Human Rights Decoupling & Aid

The latest article from the Developing Conformity project has been published in The Sociological Quarterly.

Co-authored by Qian Wei and Liam Swiss, the article examines the relationship of bilateral foreign aid flows to human rights decoupling in aid-receiving countries.

ABSTRACT

Despite extensive literature examining human rights decoupling between treaty commitments and practices, little research has addressed how to fill these empty promises. This paper proposes a mechanism neglected in prior studies that might play an important role in narrowing human rights decoupling and improving world society model compliance: foreign aid. Using longitudinal analysis on a sample of 120 aid-receiving countries between 1981 and 2011, we find: total aid has a significant effect on reducing human rights decoupling; aid to good governance shows a similar pattern but the impact is much weaker; by contrast, aid to human rights has limited influence.