China, normative change, and the UN Human Rights Council

Decades of research in social science have examined how states interact with human rights treaties and their stance on human rights in other nations. Some authoritarian states perceive certain civil and political rights as politically threatening. This analysis focuses on China’s approach to the UN Human Rights Council, including its voting record and strategies for promoting normative change. Four methods of normative change are identified: mobilizing like-mindedness, implied coercion, tactical deception, and repression of critical voices. These findings provide valuable insights into the future of human rights norms at the United Nations and beyond.

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