Sins of Commission? Understanding Membership Patterns on the United Nations Human Rights Commission
Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 3, pp. 390-402, September 2008
13 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2008
Date Written: September 2, 2008
A prominent liberal explanation for why states join international organizations is to advance norms that such organizations represent. The authors examine the patterns of membership on the now-defunct United Nations Human Rights Commission (now the UN Human Rights Council). In regions where democratic norms did not hold sway, members were elected to degrade human rights norms. Illiberal states sought seats to shield themselves or neighbors from censure by the Commission. As regions became more democratic, it became harder for states with poor records to be elected and easier for states with better human rights records to be elected.
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