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Institutional Determinants of Human Rights Violations Across Political Regimes

Palerm Torres, Luis Antonio (2018) Institutional Determinants of Human Rights Violations Across Political Regimes. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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This thesis provides a theoretically driven investigation with empirical evidence on the contexts in which judicial and political institutions promote human rights. In the first chapter I argue that judicial independence is not enough for courts to protect human rights. I found the empirical evidence supports my hypothesis, both judicial independence and judicial enforcement are necessary for courts to have a positive impact on human rights. The second chapter offers a deeper look at how courts function in autocracies. I argue that even with the best judicial institutions, courts in autocracies will not perform as well as in democracies to protect human rights. The dictator designs independent courts and enforces the decisions, to attract foreign investment (mainly), and not to limit his own capacity to repress. I found the empirical evidence to be broadly supportive of my hypotheses. Whereas judicial constraints in democracies promote the respect of all the types human rights surveyed (expect for extrajudicial killings because of the ceiling effect), in autocracies judicial constraints promote only private property rights (and unexpectedly reduces the number of extrajudicial killings). In the third chapter I revisited the impact of political institutions in autocracies on physical integrity rights. In the literature there seems to be contradictory claims of what that impact would be, based on divergent interpretation of why political institutions emerge in autocracies in the first place. I found that after correctly specifying the model estimation, political institutions are not significantly correlated with worse physical integrity rights. Furthermore, the evidence shows that political liberalization (the positive change towards more political institutions) is not significantly correlated with either physical integrity rights, or civil and political rights.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Human Rights, Judiciary, Political Institutions
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Luis Palerm Torres
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2018 13:24
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2018 13:24

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