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date: 26 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

A universal issue of scholastic deliberation, human rights involves a sizeable international involvement in its global deliberation. This article discusses the two broad sets of theoretical perspectives that tend to dominate the empirical examination of both the issues of commitment and compliance: one based on rational actor assumptions and the other largely focused on socialization and the diffusion of norms. The article analyses the general substantive expectations of each of the theoretical perspectives and then discusses the evidence and insights generated by the body of empirical analysis, firstly in regard to state commitment to human rights agreements and then in regard to compliance with these formal commitments. Finally, it discusses the limitations that have constrained this body of research and makes suggestions for future research.

Keywords: human rights, compliance, rational, socialization, formal commitments

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