Testing The Effects of Economic, Social, and Political Globalization on Human Rights in Africa
The relationship between globalization and human rights remains highly controversial in African context. Neoliberals argue that globalization lead to growth and development generating respect for human rights. While skeptics contend that globalization process always tends to be ‘exclusive of poor’ increasing inequality leading to social unrest and economic insecurity. This leads to domestic violence and conflicts, allowing governments to resort to repressive measures. We unpack both these arguments and test several dimensions of human rights under the conditions of globalization. Previous studies have examined this issue for global sample with single indicators, such as trade openness and FDI. We however make use of Axel Dreher’s comprehensive measure of globalization index capturing the extent of globalization along the three dimensions of economic, political, and social globalization, to assess the propositions. Using the sample of 33 African countries for the period 1981 – 2005, our findings reveal a strong positive association between globalization and government respect for basic human rights, political terror scale. In contrast to the arguments of dependency school of thought, we also find positive relationship between disaggregated components of globalization and government respect for human rights. Of particular interest is that these results are reiterated for a sample of 28 Sub-Saharan African countries.
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