Differentiated Implementation Of Human Rights: A New Research Agenda

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 10:45 AM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Nitza BERKOVITCH , Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel
Neve GORDON , Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel
One of the major issues attracting the attention of scholars studying global norm regimes is under what conditions and how transnational regimes impact state behavior. Focusing on the human rights regime, we propose to broaden the research agenda of the literature dealing with the implementation of norms in domestic settings by re-conceptualizing implementation. We show that the research examining the institutionalization of human rights norms within the local sphere uses the state as the unit of analysis and therefore implicitly assumes that the processes of implementation are uniform and consistent across the population. We introduce the term “differentiated implementation” to capture variances of implementation across different social groups within a given society (descriptive level), and use perspectives and methods from the sociology of inequality to explain specific patterns of implementation. We present two case studies to illustrate our argument -- the right to vote in the US and the right to work of people with disability in Ireland. Our effort to connect the implementation literature with the sociology of inequality can encourage human rights scholars to examine the impact of local structures and processes, and prompt inequality scholars to explore the global human rights context