Diffusion Across Political Systems: The Global Spread of National Human Rights Institutions

Human Rights Quarterly, vol. 32, no. 3, August 2010, pp. 729-760

33 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2014

See all articles by Tom Pegram

Tom Pegram

University College London

Date Written: August 1, 2010

Abstract

This article examines the proliferation of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and seeks to explain the drivers of this institutional innovation across contrasting political regimes. This article suggests that the NHRI phenomenon can be attributed to increasingly sophisticated international organizational platforms and three distinct, but complementary, mechanisms of diffusion: (1) coercion, (2) acculturation, and (3) persuasion. The article argues that a powerful international process of diffusion is at work and NHRIs are no longer the exclusive preserve of liberal democratic regimes. Instead NHRIs have diffused to a wide range of political systems, subjecting these human rights institutions to new and often competing demands and expectations.

Keywords: Diffusion, human rights, national institutions

Suggested Citation

Pegram, Tom, Diffusion Across Political Systems: The Global Spread of National Human Rights Institutions (August 1, 2010). Human Rights Quarterly, vol. 32, no. 3, August 2010, pp. 729-760. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2465584

Tom Pegram (Contact Author)

University College London ( email )

29/30 Tavistock Square
London, WC1H 9QU
United Kingdom
442031089291 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/people/thomas-pegram

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