Dynamic Patterns of Human Rights Practices

Political Science Research and Methods, 2(1):1-31.

31 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2010 Last revised: 15 Feb 2015

Keith E. Schnakenberg

University of Kentucky - James W. Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Christopher J. Fariss

Pennsylvania State University

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

A science of human rights requires valid comparisons of repression levels across time and space. Though extensive data collection efforts have made such comparisons possible in principle, statistical measures based on simple additive scales have made them rare in practice. This article uses a dynamic measurement model that contrasts with current approaches by (1) accounting for the fact that human rights indicators can be more or less informative about the latent level of repression, (2) allowing realistic descriptions of measurement uncertainty in the form of credible intervals, and (3) providing a theoretical motivation for modeling temporal dependence in human rights levels. We present several techniques, which demonstrate that the dynamic ordinal IRT model outperforms the static version of the model.

Keywords: human rights, data, IRT, dynamic measurement model, Bayesian statistics

Suggested Citation

Schnakenberg, Keith E. and Fariss, Christopher J., Dynamic Patterns of Human Rights Practices (2014). Political Science Research and Methods, 2(1):1-31.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1534335 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1534335

Keith E. Schnakenberg (Contact Author)

University of Kentucky - James W. Martin School of Public Policy and Administration ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

Christopher J. Fariss

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States

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