Socialization of International Human Rights Norms: The Bosnian Case.
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The thesis starts with a look at the theory of norm diffusion and the factors influencing states to institutionalize international norms. I examine how norms become embedded in post-conflict zones and measure the extent to which they are embedded in state practice. The causal relevance of international norms may be defined in terms of the ability to change state behaviour. The process of norm diffusion is made up of ideas and discussions that change the identities in the post-conflict state that are connected with the behaviour of violating human rights. My argument is based on a constructivist approach to international socialization. The main theoretical approach to international norm dynamics and political change which will be considered in this thesis is the approach presented by the norms life cycle, concerned mainly with how a norm emerges, is established and finally becomes commonly accepted. It conceives of socialization as a process of change in violations and has two major components: (I) diffusion of norms prior to war; (II) violations; (III) socialization. This thesis is an attempt to demonstrate a cause of foreign policy, ‘norm-driven change’, a domestic policy shift generated by the dynamics of the international normative environment. In accounting for Bosnian politics, this study highlights the causal role of international norms in affecting the domestic policy-making process. Unlike the mainstream international relations theories, which look into either the international material structure or domestic factors, this ‘norm-driven change’ model connects the international and domestic levels by examining the interaction between international norms and domestic policy-making.
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