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Restructuring World Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks, and Norms

Sanjeev Khagram
James V. Riker
Kathryn Sikkink
Volume: 14
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 384
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  • Book Info
    Restructuring World Politics
    Book Description:

    A comprehensive look at the global movements that are transforming international relations. Contributors: Karen Brown Thompson, Charles T. Call, Elizabeth A. Donnelly, Darren Hawkins, Thalia G. Kidder, Smitu Kothari, Paul J. Nelson, August Nimtz, Mark Ritchie, Jackie Smith, Daniel C. Thomas.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9344-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
    Sanjeev Khagram, James V. Riker and Kathryn Sikkink
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Part I. Theoretical Framework and Issues

    • 1 From Santiago to Seattle: Transnational Advocacy Groups Restructuring World Politics
      (pp. 3-23)
      Sanjeev Khagram, James V. Riker and Kathryn Sikkink

      The chapters in this volume take us from Santiago to Seattle, covering over twenty-five years of the most recent wave of transnational advocacy. When Chilean activists, exiled by the repressive Pinochet regime in the mid-1970s, took their human rights campaign abroad and requested the support of governments, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) around the world to bring pressure to bear on the Chilean government to improve its human rights practices, they initiated a form of transnational advocacy that has become increasingly common in the last two decades. This campaign came full circle in 1998, when General Pinochet was arrested...

    • 2 Infrastructures for Change: Transnational Organizations, 1953–93
      (pp. 24-44)
      Kathryn Sikkink and Jackie Smith

      It is now common in the literature on transnational social movements and networks to assert that they have expanded dramatically in recent years. But few researchers have provided strong quantitative evidence or analysis of this growth and its relevance for transnational movements and networks. Researchers have shown significant growth in international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) of all types, but only a small portion of these organizations are engaged in the kinds of social change activities typical of social movements and networks (see, for example, Skjelsbaek 1971). Jackie Smith presented clear evidence of the growth of INGOs established for the explicit purpose...

  6. Part II. Influencing Human Rights Discourse, Policy, and Practice

    • 3 Human Rights Norms and Networks in Authoritarian Chile
      (pp. 47-70)
      Darren Hawkins

      Though once confined largely to the domestic realm, in recent years the politics of human rights have become increasingly internationalized and transnationalized. It has become routine for states to sign and ratify human rights treaties, for intergovernmental organizations to monitor rights abuses, and for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to mobilize campaigns on behalf of the oppressed all over the world. Domestic groups and individuals suffering repression frequently seek political and financial support from international patrons and provide the international community with crucial information on the nature of repression. Human rights groups join hands with philanthropic foundations, concerned individuals, churches, and others...

    • 4 Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy
      (pp. 71-95)
      Daniel C. Thomas

      This chapter argues that transnational networks of nonstate actors gain greater access to and influence over states when they identify their cause with prevailing international norms, defined as standards of appropriate behavior for actors with a given identity in world politics. To illustrate the importance of international norms for network influence, the chapter explains the rise of human rights in U.S. foreign policy toward Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union during the mid-1970s, when human rights activists living under repressive communist regimes used the norms of the Helsinki Final Act to network with sympathetic legislators, journalists, and activists in the...

    • 5 Women’s Rights Are Human Rights
      (pp. 96-122)
      Karen Brown Thompson

      Women’s local, national, and international organizations have for decades, and most intensively in the last quarter of the twentieth century, demanded accountability for gendered human rights violations. These claims have constituted new expectations about the relationship among state authority, family practices, and women’s rights. This chapter explores various meaningful global practices related to women’s rights from the perspective of statecitizen relations. I examine specifically how the practices of IGOs, states, and NGOs with respect to international women’s rights challenge, reconstitute, and reinforce certain aspects of the authority relations between states and the people who live in them.

      This chapter illuminates...

    • 6 A Human Rights Practitioner’s Perspective
      (pp. 123-128)
      Charles T. Call

      Darren Hawkins, Daniel Thomas, and Karen Brown Thompson each provides an excellent illustration of how activists—most notably victims—have transformed world politics. Acting through advocacy networks, victims of gender oppression and political repression by the Left and the Right have organized themselves, stimulated advocacy networks, and ultimately reshaped state interests, undermined regimes, and strengthened international norms on which they drew. These case studies are illustrative of constraints on governmental behavior that were unthinkable only thirty years ago.

      At the same time, human rights activists are daily aware of the abiding limits on their ability to curb violations of widely...

  7. Part III. Promoting Development, Environmental Protection, and Governance

    • 7 Agendas, Accountability, and Legitimacy among Transnational Networks Lobbying the World Bank
      (pp. 131-154)
      Paul J. Nelson

      Scholars and practitioners interested in the expanding role of nonstate actors, including NGOs, have labored to demonstrate their relevance to governmental policy processes and to catalog the variety of methods NGOs use to influence governmental and corporate behavior (Keck and Sikkink 1998; Sikkink 1993a; Wapner 1995; Clark 1991; Florini 2000).

      But with NGOs’ place as political actors, often through transnational advocacy networks, becoming established, scholars and practitioners are raising issues about the networks’ accountability and efficacy. Hulme and Edwards (1997), for example, explore these issues specifically regarding NGOs concerned with development, while Nelson (1996a), Fox and Brown (1998), and Jordan...

