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Compliance without Coercion: Effects of Reporting on International Labor Rights
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
(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 [en]
ILO, labor rights, naming and shaming, international organizations, human rights
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-161434OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-161434DiVA, id: diva2:1258646
Available from: 2018-10-25 Created: 2018-10-25 Last updated: 2018-10-31Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Naming and Shaming: The politics and effectiveness of social pressure in the ILO
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Naming and Shaming: The politics and effectiveness of social pressure in the ILO
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
labor rights, naming and shaming, ILO, democracy, social pressure, international organizations, inter-state shaming
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-161438 (URN)978-91-7797-460-4 (ISBN)978-91-7797-461-1 (ISBN)
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: 2019-03-28Bibliographically approved

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