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Conflict and Compliance
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Conflict and Compliance
State Responses to International Human Rights Pressure

Sonia Cardenas

200 pages | 6 x 9 | 3 illus.
Paper 2010 | ISBN 9780812221305 | $24.95s | Outside the Americas £18.99
Ebook editions are available from selected online vendors
A volume in the series Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
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"Finally, a book showing that compliance is not an all-or-nothing affair. Cardenas unpacks compliance and makes a compelling case that domestic politics are a big part of the story, two invaluable contributions to the field of human rights. Read the book!"—Emilie M. Hafner-Burton, University of California, San Diego

"This is an excellent look at why states comply—or not—with international human rights norms, and will be a valuable reference on the bookshelf of students of human rights as well as, hopefully, policymakers responsible for crafting and implementing pressure for human rights compliance."—Human Rights and Human Welfare

International human rights pressure has been applied to numerous states with varying results. In Conflict and Compliance, Sonia Cardenas examines responses to such pressure and challenges conventional views of the reasons states do—or do not—comply with international law. Data from disparate bodies of research suggest that more pressure to comply with human rights standards is not necessarily more effective and that international policies are more efficient when they target the root causes of state oppression.

Cardenas surveys a broad array of evidence to support these conclusions, including Latin American cases that incorporate recent important declassified materials, a statistical analysis of all the countries in the world, and a set of secondary cases from Eastern Europe, South Africa, China, and Cuba. The views of human rights skeptics and optimists are surveyed to illustrate how state rhetoric and behavior can be interpreted differently depending on one's perspective.

Theoretically and methodologically sophisticated, Conflict and Compliance paints a new picture of the complex dynamics at work when states face competing pressures to comply with and violate international human rights norms.

Sonia Cardenas is Associate Professor of Political Science at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

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