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Mobilising for group-specific norms: Reshaping the international protection regime for minorities.

Lennox, Corinne (2009) Mobilising for group-specific norms: Reshaping the international protection regime for minorities. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis examines the agency of minority groups and their international allies in reshaping the international protection regime for national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities to include new group-specific norms. The practices of "norm entrepreneurship" by two groups, Dalits and Afro-descendants, are considered in detail and contrasted with the experiences of similar norm entrepreneurship by indigenous peoples and Roma. Dalit and Afro-descendant activists have pursued norm emergence to establish group-specific recognition, standards and mechanisms at the international level. This thesis examines three key factors that have been instrumental to this group- specific norm emergence: the establishment of strategic frames and stronger forms of transnational mobilisation by each group; the supportive engagement of international actors; and the emergence of new political opportunity structures at the international level, in particular the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR). The findings of the thesis provide insight into macro-level changes to international minority protection. By concentrating on the agency of minority groups, the thesis adds to the largely state-centred literature on minority protection. By critically assessing the role of international actors in aiding this norm entrepreneurship, the thesis helps to uncover their limitations, interests and ideational commitments. The findings contribute to norm entrepreneurship studies by considering a unique kind of transnational non-state actor, one that possesses the latent capacity for statehood. The capacity of weak nonstate actors to achieve norm emergence even without state support is demonstrated but the deep challenges they face in securing group-specific norms are exposed. On a normative level, the findings give a glimpse of how emerging norms for transnational minority groups could alter conventions of representation in international society, creating post-Westphalian forms of political community. On a policy level, the findings provide some useful inputs on how to strengthen these new forms of political community and how to enable adherence to emerging group-specific norms.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International Relations

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