The Diffusion of Women’s Rights Norms in Post-War Contexts
(Section ID: 110, Open Section; Panel ID: 524)
Panel Chairs: Anne Jenichen (University of Bremen), Susanne Alldén (SIDA)
Research on the international diffusion of women’s rights norms has frequently stressed the contribution of transnational advocacy networks, and of international and local norm advocates, as well as their clever framing strategies, to norm diffusion. Post-war states, however, have often been excluded from this research because of their peculiarity. Instead, it has often tacitly been assumed that in post-war settings it is primarily international transitional administrations, international organizations, and western states, involved in post-war reconstruction, which bring international human rights norms to the country, and impose them on its government and population. Researchers and practitioners alike have frequently criticized this approach of external norm imposition for its lacking legitimacy and effectiveness. However, the diffusion of women’s rights norms has seldom been within their focus. This panel therefore welcomes papers which address the following questions: How can the diffusion of women’s rights norms in post-war contexts specifically be explained? Do these processes differ from conventional situations, and if yes, how? Is the analysis of this area of human rights capable of revealing alternative diffusion mechanisms diverging from the mechanism of external norm imposition in post-war settings? How do these mechanisms impact norm compliance and the implementation of respective domestic reform programs? The panel starts from the assumption that policy reform processes within post-war states, particularly those which are subject to international interventions, can only be properly understood if the interaction between the national and the international level is taken into account. It is therefore particularly interested in papers which look at the specific contributions of forces located at different levels to the diffusion of women’s rights norms in post-war states, as well as their cooperation or other forms of interaction, and in papers which analyze how local norm advocates utilize and translate international women’s rights norms to instigate domestic policy reform.