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Why international organizations commit to liberal norms

Tallberg, Jonas, Lundgren, Magnus, Sommerer, Thomas and Squatrito, Theresa ORCID: 0000-0002-6726-7629 (2020) Why international organizations commit to liberal norms. International Studies Quarterly, 64 (3). pp. 626-640. ISSN 1468-2478

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Identification Number: 10.1093/isq/sqaa046


Recent decades have witnessed the emergence and spread of a broad range of liberal norms in global governance, among them sustainable development, gender equality, and human security. While existing scholarship tells us a lot about the trajectories of particular norms, we know much less about the broader patterns and sources of commitments to liberal norms by international organizations (IOs). This article offers the first comparative large-N analysis of such commitments, building on a unique dataset on IO policy decisions over the time period 1980-2015. Distinguishing between deep norm commitment and shallow norm recognition, the analysis produces several novel findings. We establish that IOs' deeper commitments to liberal norms primarily are driven by internal conditions: democratic memberships and institutional designs more conducive to norm entrepreneurship. In contrast, legitimacy standards in the external environment of IOs, often invoked in existing research, mainly account for shallower recognition or "talk" of norms.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2020 10:42
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 00:21

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