Human Rights in Political Party and Government Programs: Inferences from the Case of Turkey
University of Connecticut
APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper
Political parties are essential to representative democracies and important in agenda setting and shaping the political discourse, even if they fall short of forming the government or acquiring seats in the parliament. Focusing on the case of Turkey, this paper assesses the extent to which human rights have been incorporated into the programs of political parties and governments, identifies the pattern of change in their discourse, and examines the relationship between the human rights approaches displayed in political party and government programs. The manifest and latent content analyses of 95 party programs and 60 government program, as well as the human rights content of constitutions, are conducted for the period of 1923-200. The longitudinal analysis of Turkey as a case study, which employs government as the unit of analysis and combines quantitative and qualitative methodologies, is used to develop an alternative to the theories (e.g., modernization theory; boomerang theory/spiral model) that are commonly employed to explain changes in a country’s human rights discourse and practices. Abstract will be provided by author.
Keywords: human rights, political parties, governments, constitution, Turkey, content analysis
Date posted: July 19, 2010 ; Last revised: September 4, 2010