Human rights and world culture: The diffusion of legislation against the organ trade

Fikresus Fikrejesus Amahazion

Article first published online: 9 Dec 2015, DOI:10.1080/02732173.2015.1108887

Sociological Spectrum


Due to the process of globalization, rapid medical and technological advances, and the persistence of the global scarcity in organs, the organ trade has grown to become an international issue of increasing concern. Over the past several decades, more than 100 countries have passed legislation banning the commercial trade in organs. What explains this rapid, global diffusion of commercial transplantation laws, and what are the key factors influencing legislation? This study explores these questions through an analysis based on sociology’s world culture, world polity theory. Utilizing survival analysis models, the study covers 127 countries from 1965-2012. Results offer support for the world culture/world polity theoretical framework, while economic development also impacts legislation. The global trend toward legislation is influenced by global, cultural, and economic factors.


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