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Strengthening the norm against torture : an alternative look at the implications of US norm violation Good, Elizabeth


This paper addresses how the domestic violation of the anti-torture norm within the United States during the Bush administration and the War on Terror has affected the international norm against torture. The United States’ evident and contemporary violation of a norm assumed to be internalized by the vast majority of countries has led various scholars to question the robustness of the anti-torture norm. I seek to contribute to the underdeveloped perspective that norms strengthen through contestation by arguing that US domestic violation has not regressed the norm, but rather has strengthened the international anti-torture norm. This paper attempts to take advantage of the increasing prevalence of credible accounts of torture by employing Bayesian Process Tracing as a means of increasing the transparency of empirical findings that counter the argument that the norm against torture is in regress and support the claim that the norm against torture has been strengthened through US violation.

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