Human Rights Institutions, Sovereignty Costs, and Democratization
Emilie Marie Hafner-Burton
University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS)
University of Wisconsin - Madison
University of Pennsylvania - Department of Political Science
APSA 2009 Toronto Meeting Paper
Abstract will be provided by author.Why do countries join international human rights institutions, when membership often yields few material gains and constrains state sovereignty? We argue 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. We also argue, however, that the magnitude of these costs varies across different human rights institutions, which include both treaties and international organizations. Consistent with this argument, we find that democratizing states tend to join those human rights institutions that impose greater constraints on state sovereignty.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 43working papers series
Date posted: August 13, 2009 ; Last revised: March 7, 2012
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