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Naming and Shaming: The politics and effectiveness of social pressure in the ILO
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the current international system, the use of centralized, hard enforcement mechanisms is often deemed either politically impossible or too costly. As a consequence, many international organizations (IOs) rely on so-called naming and shaming strategies as tools of political influence. Naming and shaming is the public exposure and condemnation of states that violate international rules and norms. It is not designed to simply renegade violators, but to produce compliance through reputational and status concerns. But how does naming and shaming work and what impact does it have on state behavior? In this dissertation, I adopt a comprehensive approach to the study of naming and shaming by examining its underlying politics and determinants as well as its impact on state behavior. In search for answers, I focus on the naming and shaming strategies employed in the International Labour Organization (ILO) during the period 1989-2011. Drawing on the theories of international politics, I develop a set of hypotheses that are tested by means of statistical as well as process tracing techniques. The overall conclusions of the dissertation are fourfold. First, the results indicate that ILO naming and shaming is used to punish violators of international labor standards. This implies that IOs, under the right conditions, can thwart the politicization of naming and shaming that has been observed in other IOs. Second, I find support for my argument that the decision to engage in naming and shaming primarily is determined by the democratic character of states. This enhances our understanding of when states participate in pressuring targets and the patterns of inter-state shaming. Third, the dissertation finds that ILO naming and shaming can improve international labor standards. The impact of ILO naming and shaming is stronger when target states are democratic and resourceful. This implies that IOs can overcome international collective problems without hard enforcement mechanisms and that IO naming and shaming, under certain propitious conditions, can produce compliance. Fourth, while democracies are more likely to respond to international criticism, not all democracies do. This dissertation demonstrates that ILO naming and shaming is a powerful tool among democracies that have strong and united labor unions. This implies that IO naming and shaming of democratic states is likely to work through domestic pressure mechanisms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Political Science, Stockholm University , 2018. , p. 40
Series
Stockholm studies in politics, ISSN 0346-6620 ; 178
Keywords [en]
labor rights, naming and shaming, ILO, democracy, social pressure, international organizations, inter-state shaming
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-161438ISBN: 978-91-7797-460-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7797-461-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-161438DiVA, id: diva2:1258662
Public defence
2018-12-14, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2018-11-21 Created: 2018-10-25 Last updated: 2018-11-14Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Selecting for Shame: The Monitoring of Workers' Rights by the International Labour Organization, 1989 to 2011
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Selecting for Shame: The Monitoring of Workers' Rights by the International Labour Organization, 1989 to 2011
2018 (English)In: International Studies Quarterly, ISSN 0020-8833, E-ISSN 1468-2478, Vol. 62, no 2, p. 437-452Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Why do intergovernmental organizations target some countries, but not others, for naming and shaming? We seek answers by examining these processes within the International Labour Organization (ILO), which through two principal bodies, monitors compliance with international conventions governing the rights of workers. We examine whether political interests and calculations or norms inducing adherence to international conventions best explain which countries the ILO calls out for their misconduct, what punishment countries receive, and whether naming and shaming in the ILO amount to distinctive activities. Based on an analysis of the 1989-2011 period, we find considerable evidence that norms matter to members of both ILO bodies. That is, we find evidence that the ILO does its job by acting in accordance with the organization's formal mandate. We also find evidence that the process of naming, which leads to the initial identification of culprits, stands apart from the process by which the ILO prioritizes, or chooses, from among countries for shaming. While our findings are specific to the ILO, they back claims that IOs can override states interests, if crafted in ways that limit political influence.

National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-159162 (URN)10.1093/isq/sqy005 (DOI)000438374000017 ()
Available from: 2018-08-27 Created: 2018-08-27 Last updated: 2018-10-31Bibliographically approved
2. Is State Shaming in International Organizations a Democratic Phenomenon?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Is State Shaming in International Organizations a Democratic Phenomenon?
(English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Why do some states name and shame norm-violating states in international organizations (IOs) while other states abstain? Inter-state naming and shaming is typically viewed as a political tool to punish adversaries and reward allies.  In this study, I propose a regime type explanation for inter-state shaming in international politics.  I pose two inter-related questions. First, are democracies more prone to condemn norm-violations than non-democratic countries? Second, are democracies likely to shame each other in cases of norm violations?  In search of answers, I use a unique dataset on inter-state shaming the International Labour Organization (ILO) for the period 1991-2011. In line with my main argument, the results suggest that democracies are more likely than non-democracies to engage in the shaming of norm violators, while providing no evidence for special relations between democracies. In addition, this study unpacks other factors influencing the inter-state shaming. The findings have implications for how we understand state interactions in international politics.

National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-161433 (URN)
Available from: 2018-10-25 Created: 2018-10-25 Last updated: 2018-10-31Bibliographically approved
3. Compliance without Coercion: Effects of Reporting on International Labor Rights
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Compliance without Coercion: Effects of Reporting on International Labor Rights
(English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

While a dominant position in research on compliance holds that enforcement is necessary for states to abide by their international commitments, many international organizations (IOs) do not have recourse to such coercive means. This article offers the first systematic analysis of one prominent alternative to material coercion: compliance reporting by IOs. We develop an argument for why reporting by IOs should lead states to correct non-compliant behavior, and when those effects should be particularly strong. We test this argument in the context of the International Labour Organization (ILO), which offers a unique setting for evaluating the impact of reporting in the absence of coercion. Our principal findings are three-fold. First, reporting has significant and durable effects on state respect for labor rights. Second, reporting affects compliance both immediately and when repeated over longer periods of time. Third, reporting has stronger effects on improvements in labor rights when target states are democratic and resourceful.

Keywords
ILO, labor rights, naming and shaming, international organizations, human rights
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-161434 (URN)
Available from: 2018-10-25 Created: 2018-10-25 Last updated: 2018-10-31Bibliographically approved
4. ­­­­The impact of ILO Naming and Shaming on Democratic States: A comparative case study of labor rights violations in Greece and Hungary
Open this publication in new window or tab >>­­­­The impact of ILO Naming and Shaming on Democratic States: A comparative case study of labor rights violations in Greece and Hungary
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Previous studies have established that naming and shaming is more likely to produce compliance when states are democratic. But what explains the variation among democracies? The literature does not provide clear answers to this question. In this paper, I ask how and when IO naming and shaming influences the behavior of democratic governments. To explore these questions, the paper conducts a comparative case study of two “most-similar” cases – Greece and Hungary – that have responded differently after being targeted by the ILO.  Whereas ILO naming and shaming produced compliance in the Greek case, it failed to do so in the Hungarian case. Drawing on the theories of social pressure and international politics, I outline three mechanisms of influence: a) elite response b) domestic politics, and c) transnational politics. Moreover, I theorize the conditions under which IO naming and shaming is most likely to be a powerful tool in democratic states. Using process tracing, I systematically analyze these mechanisms and conditions in order to explain the variation in outcomes. There are two principal findings of this study. First, the elite response channel is not a necessary condition for inducing change in democratic states. Second, the analysis suggests that ILO naming and shaming produced compliance in the Greek case due to the strong and united domestic groups. The lack of such groups explains the negative outcome in the Hungarian case. The findings provide new insights into how IO naming and shaming may work in democratic states and lend support to previous quantitative studies that stress the presence and capabilities of domestic groups for successful naming and shaming.

National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-161436 (URN)
Available from: 2018-10-25 Created: 2018-10-25 Last updated: 2018-10-31Bibliographically approved

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