Reciprocating to the bottom: Is there negative diffuse reciprocity in social economic human rights

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Is reciprocity possible in human rights agreements? This article argues that human rights agreements can create negative diffuse reciprocity if there is reliable information about countries’ compliance levels. The article analyses the link between information on countries’ non-compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on the one hand, and countries’ efforts to protect social economic rights on the other. It finds that the more information is published on violations of rights, the lower the levels of countries’ efforts to protect these rights. This means that countries practice negative diffuse reciprocity with regard to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. This is a notable finding since there are several factors working against the practice of reciprocity in human rights agreements. The article draws theoretical conclusions regarding the conditions for reciprocity in human rights agreements and sheds new light on the concept of reciprocity and its link with information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-675
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Political Science Review
Volume44
Issue number5
Early online date23 Apr 2022
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 23 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: Israel Science Foundation’s grant number 1447/21.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

Keywords

  • Reciprocity
  • United Nations treaty bodies
  • human rights
  • monitoring
  • social economic rights

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