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Experimentally Testing the Effectiveness of Human Rights Treaties

18 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2015 Last revised: 13 May 2017

Adam S. Chilton

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: April 14, 2017

Abstract

International human rights law is a field concerned with causality. While scholars in other fields argue about how laws can be changed to maximize their effectiveness, scholars of international human rights law still regularly debate whether the major international agreements have had any effect on state behavior. Part of the reason that this threshold question is still contested is that there are a number of barriers to causal inference that make answering it with observational data incredibly difficult. Given these obstacles to using observational data, and the importance of the topic, scholars have begun to use experimental methods to study the effects of commitments to human rights agreements. This Essay discusses the motivations behind the limited experimental work on human rights, the mechanisms that are being tested, and the findings of this emerging literature.

Keywords: Human Rights, International Law, Experiments, Treaties

Suggested Citation

Chilton, Adam S., Experimentally Testing the Effectiveness of Human Rights Treaties (April 14, 2017). U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 533. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2615143 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2615143

Adam S. Chilton (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.adamchilton.org

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