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Evaluating the influence of international norms and shaming on state respect for rights: an audit experiment with foreign embassies
Penn State Univ, University Pk, PA 16802 USA.
Dartmouth Coll, Hanover, NH 03755 USA.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4998-7964
Univ Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9837-186X
2019 (English)In: International Interactions, ISSN 0305-0629, E-ISSN 1547-7444, Vol. 45, no 4, p. 720-735Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How do international norms affect respect for human rights? We report the results of an audit experiment with foreign missions that investigates the extent to which state agents observe international norms and react to the potential of international shaming. Our experiment involved emailing 669 foreign diplomatic missions in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom with requests to contact domestic prisoners. According to the United Nations, prisoners have the right for individuals to contact them. We randomly varied (1) whether we reminded embassies about the existence of an international norm permitting prisoner contact and (2) whether the putative email sender is associated with a fictitious human rights organization and, thereby, has the capacity to shame missions through naming and shaming for violating this norm. We find strong evidence for the positive effect of international norms on state respect for human rights. Contra to our expectations, though, we find that the potential of international shaming does not increase the probability of state compliance. The positive effect of the norms cue disappears when it is coupled with the shaming cue, suggesting that shaming might have a 'backfire' effect.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD , 2019. Vol. 45, no 4, p. 720-735
Keywords [en]
Compliance, experiments, human rights, naming and shaming, norms
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-398720DOI: 10.1080/03050629.2019.1622543ISI: 000471557800001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-398720DiVA, id: diva2:1377000
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-02632Available from: 2019-12-10 Created: 2019-12-10 Last updated: 2019-12-10Bibliographically approved

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Eck, KristineFariss, Christopher J.
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