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Insincere commitments; human rights treaties, abusive states, and citizen activism.


Insincere commitments; human rights treaties, abusive states, and citizen activism.

Smith-Cannoy, Heather.

Georgetown U. Press


206 pages



Smith-Cannoy (international affairs, Lewis & Clark College) asks why nation-states empower their citizens to petition UN treaty bodies while also engaging in human rights abuses. She considers why different countries commit to compliance with UN treaty bodies, trends associated with granting citizens the right to petition the UN, the relationship between domestic economic crises and governments' commitment to human rights, and how even insincere commitments to human rights can pave the way for greater protections. The earlier chapters look at cases in Central and Eastern Europe, while the later chapters look at Central Asian states, such as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and how they violate the expectations about commitment and compliance set out earlier. After presenting these Central Asian cases, she argues for regional differences affecting the efficacy of NGOs to promote human rights. In the final chapter, statistical data and case studies are synthesized to advance the thesis that "even insincere commitments to global human rights agreements can serve as novel mechanisms for promoting compliance with human rights agreements."

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 1, 2012
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