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The paper presents a political economy model linking terror and governments' respect for human rights. Using panel data for 111 countries over the period 1973-2002, we then empirically analyze whether and to what extent terror affects human rightsmeasured by three indices covering a wide variety of human rights aspects. According to our results, terror substantially diminishes governments' respect for basic human rights such as absence of extrajudicial killings, political imprisonment, anddoi:10.3929/ethz-a-005381958 fatcat:nrwnvcvyvfeaxkkla4r4s4tcwm