Best Paper Award of the APSA

Alexandros Tokhi awarded

Alexandros Tokhi, Research Fellow of the Research Unit Global Governance, will be awarded with the Human Rights Section's Best Paper Award by the American Political Science Association (APSA) in September, together with his co-author Xinyuan Dai, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Center for Global Studies.

Their winning paper "New Democracies, Sovereignty Costs, and Commitment to Human Rights Treaties" employs a number of methodological developments from recent research on causal modeling to test the claim that newly-democratic states are more likely than others to ratify human rights agreements.  

As the jury of the APSA communicates the results reveal a more nuanced picture of the relationship between democratization and commitment to human rights treaties than the conventional wisdom suggests; while new democracies are, in general, more willing than more established democracies to ratify human rights treaties, their willingness to do so is limited to the treaties that impose fewer costs on the state parties.  For example, new democracies are very willing to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but are less willing than older democracies to ratify the treaty's additional protocols.  These results therefore pose an important challenge to the "democratic lock-in" argument first proposed by Moravcsik (2000) and raise interesting questions for further research on the domestic politics of human rights treaties.      

 July 6, 2021

Alexandros Tokhi, Research Fellow of the Research Unit Global Governance