From intergovernmental negotiations to (sub)national change Article

Zwingel, S. (2005). From intergovernmental negotiations to (sub)national change . INTERNATIONAL FEMINIST JOURNAL OF POLITICS, 7(3), 400-424. 10.1080/1461674050016118

cited authors

  • Zwingel, S


  • In the last thirty years, a process of global norm creation in the field of gender equality has taken place. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women marks a milestone in this process: it emerged as the first legally binding international instrument for the protection of women's rights. The 180 states that have ratified the Convention have interpreted their treaty obligations in diverse ways, ranging from reluctance to active incorporation. Beyond its original mandate, CEDAW has increased attention on gender issues within the UN human rights framework. Further, it has motivated transnational NGO activism that uses the Convention to connect local understandings of women's rights with global standards to influence national policy developments. Taking these global, national and transnational dynamics together, the article argues that CEDAW has been transformed from a 'classical' intergovernmental regime to a transnational network enforcing women's rights. Based on these findings, a theoretical view on global norm creation and enforcement is developed that stresses the reciprocal interrelation between global, national and local spheres. Instead of assuming a 'trickle-down' dynamic as a consequence of global agreements, it is argued that the legitimacy and authority of global norms depends on their active interpretation and appropriation within national and local contexts all over the world. © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd.

publication date

  • December 1, 2005

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 400

end page

  • 424


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