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Do Human Rights Offenders Oppose Human Rights Resolutions in the United Nations?

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  • Axel Dreher
  • Bernhard Boockmann

Abstract

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 rulesfor aggregating voting choices can lead to misleading results.

Suggested Citation

  • Axel Dreher & Bernhard Boockmann, 2007. "Do Human Rights Offenders Oppose Human Rights Resolutions in the United Nations?," KOF Working papers 07-163, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:07-163
    DOI: 10.3929/ethz-a-005390224
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    Cited by:

    1. Axel Dreher & Jan-Egbert Sturm, 2012. "Do the IMF and the World Bank influence voting in the UN General Assembly?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 363-397, April.
    2. Arye Hillman & Niklas Potrafke, 2015. "The UN Goldstone Report and retraction: an empirical investigation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 247-266, June.
    3. Raphael Becker & Arye Hillman & Niklas Potrafke & Alexander Schwemmer, 2015. "The preoccupation of the United Nations with Israel: Evidence and theory," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 413-437, December.
    4. Niklas Potrafke, 2012. "Islam and democracy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 185-192, April.
    5. B. Chupp, 2014. "Political interaction in the senate: estimating a political “spatial” weights matrix and an application to lobbying behavior," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 160(3), pages 521-538, September.
    6. Indra Soysa & Krishna Vadlammanati, 2013. "Do pro-market economic reforms drive human rights violations? An empirical assessment, 1981–2006," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(1), pages 163-187, April.
    7. Simon Hug & Richard Lukács, 2014. "Preferences or blocs? Voting in the United Nations Human Rights Council," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 83-106, March.
    8. Vaclav Vlcek, 2023. "Who cares about the UN General Assembly? National delegations size from 1993 to 2016," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 14(2), pages 349-360, May.
    9. Tobias Risse, 2024. "External threats and state support for arms control," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 61(2), pages 214-227, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voting; Human Rights; United Nations; Instrumental Voting;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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