Beyond Accession in Central and Eastern Europe
Edited by Agnes Batory, Andrew Cartwright and Diane Stone
Chapter 4: Translating domestic violence norms in five countries of Central Eastern Europe
This chapter looks at norms translation processes in the field of domestic violence. Using data from five countries of Central Eastern Europe (CEE)—Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Romania—it proposes a multi-pronged cross-directional international influence model that challenges traditional top-down understandings of international influence. The author argues that international influence is not direct, linear and top-down but constructed and negotiated in processes of interaction between international actors and domestic agents, where translation processes influence the direction of policy change. International influence provides content to reforms through defining, communicating and monitoring norms, and through facilitating the production of evidence for domestic violence as a policy problem. In order to understand the nature of international influence, we have to look beyond norms transfer at two additional mechanisms through which it impacts domestic policy processes. First, international influence can create ‘political opportunities’ to enable domestic mobilization for policy change. Second, domestic agents are key in the translation of international norms. Enabling such agency becomes critical in processes of norms translation. The chapter shows how international influence understood along these lines contributes to the variation in policy progress achieved in different contexts.
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