Barry, Colin M., K. Chad Clay, and Michael E. Flynn. (2012) Avoiding the Spotlight: Human Rights Shaming and Foreign Direct Investment. International Studies Quarterly, doi: 10.1111/isqu.12039

Nonstate actors, such as international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and multinational corporations (MNCs), have attained an increasingly prominent role in modern world affairs. While previous research has focused on these actors’ respective interactions with states, little attention has been paid to their interactions with each other. In this paper, we examine the extent to which the decisions of private actors seeking to invest abroad are affected by the reputational costs of doing business in countries publicly targeted by human rights activists. We find that ‘‘naming and shaming’’ by human rights INGOs tends to reduce the amount of foreign direct investment received by developing states, providing evidence that INGO activities affect the behavior of MNCs. An additional implication of our findings is that shaming by INGOs can impose real costs on targeted states in the form of lost investment.