (especially if they have poor human rights records)
  • Dictatorial states: international treaties are not consequential domestically, so governments only sign if they are looking for international political cover – the worst human rights violators are the most likely to sign!
  • Empirical puzzle – dictatorships with the worst human rights records are the most likely to sign (particularly the Convention Against Torture – CAT)
leader resolve story
Leader-resolve story
  • Addresses the puzzle that dictatorships with the worst human rights records are the most likely to sign
  • Argues that signing “commits” the leader to prison if he relinquishes power
  • Commitment is credible because of international enforcement
  • Signals to the domestic audience that the leader is a high-resolve type
  • May ironically lower torture as the domestic audience realizes it is futile to resist
  • Absent resistance, dictatorships need not practice as much torture
  • Low-resolve types do not sign because they fear going to prison if they fall from power, which they deem likely
  • Why don’t low-resolve types practice as much torture to begin with?
  • Could the practice of torture itself act as a signal of resolve?
domestic institutions under dictatorship story or

Domestic institutions under dictatorship story… or

CAT Selection:Why Dictatorships enter into the UN Convention Against Torture

my solution begins with the logic of torture
My solution begins with the logic of torture:
  • Torture is more likely when power is shared than when power is absolute (Kalyvas 2000, Arendt 1970).
  • A measure of power sharing?
  • Some dictatorships allow for
    • INDEPENDENT POLITICAL PARTIES (Gandhi 2003).
  • Under no-party & one-party states, limitations are obvious.
    • No ambiguity.
  • With multiple political parties, some degree of dissent is endorsed by the state.
    • Ambiguity. Some people go too far.
  • I predict torture to be ironically higher in more liberal dictatorships with multiple political parties.
will no one party states enter into the cat
Will no/one-party states enter into the CAT?
  • They are not anti-torture.
  • One reason we observe low levels of torture is because of the FEAR of torture.
  • They face no pressure from organized alternative political parties to adopt the CAT.
  • I predict no/one-party states are less likely to sign/ratify the CAT.
will multi party dictatorships enter into the cat
Will multi-party dictatorships enter into the CAT?
  • Institutions like multi-parties “encapsulate” parts of society into the regime (O’Donnell 1979, Gandhi and Przeworski 2006).
  • Regime faces pressure from organized political parties.
  • Policy concessions (Gandhi 2004).
    • Spend more on education, less on the military
  • Entering the CAT is a form of policy concession.
  • I predict more liberal dictatorships will be more likely to sign/ratify the CAT.
to put this plainly holding other things equal
To put this plainly:holding other things equal…
  • For every 100 observations of dictatorships with no political parties and low levels of torture during a year, one can expect 7 of them to practice high levels of torture the following year (plus or minus 4).
  • For every 100 observations of dictatorships with political parties and low levels of torture during a year, one can expect 14 of them to practice high levels of torture the following year (plus or minus 6).
  • I conclude that torture is, somewhat counter-intuitively, more prevalent in dictatorships with multiple political parties.
the story explains
The story explains…
  • Why governments with more torture enter into the CAT:
    • We observe more torture because power is divided (political parties).
    • Governments enter the CAT as a concession to the interest groups represented in the political parties.
  • Why governments without torture do not enter the CAT:
    • There is less torture because there is more fear of torture.
    • The last thing these regimes–that rely on fear–want to do is make a gesture that they oppose torture.
    • These regimes are not anti-torture, and face no pressure to enter into the CAT.
cases of no parties and dictatorship low torture
Cases of no parties and (dictatorship) low torture
  • Burkina Faso under Thomas Sankara (1983 to 1987)
  • Burundi under the dictatorships of Jean-Baptiste Bagaza (1981–87) and Pierre Buyoya (1987–1993)
  • Central African Republic under Andre Kolingba (1981–1993)
  • The dictatorship of Paul Biya in Cameroon also experienced low levels of torture from 1985 through 1991, during which period multiple parties were not allowed. When the Biya dictatorship finally did legalize political parties in 1992, rates of torture reached their highest levels.
  • Gabon under Omar Bongo, where torture averaged 2.2 according to the Hathaway scale during the closed party period from 1985 to 1989, but averaged 3.1 during the open party period from 1990 to 1996. The pattern, while not as stark, is also found in Mauritania under Moaouya Ould Sidi Ahmed Taya, where torture averaged 2.8 when parties were not allowed from 1985 to 1990, and torture averaged 3.3 when parties were legal.
  • Ibrahim Babangida’s dictatorship in Nigeria. Torture levels averaged 2.3 when parties were officially closed (1985–1988), but the average level went up to 4.0 when parties were legalized (1989–1992). The dictatorship of Juvenal Habyarimana in Rwanda had low rates of torture averaging 1.5 from 1985 to 1990 when parties were closed, but the torture rate averaged 3.7 when parties were legal from 1991–1993.
  • Cote d’Ivoire, the closed single party dictatorship of Felix Houphouet-Boigny had but a few isolated incidences of torture from 1985 to 1989. In 1990, when Cote d’Ivoire legalized multiple parties, torture became more common, reaching “frequent” levels in 1992, according to the CIRI measure of torture. CIRI also reports that torture in Cote d’Ivoire reached “frequent” levels again in 1995 under Henri Konan Bedie. Interestingly, this is the same year the government signed and ratified the CAT.
cases of parties and high torture
Cases of parties and high torture
  • Egypt, where multiple parties were legalized under Anwar el-Sadat in 1976. Torture averaged 3.8 from 1985 to 1996, with “common” rates of torture from 1988 to 1994 and “prevalent” torture in 1995.
  • Torture rates also reached “prevalent” levels in the open dictatorship of Mexico under Carlos Salinas (in 1991 and 1992) – multiple parties were legal throughout.
