Skolnik, J. M. (2021). To Engage or Punish?: The Domestic Politics of Human Rights-Oriented U.S. Foreign Economic Policy. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14418/wes01.1.2503
Through a case study analysis of the prominent policies dominated by foreign economic issues related to human rights and business, this thesis asks and scrutinizes how the domestic sources and constituencies of U.S. foreign policy and decision-making affect U.S. foreign economic policy formation containing significant human rights issues. This thesis analyzes three cases, looking first at the origins of human rights-oriented trade policy with the Jackson-Vanik amendment and the system of human rights-oriented foreign economic policy it created. I will then proceed to show how the system evolved and embraced trade liberalization through the granting of PNTR to China in 2000, and ending with our current system of punishing human rights abusers with the Magnitsky Accountability Act of 2012. Ultimately, the case studies show that human rights-oriented foreign economic policy is shaped by a particular form of coalition-building and policy that is dependent on the presence and absence of certain domestic interests and constituencies (notably salient business interests), and the political strategy of congressional lawmakers, among other variables of differing significance. The case studies suggest that a paradigm has emerged that can determine the processes and outcomes of human rights-oriented U.S. foreign economic policy that is subject to these variables.