HR enforcement mechanism effectiveness: a regional comparison post 1

My research project aims at investigating the effectiveness of different human rights enforcement mechanisms such as naming & shaming, trade linkage, and direct intervention when being applied to different regions of the world. I’m currently working with Dr. Zachery Bowersox at the Political Science department.

My research is still in the literature review and coming up with research design stage where I am still trying to formulate an index or mathematical model that would allow me to evaluate the effectiveness of different mechanisms while controlling for some key variables that will interfere with the result. What I have been working on for the past weeks was something called a “sensitivity scale” which will be factored into the equation to condition the main variable X country-year. This scale will include the region’s history of human rights violation, the cultural tolerance to autocratic rule, and its agricultural background which might impact the region’s sensitivity to less severe human right violations. In terms of data collection, I have been looking at the PTS and CIRI data, along with Freedom House and UN reports.

Existing literature mostly report mixed or no evidence on the effectiveness of one type of enforcement mechanism while the other types are only effective under some circumstances or being used in tandem with other measures. In some cases, scholars have found robust evidence that certain enforcement mechanism such has trade linkage in fact exacerbates the HR problem in the region. Most of these studies use significance  tests to test their hypothesis. Indices are employed sometimes but not as common.

From the lit review, there have been abundant tests and analysis on the effect of particular HR enforcement mechanism on regional HR performance, but few has conducted research factor regional culture into the equation. The existing literature provides very helpful resources on methodology and relevant theories that help me not only in formulating my equation but also locate variables that need to be controlled in the tests. Several recent studies also provide me with valuable data which had not been made available in the common data sets.

Plans for the following weeks:

I will plan to finalize my model and look for data that would fit specifically into my sensitivity scale. I will also finalize the independent, dependent, and control variables for my study although the list for control variables could expand later on. Dr. Bowersox is assigning me readings in folders on a weekly basis, so I expect the literature review process to complete soon. Meanwhile, I plan to reach out to the digital librarian at the Woodruff Library to clean up some of the data already collected.

4 Replies to “HR enforcement mechanism effectiveness: a regional comparison post 1”

  1. This is a good concise post that gets to the point in a clear way. I will caution you that the literature review never really ends. You will always be finding and reading new papers and books or new sources of data.

    I would like to hear more details about your sensitivity scale and how it compares to other scales in the literature. You also forgot to define what HR means (Human rights) and don’t really tell those of us who don’t know what ‘naming and shaming’ or ‘trade linkage’ are.

  2. This is a nice blog post to read! I would like to make a few suggestions as a reader. First, a brief introduction about yourself would have been nice in order for readers to understand why you chose this research topic. Second, before using acronyms like HR, PTS, and CIRI, you should state what they are and then start using acronyms. Third, a big portion of your post was on lit reviews, but you don’t have a reference section or cite anyone in your post. Doing so would increase your credibility as a writer.
    I really enjoyed reading your post!

  3. Your blog is concise and the research has been presented in a way which is easy to follow but at the same time also informative. You could perhaps add in a few graphs from existing sources of literature to show, for example, how correlations have been found between the HR problem and trade linkage. Furthermore, you should definitely consider citing a few articles and then sharing links to them. All in all I really enjoyed your blog and your research seems to be extremely interesting.

  4. I took intro to international politics with Dr. Bowersox last year and read a few different papers on human rights that I found interesting. I do remember reading of broad consequences resulting from human rights interventions (ex. restricting trade with the nation as a whole rather than government officials can worsen human rights violations) but none that were region specific as you mentioned. I’m interested to see what you find in regard to cultural disparities affecting the effectiveness of interventions!

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