Power, Mechanisms, and Denunciations: Understanding Compliance with Human Rights in International Relations

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Abstract

The four volumes on human rights norms reviewed here investigate a puzzle introduced by quantitative studies, which shows that the expansion of commitments with human rights does not guarantee compliance with these rights in practice. Going beyond the classical opposition between constructivism and rationalism, the volumes explore the conditions and mechanisms that are likely to close this ‘compliance gap’. This essay starts by reviewing the arguments of the books before focusing on two major themes: compliance mechanisms and international denunciations. It argues that the introduction of ‘reintegrative shaming’ and ‘stigma’ to compliance research may help refine current knowledge on normative change and resistance to change. Betts A and Orchard P (eds) (2014) Implementation and World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Friman HR (2015) The Politics of Leverage in International Relations: Name, Shame, and Sanctions. Basingstoke; New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Hafner-Burton E (2013) Making Human Rights a Reality. Princeton, NJ; Oxford: Princeton University Press. Risse T, Ropp SC, and Sikkink K (eds) (2013) The Persistent Power of Human Rights: From Commitment to Compliance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-330
Number of pages13
JournalPolitical Studies Review
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • human rights
  • international norms
  • compliance mechanisms
  • naming and shaming
  • stigma

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