Is There Such Thing As A European Human Rights Regime? How The European Convention On Human Rights Has Transformed Into The Most Effective Human Rights Regime In The World Today.

5222 words - 21 pages

The field of international relations has been quite limited in its outlook towards international policy due to the debate regarding realist and liberal interpretations of international regimes; before the emergence of regimes in the 1970s , the main theories of international relations explained the big architecture questions of how and what constitutes international relations among states. Attention was not primarily given to issue areas such as health, environment and human rights - functional areas that needed corresponding policies among states in order to operate. Over time, as the reality of major power relations determined the period of détente and no further explanations into the causes of war and power relations, the focus was turned to the concept of functional cooperation amongst states - World Bank, International Monetary Fund - and why it was that these major powers were collaborating or coordinating on given areas. Attention was taken away from macro-issues of the time to institutional issues and the resulting cooperative atmosphere of rule-governed behaviour. Both liberalism and realism hence turned their focus towards these emerging international regime systems and tried to explain this new development of the institutional framework.It was within the emerging realm of globalization and the subsequent establishment of regimes to "foster rule-governed activity within the international system" that ultimately led to formation of sub-systems as regional regimes, with Europe emerging as a dominant regional actor capable of fostering policies and rules for member states under the auspice of the European Community. As issues of healthcare, environment and technology became international regime concerns, it was Europe that had already paved the way for human rights regime development in both the region and the world. In the absence of a binding worldwide human rights regime, how could a region develop such a pioneering policy that is now considered to be the most developed and elaborated regional human rights system and regime in the world? In order to explain this development, I will concentrate on the liberal institutionalists' explanation of regime development to argue that the relative success and expansion of the European Human Rights Regime, particularly the European Convention on Human Rights, rests on the collaboration and promotion of states in preserving democratic ideals and norms. This, in turn, promotes a collective obligation designed to be enforceable and binding, making the regime the strongest and most effective in the contemporary world.The objective of this paper will be to establish the effectiveness of an international human rights regime based on the European model. I will examine (1) the Council of Europe's human rights program and evaluate whether its status as a 'regime' has been warranted and (2) whether the European Human Rights Regime serves as a viable option for regime implementation in other parts of...

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