Policy Experiments, Failures and Innovations
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Policy Experiments, Failures and Innovations

Beyond Accession in Central and Eastern Europe

Edited by Agnes Batory, Andrew Cartwright and Diane Stone

Policy Experiments, Failures and Innovations takes a policy studies perspective in considering post-communist EU member states’ experiences since accession. The book analyses policy transfer processes and expands the new and growing sub-field of policy failure by interrogating the binary ideas of ‘failure’ and ‘success’ in the context of the Central Eastern European (CEE) transition, democratic consolidation and European Union membership.
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Chapter 4: Translating domestic violence norms in five countries of Central Eastern Europe

Andrea Krizsan

Abstract

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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