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The responses of Liberal Democracies to the torture of citizens : a comparative study

Banham, Cynthia Marina

Description

Liberal international law analyses typically focus attention on the role of domestic politics in shaping state responses to international human rights violations. The analysis, exemplified in Beth Simmons's book, Mobilizing for Human Rights, assumes that stable liberal democracies will respond to international human rights issues in a similar fashion, based on the fact that political rights in these open, democratic systems are largely protected, leading to complacency among citizenries. This...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorBanham, Cynthia Marina
dc.date.accessioned2016-11-20T22:50:16Z
dc.date.available2016-11-20T22:50:16Z
dc.date.copyright2015
dc.identifier.otherb3732663
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/110374
dc.description.abstractLiberal international law analyses typically focus attention on the role of domestic politics in shaping state responses to international human rights violations. The analysis, exemplified in Beth Simmons's book, Mobilizing for Human Rights, assumes that stable liberal democracies will respond to international human rights issues in a similar fashion, based on the fact that political rights in these open, democratic systems are largely protected, leading to complacency among citizenries. This thesis tests this approach by examining the reactions of three liberal democracies - Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada - to the torture of their citizens detained overseas in the war on terror. It investigates why, despite sharing a common legal and political culture that values the protection of individual rights, they reacted quite differently to this phenomenon. I argue that the role of civil society as agents of accountability of government on matters of international human rights is a distinguishing factor in understanding the different responses of the three states. Where civil society mobilised, states tended to respond to concerns about the use of torture against their citizens in the war on terror and, where civil society did not, states were not so responsive. The thesis identifies the enabling and constraining factors that influenced civil society to mobilise, including domestic rights cultures, institutional frameworks and political opportunity structures. I suggest that civil society is more likely to mobilise when it exists within a strong human rights culture and has the right institutional tools and political opportunities at its disposal.
dc.format.extent328 leaves.
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectinternationial
dc.subjectlaw
dc.subjectdomestic
dc.subjectpolitics
dc.subjectliberal
dc.subjectdemocracies
dc.subjectAustralia
dc.subjectUnited Kingdom
dc.subjectCanada
dc.subjecttorture
dc.subjecthuman
dc.subjectrights
dc.titleThe responses of Liberal Democracies to the torture of citizens : a comparative study
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorCharlesworth, Hilary
dcterms.valid2014
local.description.notesThis thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2014
local.contributor.affiliationAustralian National University. Regulatory Institutions Network
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d7637d9d35c5
dc.date.updated2016-11-15T00:17:55Z
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsOpen Access Theses

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