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Virginia Journal of International Law



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This Commentary recognizes a policy shift across nations of favoring national security over human rights and argues that smaller states were influenced by the key international decision makers, the Permanent Five Members (P5) of the United Nations Security Council, via norm diffusion. In doing so, it offers an alternative theory for how and why human rights norms have consistently been violated in the pursuit of security. Oppressive regimes have used the term “counterterrorism” or “national security” to justify rights violations because they see larger powers allowing these violations. This Commentary contends that the P5 are responsible for beginning this phenomenon and in doing so created a paradigm shift in the types of norms that are diffused globally, resulting in “negative norm diffusion.”



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