  • Other examples of high torture rates under multi-party dictatorships include Paraguay (1986) and Georgia (1992–3).
slide27
Cases where dictatorships failed to signed the CAT without political parties but did accede after legalizing political parties
  • Benin, which legalized political parties in 1990, and then signed and ratified the CAT in 1992;
  • Burundi, which legalized political parties in 1992 and then signed and ratified the CAT in 1993;
  • Chad, which legalized political parties in 1992 and then signed and ratified the CAT in 1995;
  • Ethiopia, which legalized political parties in 1991 and then signed and ratified the CAT in 1994;
  • Malawi, which opened political parties in 1993 and signed and ratified the CAT in 1996;
  • Nepal, which opened political parties in 1990, signing and ratifying in 1991;
  • Chile, which opened political parties the same year as it signed the CAT (1987), ratifying the following year (see Hawkins - raises the interesting possibility of international legitimacy as a further payoff from entering into the CAT)
normative stories
Normative stories
  • Governments become more likely to join an international agreement as the total number of joiners increases
  • Norms, in turn, are defined as “as a standard of appropriate behavior for actors with a given identity” (Finnemore and Sikkink 1998, 891; our emphasis)
  • Goodliffe & Hawkins (2006) show that countries are more likely to sign/ratify as others in the world do so
  • They find stronger results for countries of the same region – regional identity finding!
  • Political regime identity?
    • Do democracies follow democracy-norms?
    • Institutionalized dictatorships (multi-party dictatorships) follow their own norms?
    • “Pure” dictatorships have their norms?
  • We find little evidence of political regime identity at a global level, but strong evidence for democracies and mp dictatorships at the regional level
ratification vs signing
Ratification vs. Signing
  • Ratification: Gives official sanction or approval to an international treaty. Requires a formal adoption process (e.g., approval by the legislature or the agreement of multiple sub-national entities)
  • # veto players? Some political systems may have few (authoritarian regimes) others multiple (US: president + 2/3 majority of the Senate)
  • Signing: May be largely symbolic if not followed by ratification
human rights
Human Rights
  • Principally a legacy of World War II
  • The content of what “human rights” means was largely developed by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
  • and 2 international covenants (both 1966)
    • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/a_ccpr.htm
    • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/a_cescr.htm
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpAfe-ruM4U
the core universal human rights treaties
The core universal human rights treaties
  • 1987 Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (CAT) – the only one with UNIVERSAL JURISDICTION
  • 1976 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
  • 1981 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
slide33
CAT
  • Domestic law requirements
  • Article 2 calls for signatories to “take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.”
  • Article 4 specifically requires signatories to make torture illegal according to their domestic laws.
  • Article 10 mandates that “persons who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment of any individual subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment” be educated about the prohibition against torture and about what actions constitute illegal acts of torture.
  • Article 14 calls for rights to be provided to victims of torture, including some form of compensation and rehabilitation.
slide34
CAT
  • International monitoring
  • The CAT established an international monitoring board called the Committee Against Torture consisting of “10 experts of high moral standing and recognized competence in the field of human rights,” who are elected by the countries participating in the CAT (Article 17)
  • Article 21 allows a state party to declare that it accepts the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications by another state party indicating that it is not fulfilling its obligations under the convention.
  • Article 22 allows a state party to extend the same right to individuals who claim to be the victims of a violation of the treaty by the state party.
slide35
CAT
  • Universal Jurisdiction
  • The principle that a state’s jurisdiction is based on the nature of the crime rather than factors such as where the crime occurred or the nationality of the alleged perpetrator or victim.
  • In effect, CAT hands over prosecuting authority to other countries for state-sanctioned crimes!
  • This principle allows Nigeria, for example, to prosecute a crime committed in Germany by an American against an Indonesian.
  • Spain vs. Pinochet
  • Spain vs. 6 former officials of the Bush administration (John Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington, Alberto Gonzales, William Haynes and Douglas Feith)http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marjorie-cohn/spain-investigates-what-a_b_183801.html
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwDihun2FN0
1976 international covenant on civil and political rights iccpr
1976 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
  • Broad
  • Liberty & security of the person
  • Equality of all persons before courts and tribunals
  • The right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; equality before the law
  • The right of peaceful assembly and freedom of association.
  • State parties to the convention are required to submit reports
  • This requirement has low enforcement (put you on a naughty list!)
1981 convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women cedaw
1981 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
  • condemns any ‘‘distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.”
  • State parties to the convention must file reports or face being put on a naughty list
european convention on human rights
European Convention on Human Rights
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM94MvyvBs8&feature=related
exam questions
Exam questions
  • Answer: Established democracies (Moravscik)
    • Question:
  • Answer: Dictatorships (Moravscik)
    • Question:
  • Answer: Lock-In
    • Question:
  • Answer: Democracies (Hathaway)
    • Question:
  • Answer: Dictatorships (Hathaway)
    • Question: