The promise and pitfalls of unilateral pressure to combat human trafficking: U.S. pressure on Israel, the Philippines, and Thailand

by Perry, Noam, Ph.D., NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY, 2016, 298 pages; 10248948


In the late 1990s, the United States started pressuring other countries to combat human trafficking. Since 2001, the State Department has been evaluating the anti-trafficking efforts of governments around the world. The analysis is published annually in the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which has become the cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy on this issue. Governments whose efforts are deemed “insignificant” may be subject to economic and diplomatic sanctions by the U.S. government. Through analysis of media coverage, government proceedings, and interviews with select stakeholders, this study explores the ways in which the U.S. system of unilateral pressure influenced the anti-trafficking policies of Israel, the Philippines, and Thailand.

Findings show that, for U.S. anti-trafficking pressure to be successful, it had to be combined with pressure “from below” by civil society organizations. These organizations leveraged U.S. pressure to further their own agenda vis-à-vis their governments. This study further reveals that the domestic policymaking process is highly susceptible to pressure by other countries, particularly during the agenda setting phase. Specifically, the U.S. TIP Report has a demonstrated capability to forcibly open policy windows, to act as a policy transfer agent, and to generally accelerate the socialization of states into compliance with international norms. However, U.S. pressure also has unintended consequences, particularly in the form of anti-trafficking policies that violate human rights and harm the people they purport to protect.

AdviserJack McDevitt
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsInternational relations; International law; Public policy
Publication Number10248948

About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With nearly 4 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) Global database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.

PQDT Global combines content from a range of the world's premier universities - from the Ivy League to the Russell Group. Of the nearly 4 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 2.5 million in full text formats. Of those, over 1.7 million are available in PDF format. More than 90,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the ProQuest Web site - - or contact ProQuest Support.