restricted access "Makers and Shapers": Human Rights INGOs and Public Opinion
Abstract

Do human rights international nongovernmental organizations (HROs) impact public opinion? This article argues that HROs provide information to citizens in repressive regimes about their government's human rights practices. Without this information, worsening governmental abuse of human rights alone will not lead to fewer people believing their government respects human rights. With increased HRO shaming of the state, however, a smaller proportion of people come to believe that their government respects human rights. These hypotheses are tested using an updated dataset on shaming by over 400 HROs, together with never-before-examined data from the World Values Survey on the public's opinion of human rights within a state. The results largely support the article's contention: HROs are powerful conduits through which a population becomes informed of domestic human rights issues. Without HRO shaming, a bad or worsening human rights condition does not diminish the proportion of a population that believes their government respects human rights.


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