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Do human rights offenders oppose human rights resolutions in the United Nations?

  • Bernhard Boockmann


  • Axel Dreher


We investigate voting behavior on human rights in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Our central question is whether countries with a low human rights record systematically oppose human rights resolutions. An instrumental account of voting would suggest that these countries aim to weaken UN human rights resolutions since they could be future targets of these policies. If reputation aspects and other non-instrumental motives dominate, the influence can go in either direction. We estimate determinants of voting on the basis of 13,000 individual voting decisions from 1980 to 2002. Our results from ordered probit estimation show that a country’s human rights situation is irrelevant to voting behavior if regional dependence of voting is controlled for. This suggests that countries’ voting decisions are not made independently from each other. The results also show that simple rules for aggregating voting choices can lead to misleading results.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 146 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 443-467

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:146:y:2011:i:3:p:443-467
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