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Title: China and the international human rights regime, 1982-2011
Author: Inboden, Rana Siu
ISNI:       0000 0004 5920 9394
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis examines the People's Republic of China's posture toward the international human rights regime between 1982 and 2011. It focuses on three case studies, including China's participation in the drafting and adoption of the Convention against Torture and the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, its role during the negotiations to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights with the UN Human Rights Council, and its posture in the International Labour Organization's Conference Committee on the Application of Standards. To explain China's conduct in these contexts, I offer a framework of five possible roles a state can adopt toward a regime—maker, promoter, taker, constrainer, and breaker. I argue that China's posture was determined by three key explanatory variables that include the PRC government's preferences and ideas about international human rights, its concerns with cultivating a positive international image, and the degree of its familiarity with the international human rights regime. In addition, China's willingness and ability to work with other countries acted as a scope condition that influenced the manner in which it played its particular role. Although I find that the PRC played a range of roles, including maker, taker, and constrainer, overall it tended toward a low-profile posture even when it was playing the more demanding role of maker or constrainer. This thesis draws on documentary records, including United Nations reports, International Labour Organization reports, UN Human Rights Council documents, Chinese government statements, and reports from non-governmental organizations, including the International Service for Human Rights and Amnesty International's New York office. It also uses material from over 90 interviews conducted with diplomats from a range of countries, including China and key countries with similar views such as Pakistan and Egypt; representatives of non-governmental organizations that participate in the international human rights regime; and Chinese officials and scholars, including several affiliated with the Chinese government.
Supervisor: Foot, Rosemary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: human rights ; United Nations ; China