Do indicators influence treaty ratification? The relationship between mid-range performance and policy change

Shaina Western*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Treaties are a valuable tool for policymakers because they are both legally binding on, and symbolically powerful signals of, commitments of states that ratify. Why states choose to ratify treaties is unclear, although social pressures appear to play some role. This article argues that global performance indicators can influence the ratification process, but that the effect varies depending on where states fall on these measures. In the mid-range of a scale, fast ratification has significant benefits and relatively few costs. However, indicators have less of a catalysing effect at the extreme ends of the scale, where the costs are higher and the benefits are lower. This article uses policy performance indicators as independent variables in duration analyses of the ratification of the Convention on Corruption and the Palermo Protocol on Human Trafficking, especially in Women and Children. It finds states in the mid-range of the indicator are faster to ratify than states that are not ranked, whereas the other categories are statistically insignificant. These findings imply that indicators matter for those in the middle, but not as much for those at the extremes. This finding enriches our understanding of treaty ratification and has potential implications for performance metrics as a tool to promote policy change for those state in the middle, highlighting the strengths and limitations of indicators as a force for change.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Research
Early online date2 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Sep 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Do indicators influence treaty ratification? The relationship between mid-range performance and policy change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this