Public Choice

, Volume 146, Issue 3–4, pp 443–467 | Cite as

Do human rights offenders oppose human rights resolutions in the United Nations?

  • Bernhard Boockmann
  • Axel Dreher
Open Access


We investigate whether countries with poor human rights records oppose human rights resolutions in the United Nations General Assembly. An instrumental account of voting would suggest that these countries aim to weaken resolutions since they could be future targets of these policies. We estimate determinants of voting using 13,000 individual voting decisions from 1980 to 2002. Our results from ordered probit estimation show that a country’s human rights situation is irrelevant to voting behavior if regional dependence of voting is controlled for. The results also show that simple rules for aggregating voting choices can lead to misleading results.


Voting Human rights United Nations Instrumental voting 

JEL Classification



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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Applied Economic Research (IAW)TuebingenGermany
  2. 2.University of MannheimMannheimGermany
  3. 3.IZABonnGermany
  4. 4.University of GoettingenGoettingenGermany
  5. 5.CESifoMunichGermany
  6. 6.KOF Swiss Economic InstituteZurichSwitzerland

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