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When States Crack Down on Human Rights Defenders

Bakke, K; Mitchell, N; Smidt, H; (2020) When States Crack Down on Human Rights Defenders. International Studies Quarterly , 64 (1) pp. 85-96. 10.1093/isq/sqz088.

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Abstract

Research suggests that civil society mobilization together with the ratification of human rights treaties put pressure on governments to improve their human rights practices. An unexplored theoretical implication is that pressure provokes counterpressure. Instead of improving treaty compliance, some governments will have an interest in demobilizing civil society to silence their critics. Yet we do not know how and to what extent this incentive shapes governments’ policies and practices regarding civil society organizations. In this article we argue and show—using a new global database of government-sponsored restrictions on civil society organizations—that when governments have committed to human rights treaties and, at the same time, continue to commit severe human rights abuses, they impose restrictions on civil society groups to avoid monitoring and mitigate the international costs of abuses.

Type: Article
Title: When States Crack Down on Human Rights Defenders
DOI: 10.1093/isq/sqz088
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/isq/sqz088
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10088104
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