2019 Silencing Their Critics: How Effective Are Governments in Restricting Civil Society? (with Kristin M. Bakke, Neil Mitchell and Dominic Perera).

Abstract: International ‘naming and shaming’ campaigns rely on domestic civil society organizations for information on local human rights conditions. To stop this flow of information, some governments restrict civil society organizations, for example by limiting their access to funding. Do restrictions reduce international ‘naming and shaming’ campaigns that rely on information by domestic civil society organizations? We argue that on the one hand, restrictions may reduce civil society organizations’ ability and motives to monitor local abuses. On the other hand, these organizations may mobilize against restrictions and find new ways of delivering information on human rights violations to international publics. Using a cross-national dataset and in-depth evidence from Egypt, we find that low numbers of restrictions trigger shaming by international non-governmental organizations. Yet, once governments impose multiple types of restrictions, it becomes harder for civil society organizations to adapt, resulting in fewer international shaming campaigns.

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