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Norm Collision: Explaining the Effects of International Human Rights Pressure on State Behavior

Sonia Cardenas
International Studies Review
Vol. 6, No. 2 (Jun., 2004), pp. 213-231
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The International Studies Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3699591
Page Count: 19
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Norm Collision: Explaining the Effects of International Human Rights Pressure on State Behavior
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Abstract

Scholars have offered several types of explanations regarding how international human rights pressure can shape state behavior. Some of these explanations are rationalist-materialist in orientation, emphasizing realist notions of power or neoinstitutionalist concerns with self-interest. Others have drawn on ideational-constructivist accounts to emphasize the role of norms, identity, and social actors. Additionally, scholars have paid attention to how international and domestic factors, sometimes in interaction, mediate human rights change. This essay surveys this literature, noting a trend toward theoretical synthesis; it also draws on insights from quantitative research and comparative politics to account for persistence in human rights violations and, more specifically, the timing of policy successes and failures.

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