Aspirational Goals, Overpromising, and Negative Spillovers (with A. Leibovitch and M. Versteeg)

  • Date: Jan 14, 2019
  • Time: 16:00
  • Speaker: Alexander Stremitzer
  • ETH Zürich
  • Location: MPI
  • Room: Basement

There is a controversy in comparative constitutional law circles whether including more constitutionally protected rights, or recognizing more human rights in international law might dilute enforcement of those rights. This could happen through a variety of channels: 1) Recognizing more rights, which are all realistic taken individually but, added up, are very far reaching, may lead to higher levels of violation of these rights because, taken together, they are perceived as aspirational. 2) Recognizing more rights, where some rights can realistically be fulfilled (prohibition of torture) and others are purely aspirational (right to be employed), may render aspirational the document as a whole, that is, the introduction of aspirational rights can have a negative spillover effect on the enforcement of other rights that are not a priori aspirational. In an abstract experiment, we offer evidence consistent with both effects.

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