Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

7-2016

Abstract

During the early years of the United Nations Human Rights Council, formed in 2006, the African Group obstructed efforts to scrutinize and improve human rights in specific countries, notably in the cases of Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, in recent years the African Group has become willing to address country-specific human rights violations, particularly in Côte d'Ivoire, Libya, and Eritrea. This article documents the African Group's shift and asks why it occurred. Against the backdrop of debates about whether the liberal international order can survive a decline in American dominance, the study of the African Group's shift grants us insight into the elements that underpin liberal internationalism. Three explanations for the African Group's shift are considered: an improvement in the domestic human rights profile of African Group members, changes to the internal dynamics of the African Group, and the influence of the United States. The article concludes that American power was decisive, a finding that raises doubt about whether the liberal international order will survive a decline in American power.

Discipline

African Studies | International Relations | Political Science

Research Areas

Political Science

Publication

African Affairs

Volume

115

Issue

460

First Page

490

Last Page

515

ISSN

0001-9909

Identifier

10.1093/afraf/adw018

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy E - Oxford Open Option D

Copyright Owner and License

Author

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://doi.org/10.1093/afraf/adw018

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