Dynamic Patterns of Human Rights Practices


The science of human rights requires valid comparisons of repression levels across time and space. Though extensive data collection efforts have made such comparisons possible in principle, statistical measures based on simple additive scales made them rare in practice. This article uses a dynamic measurement model that contrasts with current approaches by (1) accounting for the fact that human rights indicators vary in the level of information they provide about the latent level of repression, (2) allowing realistic descriptions of measurement uncertainty in the form of credible intervals and (3) providing a theoretical motivation for modeling temporal dependence in human rights levels. It presents several techniques, which demonstrate that the dynamic ordinal item-response theory model outperforms its static counterpart.

In Political Science Research and Methods