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International Human Rights Law and Practice in Latin America

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  • Lutz, Ellen L.
  • Sikkink, Kathryn

Abstract

Human rights practices have improved significantly throughout Latin America during the 1990s, but different degrees of legalization are not the main explanation for these changes. We examine state compliance with three primary norms of international human rights law: the prohibition against torture, the prohibition against disappearance, and the right to democratic governance. Although these norms vary in their degree of obligation, precision, and delegation, states have improved their practices in all three issue-areas. The least amount of change has occurred in the most highly legalized issue-area—the prohibition against torture. We argue that a broad regional norm shift—a “norms cascade”—has led to increased regional and international consensus with respect to an interconnected bundle of human rights norms, including the three discussed in this article. These norms are reinforced by diverse legal and political enforcement mechanisms that help to implement and ensure compliance with them.

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  • Lutz, Ellen L. & Sikkink, Kathryn, 2000. "International Human Rights Law and Practice in Latin America," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 633-659, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:54:y:2000:i:03:p:633-659_44
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    1. repec:spr:revint:v:12:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11558-016-9260-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hlavac, Marek, 2010. "Freedom as the key to prosperity: Lessons from the world's growth miracles and economic disasters," MPRA Paper 25563, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Swantje Renfordt, 2010. "How International Law Standards Pervade Discourse on the Use of Armed Force - Insights into European and US Newspaper Debates between 1990 and 2005," KFG Working Papers p0013, Free University Berlin.
    4. Ulrich Mückenberger, 2008. "Civilising Globalism: Transnational Norm-Building Networks—A Research Programme," GIGA Working Paper Series 90, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.

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