Deeper Commitment to Human Rights Treaties: Signaling and Investment Risk Perception

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Authors Mi Hwa Hong, Gary Uzonyi
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Why do some leaders make deeper commitments to human rights treaties (HRAs) by consenting to receive extra monitoring of complaints or communications from individual citizens? Extant theory suggests leaders join HRAs for tangible benefits. However, empirical support for this argument is mixed. To address this mismatch, we approach this question from a different angle. We argue that by ratifying HRAs, leaders send a signal that they are reliable partners who value future returns. Accepting optional articles and protocols that increase monitoring of the state’s human rights behavior, without changing the state’s substantive obligations, helps better signal that the regime does not fear instability nor sees the need to resort to the proscribed abuses in the future. This, in turn, serves as an important middle step to recognizing tangible benefits, such as foreign direct investment, by improving investors’ risk perception of ratified countries.
Date of publication 2018
Code Programming Language R

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