The authors would like to thank Mark Lichbach, Mike Ward, William Jacoby, Will Moore, Simon Jackman, Harold Clarke, Scott Bennett, and three anonymous reviewers for their careful reading and helpful suggestions.
Democracy and the Violation of Human Rights: A Statistical Analysis from 1976 to 1996
Article first published online: 8 JUN 2004
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 48, Issue 3, pages 538–554, July 2004
How to Cite
Davenport, C. and Armstrong, D. A. (2004), Democracy and the Violation of Human Rights: A Statistical Analysis from 1976 to 1996. American Journal of Political Science, 48: 538–554. doi: 10.1111/j.0092-5853.2004.00086.x
- Issue published online: 8 JUN 2004
- Article first published online: 8 JUN 2004
Most studies posit and identify a linear and negative relationship between democracy and the violation of human rights. Some research challenges this finding, however, suggesting that nonlinear influences exist. Within this article, we examine the structure of the relationship between democracy and repression during the time period from 1976 to 1996. To conduct our analysis, we utilize diverse statistical approaches which are particularly flexible in identifying influences that take a variety of functional forms (specifically LOESS and binary decomposition). Across measures and methodological techniques, we found that below a certain level, democracy has no impact on human rights violations, but above this level democracy influences repression in a negative and roughly linear manner. The implications of this research are discussed within the conclusion.