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Abstract

This paper details a new methodology developed to measure civil and political rights violations in a pilot sample of 13 diverse countries. In doing so, we discuss the problems present in previous attempts to measure civil and political rights cross-nationally and argue that our approach overcomes many of those problems. Using an expert survey that draws on the knowledge of human rights researchers, advocates, lawyers, journalists, and others responsible for directly monitoring the human rights situation in countries worldwide, we present new measures of the intensity and distribution of respect for seven separate areas of civil and political rights and compare those data with existing work. The results demonstrate that our technique for producing data on civil and political rights produces outcomes with strong face validity vis-à-vis existing measures, while providing more and better information than any previous cross-national data collection effort. We aim to extend this approach to most other countries in the world over the coming years.

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