Commentators on global politics frequently observe the abject failure of states and global institutions to respond to local, regional, and global crises ranging from dramatic climatic events, humanitarian crises, warfare and violence, to the continuation of unsavoury rights-abusive regimes. In my own work in the field of the comparative politics of human rights, the types of observations that Abramowitz and Pickering make in this piece are all too common, and have led many in the past to make similar such observations that powerful states constantly engage in a grand human rights “double standard.”

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