When the targets are members and donors: Analyzing inter-governmental organizations’ human rights shaming

  • Sara Kahn-NisserEmail author


Research on the factors and considerations which drive human rights shaming focuses on non-governmental organizations (NGO). This article analyzes an intergovernmental organization’s (IGO) shaming. The article reviews the factors associated with NGO human rights shaming. The article then considers the potential association between these factors and IGO shaming, and the differences between IGOs and NGOs in this context. The potential associations are tested empirically using newly compiled data on the UN’s convention against torture (CAT) committee’s concluding observations country reports, and various specifications and regression methods. The results indicate that voting with the U.S. in the United Nations’ General Assembly (UNGA) is significantly associated with getting a more positive review from the CAT committee and this result is robust in various specifications. Results also indicate that the UN CAT committee’s shaming is associated with media coverage of human rights issues in the reviewed country and with trade and FDI volumes. The article draws conclusions regarding the linkages between funding, information sources and membership structures on the one hand and shaming approaches on the other.


Human Rights Intergovernmental organizations Norms Shaming Human rights organizations Data matching Selection models Instrumental variable regression 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology Political Science and CommunicationThe Open University of IsraelRa’ananaIsrael

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