Lee Rathbun, M.A.


Education: Bachelor of Arts in political science (May 2012)

Master of Arts in international relations and affairs from the University of North Texas

Master of Arts in political science from Binghamton University

McNair Project: Trading Rights: The Impact of Economic Sectors on States' Physical Integrity and Workers' Rights Observance (2011)

Mentor: Amanda Murdie, Ph.D.

What impact do trade exports have on human rights performance? Does the specific nature of the exports matter? Drawing on research from DeMeritt and Young (2010), in which it is found that there is a positive relationship between oil exportation and an increase in physical integrity rights violations, this article attempts to explain the correlation between the main export of a state and the level of physical integrity rights violations. By definition, physical integrity rights are the rights not to be tortured, summarily executed, disappeared, or imprisoned for political beliefs. The scores of these variables can be summed to form a statically valid cumulative scale (Cingranelli and Richards, 2010). This research seeks to reveal the specific economic sectors the lead to a higher occurrence of such violations. I test my hypotheses using a cross national database indicating each state's main export as well as their reliance on human capital and the extent of physical integrity right violations.