EISSN 2532-3474 - ISSN 2532-649X - Padova University Press

On the Imperfect Democracy and Human Rights Nexus: China and Italy Compared

TitleOn the Imperfect Democracy and Human Rights Nexus: China and Italy Compared
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsNanni, R.
Secondary TitlePeace Human Rights Governance
Date Published03/2020
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2532-3474
KeywordsChina, Democracy and Human Rights, Human Rights, international human rights law, Italy

Different countries have different legal provisions and human rights protection mechanisms, with different or similar outcomes in terms of citizens’ rights fulfilment in different cases. Studies confirm that liberal democracy and human rights have a strong positive correlation and causal nexus. Nonetheless, legal and policy loopholes can yield poor performances in democratic systems with outcomes similar to those qualifying authoritarian governments. To observe it, two deeply different countries in terms of recognition of individual freedoms and form and type of government, namely China and Italy, will be compared. Patterns of compliance will be observed, using the outcomes of UPRs and treaty bodies reviews as a basis. This will be put in context by taking into consideration the two countries’ domestic system and engagement in global and regional human rights mechanisms, which mainly applies to Italy as a member of the European Union and the Council of Europe. Through the aforementioned observations, this article aims to contribute to the academic debate on the relationship between human rights and democracy. In conclusion, the patterns identified throughout the analysis will be taken into consideration, together with the two countries’ stances on international human rights standards in international fora, to try and elaborate possible future scenarios in China and Italy’s compliance with their international human rights obligations.