The political economy of transnational regimes: The case of human rights

Nitza Berkovitch, Neve Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Focusing on the flow of funding to human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs), we begin in this article to broach one of the least studied issues pertaining to transnational regimes - namely, their material underpinnings. Through an analysis of the patterns of donor funding to human rights NGOs, we underscore the triangulation between states, donors, and rights NGOs, whereby states have an impact on donor preferences, which, in turn, influences the agenda of human rights NGOs and their modes of operation, and these, in their turn, help shape the kind of NGO criticism voiced against the state. By emphasizing the important and frequently missing link of donors, we thus complicate the discussion concerning the impact human rights networks have on state policies and practices, showing how rights NGOs simultaneously weaken and strengthen the state. Accordingly, our examination of the political economy of human rights adds a new dimension to the literature analyzing how the state both reconfigures and is reconfigured by transnational regimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-904
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Dec 2008


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