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

See all articles by Martin S. Edwards

Martin S. Edwards

Seton Hall University - School of Diplomacy and International Relations

Susan Hannah Allen

Texas Tech University

Kevin M. Scott

United States Department of Justice

Kate Irvin

George Washington University

Date Written: September 2, 2008

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Edwards, Martin S. and Allen, Susan Hannah and Scott, Kevin M. and Irvin, Kate, Sins of Commission? Understanding Membership Patterns on the United Nations Human Rights Commission (September 2, 2008). Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 3, pp. 390-402, September 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1262261

Martin S. Edwards (Contact Author)

Seton Hall University - School of Diplomacy and International Relations ( email )

South Orange, NJ 07079
United States

HOME PAGE: http://pirate.shu.edu/~edwardmb/

Susan Hannah Allen

Texas Tech University ( email )

2500 Broadway
Lubbock, TX 79409
United States

Kevin M. Scott

United States Department of Justice ( email )

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
United States

Kate Irvin

George Washington University

2121 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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