The International Human Rights Policies of New Democracies: Brazil and Chile in Comparative Perspective
Date of Award
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Tom J. Farer, J.D.
Brazil, Chile, Foreign policy, Human rights, Latin America
Since the beginning of the 1990s, the majority of Latin American states have attempted to incorporate in some way or another human rights concern into their respective foreign policies, highlighting a history of human rights abuses and the return of democratic political rule as a trigger for galvanizing a commitment to assist in preventing such violations in other countries. Yet, while human rights have come to play a non-trivial role in the contemporary foreign policy of many Latin American states, there is great diversity in the ways and the extent to which they go about incorporating human rights concerns into their foreign policies. Explaining the diversity of human rights foreign policies of new Latin American democracies is at the heat of this project. The main research questions are the following: Why do new democracies incorporate human rights into their foreign policies? And what explains the different international human rights policies of new democracies? To answer these questions, this research compares the human rights foreign policies of Chile and Brazil for over two decades starting from their respective transitions to democracy.
The study argues that states commitment to international human rights is the result of the intersection of domestic and international influences. At the international level, the search for international legitimacy and the desire for recognition and credibility affected the adoption of international human rights in both cases but with different degrees of impact. International values and pressures by themselves, while necessary, are an insufficient condition for human rights initiatives perceived to have not insubstantial political, economic or strategic costs. New democracies will be more or less likely to actively include human rights in their international policies depending on the following four domestic conditions: political leadership legitimizing the inclusion of human rights into a state's policies, civil society groups connected to international human rights advocacy networks with a capacity to influencing the foreign policy decisions of their government, and the Foreign Ministry's attitudes towards international human rights and the degree of influence it exercises over the outcome of the foreign policy process.
Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.
Fuentes Julio, Claudia, "The International Human Rights Policies of New Democracies: Brazil and Chile in Comparative Perspective" (2014). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 973.
Received from ProQuest
Claudia Fuentes Julio