Do Human Rights Treaty Obligations Matter for Ratification?

42 Pages Posted: 30 May 2019 Last revised: 17 Mar 2020

See all articles by Suzie Mulesky

Suzie Mulesky

University of Southern California - School of International Relations

Wayne Sandholtz

University of Southern California - School of International Relations; University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Kelebogile Zvobgo

University of Southern California - School of International Relations; William & Mary - Global Research Institute

Date Written: March 16, 2020

Abstract

Why do some human rights treaties receive rapid and near universal commitment from states while others take decades for the majority of states to ratify? We analyze new data that code every provision of ten global human rights treaties for the strength and precision of the obligations they contain. We classify obligations that are strong, precise, and that require domestic action as “demanding.” We hypothesize that treaties containing more of these demanding obligations would be seen as more costly to ratify because they imply potentially greater policy adaptation or compliance costs. Event history analyses are consistent with that hypothesis. The addition of 15 demanding treaty obligations decreases the likelihood of ratification by over 20 percent, similar to the effect of moving from democracy to autocracy. This effect is consistent when controlling for various treaty, state, and global level factors that may also influence a state’s decision to ratify.

Suggested Citation

Mulesky, Suzie and Sandholtz, Wayne and Zvobgo, Kelebogile, Do Human Rights Treaty Obligations Matter for Ratification? (March 16, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3383165 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3383165

Suzie Mulesky (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - School of International Relations ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Wayne Sandholtz

University of Southern California - School of International Relations ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

University of Southern California Gould School of Law ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Kelebogile Zvobgo

University of Southern California - School of International Relations ( email )

Los Angeles, CA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.zvobgo.com

William & Mary - Global Research Institute ( email )

Williamsburg, VA
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
84
Abstract Views
349
rank
310,549
PlumX Metrics