Abstract

Bild på avhandlingen "Naming and Shaming".
Naming and Shaming: The politics and effectiveness of social pressure in the ILO.

 

In the current international system, the use of centralized, hard enforcement mechanisms is often deemed either politically impossible or too costly. As a consequence, many international organizations (IOs) rely on so-called naming and shaming strategies as tools of political influence. Naming and shaming is the public exposure and condemnation of states that violate international rules and norms. It is not designed to simply renegade violators, but to produce compliance through reputational and status concerns. But how does naming and shaming work and what impact does it have on state behavior? In this dissertation, I adopt a comprehensive approach to the study of naming and shaming by examining its underlying politics and determinants as well as its impact on state behavior. In search for answers, I focus on the naming and shaming strategies employed in the International Labour Organization (ILO) during the period 1989-2011. Drawing on the theories of international politics, I develop a set of hypotheses that are tested by means of statistical as well as process tracing techniques. The overall conclusions of the dissertation are fourfold. First, the results indicate that ILO naming and shaming is used to punish violators of international labor standards. This implies that IOs, under the right conditions, can thwart the politicization of naming and shaming that has been observed in other IOs. Second, I find support for my argument that the decision to engage in naming and shaming primarily is determined by the democratic character of states. This enhances our understanding of when states participate in pressuring targets and the patterns of inter-state shaming. Third, the dissertation finds that ILO naming and shaming can improve international labor standards. The impact of ILO naming and shaming is stronger when target states are democratic and resourceful. This implies that IOs can overcome international collective problems without hard enforcement mechanisms and that IO naming and shaming, under certain propitious conditions, can produce compliance. Fourth, while democracies are more likely to respond to international criticism, not all democracies do. This dissertation demonstrates that ILO naming and shaming is a powerful tool among democracies that have strong and united labor unions. This implies that IO naming and shaming of democratic states is likely to work through domestic pressure mechanisms.

Discussant: Frank Schimmelpfennig.