The impact of preferential trade agreements on governmental repression revisited

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2013
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Böhmelt, Tobias
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Previous research suggests that most treaties are ineffective in ensuring countries’ compliance with human rights standards. It has been argued, however, that preferential trade agreements (PTAs) including ‘hard’ human rights standards can withhold economic benefits and, thus, can have a real potential to substantially reduce human rights violations. The following article questions this as existent work on the effects of PTAs on human rights standards neglects a selection process underlying the implementation of these treaties. Countries being aware of the ‘shadow of the future’ already take into account what may happen at the succeeding enforcement stage when establishing a particular PTA. This implies that states agree on ‘hard’ human rights standards in PTAs only if they have a general propensity to abide by human rights in the first place. For testing the empirical implications of their argument, the authors collected new data on PTAs in 1976/77-2009, and employ genetic matching techniques. The results support the theoretical argument that PTAs are unlikely to affect human rights compliance when controlling for the outlined selection problem.

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320 Politik
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International institutions, Preferential trade agreements, Human rights, Compliance, Selection
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ISO 690SPILKER, Gabriele, Tobias BÖHMELT, 2013. The impact of preferential trade agreements on governmental repression revisited. In: The Review of International Organizations. Springer. 2013, 8(3), pp. 343-361. ISSN 1559-7431. eISSN 1559-744X. Available under: doi: 10.1007/s11558-012-9155-8
BibTex
@article{Spilker2013impac-55460,
  year={2013},
  doi={10.1007/s11558-012-9155-8},
  title={The impact of preferential trade agreements on governmental repression revisited},
  number={3},
  volume={8},
  issn={1559-7431},
  journal={The Review of International Organizations},
  pages={343--361},
  author={Spilker, Gabriele and Böhmelt, Tobias}
}
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