Building on the successes of our Phase I research, the Phase II project will develop an expanded model to forecast conditions for coordinated compliance with international trade and human rights standards.
Theories and Concepts
The paradigms of Selective Adaptation and Institutional Capacity were applied successfully to separate discourses of human rights and international trade during Phase I. In Phase II, they will continue to help us build new knowledge about the critical issue of coordinated compliance with international trade and human rights standards.
We have selected a range of trade and human rights issues that are not only intrinsically important but also of practical concern to local political authorities whose support is essential for the project.
The general research questions concern associations between compliance with specific international trade disciplines for each of the regions under study and compliance with human rights standards. The intermediate research questions explore the effects of Selective Adaptation and Institutional Capacity on the coordination of trade and human rights compliance. The specific research questions would concern how internal Selective Adaptation elements of Perception, Complementarity and Legitimacy and internal Institutional Capacity dynamics of Purpose, Location, Orientation, and Cohesion might affect, either separately or in tandem, coordinated compliance with international trade and human rights standards.
In light of the achievements of our Phase I MCRI, and in the context of dynamic relationships between trade and human rights policies and practices in Canada and Asia, we have generated hypotheses on the effects of Selective Adaptation and Institutional Capacity on integrated implementation of international trade and human rights standards.
Data is drawn from Archival Records of dispute resolution cases, public and private sector documentation, media reporting and other sources where issues of coordinated compliance with trade and human rights standards arise in the context of normative and institutional conflict. The project research also includes Survey Interviews to illuminate normative and institutional dimensions of coordinated compliance. Data collection and analysis also involve development and examination of local Case Studies that examine the potential for coordinated compliance with international trade and human rights standards.
The project extends over a seven-year period, organized in three stages:
Stage One (year 1–year 2) research involves collection of archival, interview and case study data for each region under study, and subjected to correlative analysis through a series of association, pattern recognition and cluster analysis processes developed for the project.
Stage Two (year 3–year 5) research examines the ways in which Selective Adaptation factors of perception, complementarity, and legitimacy and Institutional Capacity factors of purpose, location, orientation, and cohesion affecting local implementation of international trade standards support or inhibit integrated implementation of international trade and human rights standards.
Stage Three (year 6–year 7) of the project involves the application of research results to a range of academic, policy, and civil society discourses. Dissemination of research results is the focus of this stage, which also includes application of discoveries and insights developed through the Stage One and Stage Two research to the question of coordinating Canadian trade and human rights policies domestically and internationally.