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EVENT CANCELLED: Legislative Veto Players and the Effects of International Human Rights Agreements

CIS Seminar Series

Unfortunately this event has been cancelled. Prof Lupu is unable to give the talk due to illness.

The discussant for the talk is Benjamin Graham, Assistant Professor of Political Science, USC.

ABSTRACT: To what extent can domestic legislatures enforce international human rights agreements?  I build on veto player theory, which predicts that more legislative veto players should make international cooperation less likely but more successful once established. Legislative veto players can raise the cost of violating human rights de jure, but leaders seeking to weaken the opposition can nonetheless violate rights de facto.  The extent to which legislative veto players play a role in this context depends on which types of rights leaders constrained by the legislature would choose to violate in practice. Leaders in such situations will be more likely to pursue de facto violations that are relatively less costly to hide and more likely to be successfully implemented, leading them to choose to violate personal integrity rights instead of other civil rights.  As a result, veto players are likely to increase the extent to which human rights agreements improve respect for civil rights, but will be ineffective enforcers of such commitments with respect to personal integrity rights.


Yonatan Lupu is assistant professor of Political Science at the George Washington University and, for the 2012-13 academic year, a Research Fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University.  Lupu received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California-San Diego and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.  His research interests include international law and institutions, courts, interdependence, and network theory.  His work has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, International Organization, American Journal of International Law, International Security, and the British Journal of Political Science.