    • 8 Proclaiming Jubilee: The Debt and Structural Adjustment Network
      (pp. 155-180)
      Elizabeth A. Donnelly

      Carmen Rodriguez heads the Catholic Charismatic Movement in a sprawling shantytown parish south of Lima, Peru. She and other lay leaders of her diocese prepared for the new millennium in a rather unusual way. In early 1999, having participated in Lenten workshops offering economic and theological perspectives on debt relief, they went door-to-door and gathered some ninety thousand signatures on an internationally circulated petition calling for a one-time cancellation of the unpayable debt of highly indebted poor countries by the end of the year 2000. Countrywide, more than 1,850,000 Peruvians signed the petition in just three months’ time. Worldwide, seventeen...

    • 9 NGOs, Transnational Networks, International Donor Agencies, and the Prospects for Democratic Governance in Indonesia
      (pp. 181-205)
      James V. Riker

      On 21 May 1998, the people of Indonesia found themselves in the midst of a political change that had seemed unattainable only a short time before. President Suharto, a former general who had ruled Indonesia with impunity for thirty-two years, abruptly resigned and handed over authority to his vice president, B. J. Habibie. Just sixteen months later, Abdurrahman Wahid, an Islamic cleric and NGO advocate committed to pluralism and democracy, was elected president in late October 1999. In the process, the world witnessed a decisive shift toward democratic governance in Indonesia. The significance of this shift is remarkable for three...

    • 10 Restructuring the Global Politics of Development: The Case of India’s Narmada Valley Dams
      (pp. 206-230)
      Sanjeev Khagram

      Planned to generate thousands of megawatts of power, irrigate millions of hectares of land, and provide drinking water to hundreds of chronically drought-prone villages, India’s Narmada Valley Dam Projects are a promise for plenty to proponents. If completed, they would likely constitute the largest river-basin scheme in the world.

      The Narmada Projects are also expected to submerge thousands of villages, displace millions of mostly peasants and “adivasis,” and destroy hundreds of thousands of hectares of forest lands. Opponents thus charge that they would result in the greatest planned social and environmental tragedy in Indian history.¹ The development initiative that invokes...

    • 11 Globalization, Global Alliances, and the Narmada Movement
      (pp. 231-242)
      Smitu Kothari

      The past decade has witnessed several significant regional and global efforts to build horizontal linkages that transcend national boundaries. Prior to this, most earlier nongovernmental efforts were focused on building international solidarity (e.g., the Socialist International, the various Communist Internationals, or the forums of the working class), were based on single issues (e.g., the women’s movement), or were regional (e.g., the solidarity efforts against imperialist intervention at home in many of the countries of Central and South America).

      This recent past has seen the evolution of very different transborder alliances—from hesitant efforts seeking small concessions from dominant and dominating...

  8. Part IV. Organizing Labor

    • 12 Marx and Engels: The Prototypical Transnational Actors
      (pp. 245-268)
      August Nimtz

      About a half year before his death in 1895, Frederick Engels, then seventyfour, described his busy schedule, which included a reading regimen:

      I have to follow the movement in five large and a lot of small countries and the U.S. America. For that purpose I receive 3 German, 2 English, 1 Italiandailiesand from Jan. 1, the Vienna daily, 7 in all. OfweekliesI receive 2 from Germany, 7 Austria, 1 France, 3 America (2 English, 1 German), 2 Italian, and 1 each in Polish, Bulgarian, Spanish and Bohemian, three of which in languages I am still gradually...

    • 13 Networks in Transnational Labor Organizing
      (pp. 269-293)
      Thalia G. Kidder

      In the past twenty years, workers and their allies have developed new forms of transnational labor organizing. In the context of increasing economic globalization, some labor activists have strengthened their contacts with allies across borders to expand and defend labor rights. I have noted three characteristics that appear to distinguish recent organizing from that of prior periods. Many activities have been organized and funded outside of union institutions. Conferences and periodicals often focus on nonfinancial issues and even noncontract issues, such as empowerment, union democracy, or feminist consciousness. The new linkages among labor activists tend to take the form of...

    • 14 A Practitioner’s Perspective
      (pp. 294-298)
      Mark Ritchie

      Both the rich historical window opened by August Nimtz and the practical contemporary analysis by Thalia Kidder stir strong emotions in practitioners like myself. The trials, tribulations, and triumphs they both so eloquently detail have the elements of the same human drama that I have experienced in my own cross-border organizing over the last twenty-five years.

      First, there are the many positive personal benefits. My first crossborder organizing experience was with the Nestlé boycott in the late 1970s, one of the largest and most important global political campaigns of the century. This campaign was aimed at forcing Nestlé to stop...

  9. Part V. Conclusions

    • 15 Restructuring World Politics: The Limits and Asymmetries of Soft Power
      (pp. 301-318)
      Kathryn Sikkink

      This book is part of a burgeoning literature that argues that norms are becoming increasingly consequential in international relations and international organizations and that transnational nongovernmental actors are key instigators and promoters of new norms. The first chapter discussed the major themes of this volume. This final chapter begins a preliminary exploration of issues that have received less attention: questions of “soft” or informal power, representation, democracy, deliberation, and accountability within transnational social movements. If, as we argue, transnational social movements and networks are increasingly permanent features of international life, scholars and activists need to grapple more thoughtfully with the...

  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 319-352)
  11. Contributors
    (pp. 353-356)
  12. Index
    (pp. 357-366)