Wednesday, November 5, 2014
A new article posted on SSRN enters into the ongoing debate on the effectiveness of treaties in promoting state parties' human rights compliance. Professor Christopher Fariss of the Penn State Political Science Department argues in his new analysis, Human Rights Treaty Compliance and the Changing Standard of Accountability, that the positive effect of human rights treaty ratification greater than some scholars have previously asserted. Here is the abstract:
Researchers have puzzled over the finding that countries that ratify UN human rights treaties, such as the Convention Against Torture, are less likely than non-ratifiers to respect human rights. The changing standard of accountability -- the set of expectations that monitoring agencies use to hold states responsible for repressive actions -- masks real improvements to the level of respect for human rights and explains this anomalous finding. Using a novel dataset that corrects for systematic changes in monitoring reports over time, I demonstrate that the ratification of human rights treaties is associated with higher levels of respect for human rights.