Dr Adrian Gallagher, ECR2P Co-Director and Associate Professor in International Relations, has published a new article in the Journal of Global Security Studies (JoGSS). The article is available to read in full on the JoGSS website.
‘To Name and Shame or Not, and If So, How? A Pragmatic Analysis of Naming and Shaming the Chinese Government over Mass Atrocity Crimes against the Uyghurs and Other Muslim Minorities in Xinjiang’
Faced with crimes such as genocide there is an understandable plea for actors to name and shame the perpetrators involved. The problem is that studies show that while there are cases where this practice has a positive influence, there are many examples where it is not only ineffective, but also counterproductive as it leads to an increase in human rights violations. With this in mind, the article asks, is it right to name and shame the Chinese government over mass atrocities perpetrated against the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities, and, if so, how? It uses a pragmatic approach to consider the ethical concerns that stem from this practice being used in this specific case. It draws links between the role that image and status play in two literatures: naming and shaming and China. It argues that the Chinese government’s prioritization of image and status acts as a double-edged sword when it comes to naming and shaming as it could (1) fuel a backlash or (2) have a positive influence, especially in status-sensitive time periods. While questioning the overall effectiveness of this strategy in relation to China, it argues that a culmination of factors in the lead up to the 2022 Beijing Olympics creates a window of opportunity for naming and shaming to have a positive impact. It offers normative recommendations to shed light on how this practice should be done. At a broader level, the article makes three contributions to the literature on naming and shaming and pragmatist ethics.