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This unique volume unpacks the concept and practice of naming and shaming by examining how governments, NGOs and international organisations attempt to change the behaviour of targeted actors through public exposure of violations of normative standards and legal commitments.



Introduction: Unpacking the Mobilization of Shame

1. Introduction: Unpacking the Mobilization of Shame

On 21 August 2013, the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad launched chemical weapons against opposition forces operating out of key Damascus suburbs, killing an estimated 1,429 people “including at least 426 children” (US Assessment 2013). The Obama administration condemned the attack as a clear violation of international norms and a crime against humanity by the al-Assad regime. The administration’s efforts to mobilize a coordinated international military response quickly stalled. The UN Security Council remained paralyzed by Russian and Chinese support for the al-Assad regime. Traditional US allies also failed to step forward. Most notably, the British parliament rejected Prime Minister David Cameron’s motion to join with the United States. Opposition reflected the legacy of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as questions over US claims over who was actually responsible for the chemical weapons attack (Watt and Hopkins 2013).
H. Richard Friman

Revisiting Human Rights Naming and Shaming


2. Caught at the Keyhole: The Power and Limits of Shame

Mad with jealousy because I suspect my lover of being unfaithful, I crouch one night at the bedroom door, peering through the keyhole, eager to secure proof of the unseemly deed. I am utterly absorbed in the drama, the gathering of evidence, to the extent that I almost forget where I am. But all of a sudden I hear footsteps behind me. Someone is looking at me; someone has caught me in my trespassing. I am embarrassed; even more than that I am ashamed.
William F. Schulz

3. Human Rights Naming and Shaming: International and Domestic Processes

One of the most important developments in the post-World War II era has been the growth of a global human rights regime. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights established basic global standards of human rights that have provided the basis for subsequent treaties, human rights institutions, increasing attention to human rights by states, and a vast network of human rights nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Enforcement of these human rights standards requires independent information on violations, and human rights NGOs such as Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch, intergovernmental organizations such as the UN Human Rights Council, and government agencies such as the US State Department produce a multitude of reports on human rights violations that occur around the world. Such monitoring efforts become the basis for “naming and shaming” alleged violators of human rights. Indeed, Kenneth Roth (2004, 67), Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, wrote that “the core of our methodology is our ability to investigate, expose, and shame.” Social scientists have recently begun researching this systematically to determine which violators are shamed and how effective this is at actually reducing human rights abuses. Such research has typically focused on this international side of naming and shaming, while domestic forms of naming and shaming are often neglected.
James C. Franklin

4. Mobilizing “Third-Party Influence”: The Impact of Amnesty International’s Naming and Shaming

Over the past 35 years, human rights international nongovernmental organizations (international NGOs or INGOs) have extensively used “naming and shaming” for social change around the world. Human rights INGOs engage in so-called “third-party influence” (Cmiel 1999), offering information to Western governments, international organizations (IOs), and the global mass media, and seeking to mobilize these powerful third parties to pressure rights-violating target governments. Amnesty International (AI) has been the world’s most powerful human rights INGO, which routinely utilizes the mobilization of third-party influence. However, do AI’s methods, particularly its special country reports, actually improve human rights practices in dictatorships, that is, where the mobilization of external pressure is needed most for domestic social change? If so, under what conditions?
Dongwook Kim

5. Promoting Accountability, Undermining Peace? Naming and Shaming in Transitional Justice Processes

One of the most significant contemporary international human rights developments is the pursuit of what has become known as transitional justice.1 Transitional justice is a catchall term that refers to a variety of measures enacted in the context of political transitions that are designed to provide justice for gross human rights violations.2 Ideally, there is no need for naming and shaming in these contexts. Rather, individual suspects are arrested and, if found guilty, punished for their abuses. However, in the context of fragile political transitions, this is often not feasible. Although it may be morally and legally appropriate to punish perpetrators of human rights abuses and attend to the needs of victims, the continued power or usefulness of perpetrators and the pervasiveness of violence may make it impossible to prosecute those responsible or to adequately repair victims. Perpetrators may remain powerful and able to disrupt nascent peace processes or democratization efforts. Domestic courts may lack the capacity to conduct trials, or may be themselves complicit in abuses. In these contexts, other forms of transitional justice might be established in order to achieve some form of accountability.
Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm

