Title

Shame on You: The Impact of Human Rights Criticism on Political Repression in Latin America

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2008

Publication Title

International Studies Quarterly

Volume Number

52

Issue Number

1

DOI

10.1111/j.1468-2478.2007.00496.x

Abstract

The most commonly used weapon in the arsenal of human rights proponents is shaming the violating government through public criticism. But does this really affect the behavior of the violator? This study examines how governments that are targeted for human rights criticism respond to subsequent contentious challenges. Analyzing 873 challenges in seven Latin American countries between 1981 and 1995, it is found that human rights criticism does lead governments to reduce repression of subsequent challenges in cases where there are relatively strong economic ties to other countries. However, the duration of this impact is relatively short—less than 6 months. Examination of the source of human rights criticism shows that criticism by NGOs, religious groups, and foreign governments was more effective than criticism from inter-governmental organizations.

ISSN

0020-8833

First Page

187

Last Page

211

Link Out URL

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2478.2007.00496.x

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