The impact of human rights on trade volume: An analysis of the relationship between the European Union and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific group of states, 1976--2000
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The thesis aims at analyzing the impact of human rights violations on trade volume between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) group. More specifically, it tests how basic security rights violations influence trade volume before and after the fourth Lomé Convention of 1990. The latter constitutes the first trade agreement between both groups that incorporated human rights conditionality. It is assumed that the EU should be bound by these treaty provisions and trade should therefore decline in the event of human rights violations in an ACP state after 1990. The statistical test fails to reject the linked null-hypothesis: Trade between the EU as a whole and ACP states decreases already before Lomé IV. The effect of the interaction of Lomé IV with human rights violations is positive but statistically insignificant. A second test of an alternative argument seems more promising. Supported by the results of two case studies, this paper concludes that human rights clauses in trade agreements between the EU and ACP group do not entail the application of human rights conditionality. EU member states remain reluctant to use trade sanctions if their national interests in an ACP state are at risk - no matter how devastating the human rights situation is in this specific country. Further research on the mechanism leading to the application of negative trade measures is needed.