Saturday, December 5, 2015

Creamer & Simmons: Do Self-Reporting Regimes Matter? Evidence from the Convention Against Torture

Cosette D. Creamer (Boston Univ. - Law; Harvard Univ. - Government) & Beth A. Simmons (Harvard Univ. - Government) have posted Do Self-Reporting Regimes Matter? Evidence from the Convention Against Torture. Here's the abstract:
Self-reporting on implementation is common in international regulatory agreements, yet we know almost nothing about how (or whether) it works. We argue self-reporting provides information for international and domestic audiences, with the potential to create pressure for agreement compliance. Using original data on the quality and responsiveness of reports submitted to the Committee Against Torture, we test for the influence of the review process on the pervasiveness of torture. Adopting a dynamic approach to strengthen our ability to draw inferences, we find that the review process in fact does help to reduce the incidence of torture in reporting countries. Moreover, local media attention spikes during the review process, consistent with a domestic mobilization mechanism. This is the first study to evaluate the effects of self-reporting on torture outcomes. Since many international agreements are based on self-reporting, the results have broad significance for international relations.