Into the 1990s, Arab countries witnessed a rise in the number of terrorist attacks perpetrated by Islamist militants against governments, foreign targets, and citizens. In response to terrorism, governments throughout the Middle East and North Africa suppressed the civil and political rights of all citizens. This clampdown on civil society transpired on the heels of political reforms in several countries and coincided with the increasing integration of these states into international treaty regimes, signaling a willingness to comply with world standards on human rights. Engaging the literatures on terrorism, world polity, and social movements, I first analyze the relationship between political regime type and movement mobilization. Next I examine the impact of transnational terrorism on human rights mobilization. I use network analysis to show that, contrary to expectations of world polity theory and the boomerang hypothesis, activists' ties to the transnational rights network thinned over the same time period (1980-2000) that these states became more integrated into international society through treaty ratification and memberships in intergovernmental organizations. The findings indicate that while the globalization of human rights has empowered human rights movements in nondemocratic societies, state power continues to set limits on mobilizing capacities.

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