Naming and Shaming Beyond Human Rights


6. Ain’t that a Shame? Hypocrisy, Punishment, and Weak Actor Influence in International Politics

It is now widely understood that one way relatively weak actors compensate for material deficiencies in interactions with more powerful counterparts is by harnessing the power of norms and employing them as nonviolent instruments of persuasion. The most commonly recognized manifestation comprises public exposure of observable gaps between actors’ ostensible normative and legal commitments and their actual behavior, as first outlined and explored in Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink’s (1998) enormously influential Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics. Indeed, an entire literature has grown up around the study of these so-called naming and shaming efforts, much of it quite valuable in helping us understand the role of norms in international politics. Still, more than a decade and a half after publication of Keck and Sikkink’s volume, a shared understanding of the specific causal mechanism(s) behind successful and failed naming and shaming efforts has remained elusive, as has identification of the conditions under which such efforts will be undertaken and when they will succeed and fail.1
Joshua W. Busby, Kelly M. Greenhill

7. Naming and Shaming in Financial Regulation: Explaining Variation in the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Money Laundering was founded as a fact-finding committee with a one-year mandate to catalog states’ anti-money laundering (AML) laws. The secretariat is comprised of roughly 15 people, many of whom are seconded from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Its product is not a convention but a nonbinding, vaguely written list of “40 + 9 Recommendations.” Relying on such “soft law” tools, its mission has been to promote greater financial regulation over a period of two and a half decades in which a strong current has run toward deregulation. Yet, FATF’s efforts at regime building have worked. Nearly all states have made political commitments to meet FATF recommendations. The FATF’s mandate was recently expanded until 2020 and the list of activities the group addresses has expanded from illicit drug trafficking in the earliest days to any illicit financial activity today, including nuclear proliferation, corruption, transnational organized crime, and maritime piracy.
Mark T. Nance

8. Behind the Curtain: Naming and Shaming in International Drug Control

Human rights scholarship explores naming and shaming as an integral means of leverage against noncompliant governments. Transnational advocacy networks utilize public exposure of human rights abuses to try to influence governments, both those who are failing to live up to legal and normative commitments and those that have been standing on the sidelines as abuses are taking place (e.g., Keck and Sikkink 1998; Risse and Ropp 2013; Risse and Sikkink 1999). The results of these efforts have been mixed, leading scholars to explore the conditions under which human rights naming and shaming is more or less likely to be effective (e.g., Franklin 2008; Hafner-Burton 2008; Krain 2012; Lebovic and Voeten 2006; Lebovic and Voeten 2009; Murdie and Davis 2012; Ron, Ramos, and Rodgers 2005).
H. Richard Friman

9. UN Targeted Sanctions as Signals: Naming and Shaming or Naming and Stigmatizing?

The imposition of sanctions inherently entails a process of both naming—identifying a target—and stigmatizing and potentially shaming that target. Publicly articulating a reason for the imposition of sanctions creates the possibility of a social response that can produce a stigmatizing or shaming of the target. This is particularly the case since the widespread move away from the application of comprehensive sanctions on an entire country to the targeting of sanctions on individuals, corporate entities, or sectors of an economy following the debacle over the unacceptably high humanitarian consequences of comprehensive UN sanctions imposed against Iraq during the 1990s.
Thomas Biersteker

10. Shaming the Shameless? Campaigning Against Corporations

In 1998, a small NGO based in London, Global Witness, published a report that showed how oil and diamonds fueled the seemingly endless civil war in Angola. A few years later, Ian Smillie, a Canadian humanitarian working in Sierra Leone, founded the NGO Partnership Africa Canada and published an investigation into the role of the diamond industry in financing the horrific violence there. A German coalition of NGOs called Fatal Transactions quickly took up the issue of diamonds that financed war, as did most of the major human rights organizations and many smaller ones. They called out the diamond industry for its complicity in bloodshed in these and other African countries, targeting one corporation—DeBeers—in particular. Six years later, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was instituted to regulate and control conflict diamonds.
Virginia Haufler

11. Conclusion: Exploring the Politics of Leverage

State and nonstate actors turning to combinations of public identification and condemnation of normative noncompliance and threats and implementation of material sanction to try to influence target behavior have become a prominent dimension of international politics. Charged with unpacking conventional approaches to naming and shaming, the preceding chapters have identified policy instruments, causal mechanisms, and contextual factors shaping the effectiveness of name, shame, and sanction. In this final chapter, I draw on these contributions to derive a framework for analysis of naming and shaming. I argue for a focus on the politics of leverage: the ways in which actors combine instruments of name, shame, and sanction to purposefully influence the behavior of targets and the conditions under which these combinations are more likely to be effective.
H. Richard Friman


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