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Why Do Regimes Commit to Human Rights Treaties? Badasses & Wimps Human Rights Part 2 – The United Nations Human Rights Conventions INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.

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Presentation on theme: "Why Do Regimes Commit to Human Rights Treaties? Badasses & Wimps Human Rights Part 2 – The United Nations Human Rights Conventions INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Why Do Regimes Commit to Human Rights Treaties? Badasses & Wimps Human Rights Part 2 – The United Nations Human Rights Conventions INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS (Course number GOVT 298, Spring 2010) Instructor: James Raymond Vreeland 1

3 Plan Review last class Badass Wimp Putting them together 2

4 Central question in today’s class: Why sacrifice sovereignty? A central question throughout the course The logic may depend on political regime 3

5 Last time, the CAT… 4

6 The Puzzle: 5

7 Answers: 1.Regional “norms” or “diffusion” 2.Political cover (the Hathaway Story) –Note that in this story, domestic constraints are binding in democracy, not dictatorship, thus the different patterns 3.Domestic institutions –Binding under democracy –Pressure under dictatorship The divided nature of the multiparty dictatorship causes both pressure for signing the CAT and, ironically, for more torture –Unified dictatorships face less pressure They don’t want to sign because they are pro-torture! Ironically, they inspire so much fear, they don’t have to torture as much 6

8 4. The Badass Story… for dictators Ratifying the CAT signals RESOLVE It commits the dictator to prison (somewhere) if he should ever fall from power So, it signals just how sure he is of staying in power The “wimps” don’t sign 7

9 Rosendorff’s broader view: International institutions as credible 3 rd party signals to domestic constituents Trade agreements –Used by democracies to signal low-protectionism World Bank –Collects data as a credible 3 rd party for democracies to be transparent The CAT –Used by dictatorships to signal leader-resolve 8

10 And now… The Wimpy Story Brought to you by: Moravcsik, Andrew The Origins of Human Rights Regimes: Democratic Delegation in Postwar Europe. International Organization 54 (2):217–52. 9

11 New Puzzle: Europe post-WWII Regarding: European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) Who supports strict enforcement? 10

12 Why are democracies willing to sacrifice sovereignty? Because they are UNSURE of their survival If they fear the return of autocracy, They want to hand over prosecutorial authority to an international body They give up some power so that their potential successors won’t have it either Does this make dictatorship less valuable? Perhaps this makes democracy more likely to endure? 11

13 We call this story: “LOCK-IN” 12

14 Lock-in European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) established a Commission on Human Rights –could investigate the case, seek to settle it, or forward it under certain circumstances to a court of human rights, whose decisions governments are legally bound to follow Two optional clauses of the ECHR, Articles 25 and 46, were subsequently adopted by all member states –they permit individual and state-to-state petitions and recognize the compulsory jurisdiction of the court –Parties to the ECHR must subject themselves to the Court’s jurisdiction –Established “effective supranational adjudication” in Europe Established-democracies & dictatorships opposed binding human rights enforcement (“sovereignty costs”) But for NEW DEMOCRACIES, the benefits of reducing future political uncertainty outweigh the “sovereignty costs” “self-binding” or “lock-in” is useful to newly established democracies 13

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16 Alternative way to test STATA! Draws on theory/empirics regarding the survival of democracy (Przeworski et al Democracy & Development) Uses “contested elections” & “per capita income” instead of “undemocratic”/“newly established”/“established democracy” 15

17 Moravcsik Predictions: Dictatorships do not want to cede authority –They regularly commit torture! (So they really lose from enforcement regime) Established democracies do not want to cede authority –They gain nothing (and potentially lose – just in case they want to have the ability to torture) Democracies “at risk” want to cede! –They want to establish human rights – enforced from outside, in case democracy collapses! 16

18 Can the Badass & Wimp stories fit together? Were there any “badasses” (high-leader- resolve) dictatorships in Europe? What if there had been? 17

19 Strongly established dictators: Can use HR agreements to CREDIBLY signal resolve (Rosendorff) Vulnerable dictators: Afraid of HR agreements because they commit torture, and might fall from power some day (Rosendorff) Vulnerable democracies: Can use HR agreements to LOCK-IN policy (Moravcsik) Strongly established democracies: Don’t need HR agreements to lock-in, and thus prefer to keep their sovereignty (Moravcsik) Putting the stories together: What do each of the following want? 18 DictatorshipsDemocracies

20 Take-away Domestic political determinants of international relations! 19

21 Exams 20

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26 25 Median Mean

27 Thank you WE ARE GLOBAL GEORGETOWN! 26


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