“(Geo)Politics of Universal Periodic Review: Why States Issue and Accept Human Rights Recommendations?”, Anže Burger, Staša Tkalec and Igor Kovač (CIR, Slovenia)

The research by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anže Burger (head of Centre of International Relations at the Faculty of Social Science), Dr. Igor Kovač and Dr. Staša Tkalec identifies geographic proximity as the crucial driving force behind state behaviour in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Looking at both stages of the UPR mechanism, the authors pose two questions: what best explains states issuing human rights recommendations and what best explains states accepting those recommendations? Their model controls for a variety of alternative explanations: state capacity, international structure, and international institutions. The results show that the closer the states are, the more likely it is that they will issue each other recommendations; however, the closer the states are, the less likely it is that they will accept recommendations from one another. The researchers also find an important caveat: the logic of issuance and acceptance of recommendations is reversed when it comes to neighbouring states. The latter speaks against general international relations literature, where sharing a border and geographic proximity are both associated with increasing the likelihood of conflict.

The full paper (published in Foreign Policy Analysis) is available here.