Activists beyond Borders

Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics

Margaret E. Keck
Kathryn Sikkink
Copyright Date: 1998
Published by: Cornell University Press
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  • Book Info
    Activists beyond Borders
    Book Description:

    In Activists beyond Borders, Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink examine a type of pressure group that has been largely ignored by political analysts: networks of activists that coalesce and operate across national frontiers. Their targets may be international organizations or the policies of particular states. Historical examples of such transborder alliances include anti-slavery and woman suffrage campaigns. In the past two decades, transnational activism has had a significant impact in human rights, especially in Latin America, and advocacy networks have strongly influenced environmental politics as well. The authors also examine the emergence of an international campaign around violence against women.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-7129-2
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-xii)
    Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink
  4. Chapter 1 Transnational Advocacy Networks in International Politics: Introduction
    (pp. 1-38)

    World politics at the end of the twentieth century involves, alongside states, many nonstate actors that interact with each other, with states, and with international organizations. These interactions are structured in terms of networks, and transnational networks are increasingly visible in international politics. Some involve economic actors and firms. Some are networks of scientists and experts whose professional ties and shared causal ideas underpin their efforts to influence policy.¹ Others are networks of activists, distinguishable largely by the centrality of principled ideas or values in motivating their formation.² We will call thesetransnational advocacy networks.

    Advocacy networks are significant transnationally...

  5. Chapter 2 Historical Precursors to Modern Transnational Advocacy Networks
    (pp. 39-78)

    When we suggest that transnational advocacy networks have become politically significant forces in international relations over the last several decades, we immediately face a series of challenges. First, where we see links among activists from different nationalities and cultures, others may see cultural imperialism—attempts to impose Western values and culture upon societies that neither desire nor benefit from them. Are “moral” campaigns just thinly disguised efforts by one group to gain its interest and impose its will on another? Next, some question the novelty of these phenomena. After all, internationalism in various forms has been around for a long...

  6. Chapter 3 Human Rights Advocacy Networks in Latin America
    (pp. 79-120)

    We can trace the idea that states should protect the human rights of their citizens back to the French Revolution and the U.S. Bill of Rights, but the idea that human rights should be an integral part of foreign policy and international relations is new. As recently as 1970, the idea that the human rights of citizens of any country are legitimately the concern of people and governments everywhere was considered radical. Transnational advocacy networks played a key role in placing human rights on foreign policy agendas.

    The doctrine of internationally protected human rights offers a powerful critique of traditional...

  7. Chapter 4 Environmental Advocacy Networks
    (pp. 121-164)

    Environmental advocacy networks differ in important respects from the human rights networks discussed in the preceding chapter. For one thing; they are not as clearly “principled.” Though environmentalism has a strong ethical dimension, in the traditional anthropocentric sense of “stewardship” or in biocentric claims in the name of an earth ethic, actors in environmental advocacy networks may invoke professional norms or interests as well as values. Environmentalism is less a set of universally agreed upon principles than it is a frame within which the relations among a variety of claims about resource use, property, rights, and power may be reconfigured....

  8. Chapter 5 Transnational Networks on Violence against Women
    (pp. 165-198)

    Susana Chiarotti, one of the founding coordinators of Indeso-Mujer in Rosario, Argentina, has given a dramatic description of the moment when the issue of violence against women began to crystallize:

    We began to make the connection between violence and human rights when a “compañera” from Buenos Aires brought us the article by Charlotte Bunch on “Women’s rights as human rights,” which she got at a meeting in California on Leading the Way Out. I was the only one in my group that read English and when I read it, I said to myself, “Hmmm . . . a new approach...

  9. Chapter 6 Conclusions: Advocacy Networks and International Society
    (pp. 199-218)

    Scholars theorizing about transnational relations must grapple with the multiple interactions of domestic and international politics as sources of change in the international system¹ The blurring of boundaries between international and domestic arenas has long been evident in international and comparative political economy, but its relevance for other forms of politics is less well theorized. Our work on transnational advocacy networks highlights a subset of international issues, characterized by the prominence of principled ideas and a central role for nongovernmental organizations. In this subset of issues, complex global networks carry and re-frame ideas, insert them in policy debates, pressure for...

  10. Abbreviations
    (pp. 219-220)
  11. Index
    (pp. 221-227)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 228-228)