Expanding China’s Influence in the International Human Rights Regime

Do Chinese-led international regimes influence human rights discourse on China? This paper looks at how the memberships in Chinese-led international regimes affect the responses toward Chinese human rights issues in international relations. Using ordinal logistic regression models, we find that as the number of Chinese-led international regime membership increases, the states in the UN UPR are less likely to make shaming recommendations to China. Furthermore, we use latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) analysis to examine how the contents of recommendations to China differ before and after the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), one of China’s international regimes. The findings also show that the states avoid bringing up sensitive human rights issues with China after joining the AIIB.

Institutionalized Parties and Civil Conflict

How do institutionalized political parties affect civil conflict across regimes? We examine two competing explanations concerning the link between party institutionalization and civil conflict. On the one hand, more institutionalized political parties offer stronger channels for patronage, communication, and representation, which should serve as a mechanism for resolving conflict in both non-democracies and democracies alike by improving coordination among domestic actors. At the same time, however, more institutionalized parties may exacerbate civil conflict if they support interest aggregation and mobilization against a backdrop of limited freedoms. In exploring the relationship between party institutionalization and civil conflict across regimes, we take into account both nonlinearities as well as historical effects.

You Scratch My Back and I Scratch Yours

What motivates authoritarian states to participate in naming and shaming behaviors on human rights? The Universal Periodic Review is a unique process that requires all UN members to participate in peer review on human rights issues and has already finished its third cycle with active participation from all members since 2008. In this paper, we argue that authoritarian states use the peer review process as a means of legitimation. We expect the authoritarian states to be more lenient towards other authoritarian regimes to increase their legitimacy while being stricter towards democratic counterparts on critical issues to their regime stability. We test our expectations using a large-N sample of dyads in which we compare the peer reviews of the UPR between 2008 and 2019 with different dyads of democracies and authoritarian regimes.

IGO Membership and the Non-Democratic State

What incentives do non-democracies and autocracies have to seek out, maintain, and establish membership in international governmental organizations (IGOs)? Despite the democratizing effects of IGOs, non-democracies are often active members in these organizations. Given this contradiction, we examine how the bureaucratization and institutionalization of political stability and economic performance in non-democracies encourage membership in different types of IGOs. Using a large-N sample of state-IGO membership from 1990 – 2020 of both democracies and non-democracies, we examine how the domestic political, economic, and institutional environments influence and variation in IGO membership.

Social Capital and the Success of Economic Sanctions

What determines the success of economic sanctions? Using the latest Threat and Imposition of Economic Sanctions data and cross-national World Values Survey data, this study examines how trust and social capital in sanctioned countries affect the target governments’ ability to endure the costs of economic sanctions.

Heterogeneous Democratization

This paper examines how different actors strategically behave under economic sanctions and how they might affect democratization. Although many scholars focus on the role of economic sanctions for democratization in target states, empirical support for their effects is mixed. I develop a formal model of economic sanctions and democratization that incorporates different preferences for economic sanctions and the role of elites and masses in economic sanctions with different conditions.

Why Do Authoritarian Regimes Provide Welfare Program?

This paper evaluates why authoritarian regimes design social policies to provide the welfare. I argue that the limited focus on welfare provision in democracies stems from several flawed assumptions about the ability of modern autocracies to create similar programs and the mechanisms behind it. I examine this using data on authoritarian regimes and social policies over the period 1917 to 2000, showing that authoritarian welfare provision depends on the ruling coalition in place.