International relations theorists have devoted insufficient attention to the processes through which state sovereignty is being transformed in the modern world. The human rights issue offers a case study of a gradual and significant reconceptualization of state sovereignty. In the human rights issue-area, the primary movers behind the international actions leading to changing understandings of sovereignty are transnational nonstate actors organized in a principled issue-network, including international and domestic nongovernmental organizations, parts of global and regional intergovernmental organizations, and private foundations. These networks differ from other forms of transnational relations in that they are driven primarily by shared values or principled ideas. Through a comparative study of the impact of international human rights pressures on Argentina and Mexico in the 1970s and 1980s, this article explores the emergence and the nature of the principled human rights issue-network and the conditions under which it can contribute to changing both state understandings about sovereignty and state human rights practices.

Human Rights, Principled Issue-Networks, and Sovereignty in Latin America’, KathrynSikkinkInternational Organization, 47 (3) (1993): 411–441. © 1993 by the World Peace Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Reprinted with permission from MIT Press Journals.
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