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International organizations and children’s rights: Norm adoption, pressure tactics and state compliance
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2050-9600
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since the adoption of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), the attention given by international organizations (IOs) to children’s rights has increased. This dissertation seeks to identify what this means for the global promotion of children’s rights, by addressing three interrelated questions: 1. Why do IOs adopt children’s rights norms?, 2. What tactics do IOs use to pressure for children’s rights and why?, and 3. What explains state compliance with children’s rights? These questions are studied across four self-contained essays, combining qualitative and quantitative methods, and with a particular focus on the European Union (EU). The first essay provides a within-case analysis of the mainstreaming of children’s rights across EU external policy sectors. The second essay explores the content and pressure tactics of the EU external strategies for children’s rights. The third essay offers a comparative case study of UNICEF and EU pressure tactics towards the autocratic state Vietnam. The fourth essay examines the impact of international and national factors on state compliance with children’s rights. The main findings of this dissertation are four-fold. First, several global regimes affect which children’s rights norms IOs prioritize. Second, EU external policy has increasingly adopted children’s rights but not mainstreamed the issue. Third, EU institutions provide material support to international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) in exchange for children’s rights policy advice. Fourth, state compliance with the right of the child to physical integrity is influenced by international factors (membership in a regional human rights court, development aid) and national factors (women's political participation, legal and religious contexts) but not regime type. Combined, this dissertation has two important research implications. First, it shows that institutionalist theory explains variations in IO adoption of and pressure tactics for children’s rights. Second, established explanations regarding IO pressure in the area of human rights, and regime effects on state compliance with human rights, do not hold for the case of children’s rights. With regard to policy, the main implication of this dissertation is that more pressure for child empowerment rights is needed at international and national level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Political Science, Stockholm University , 2020. , p. 56
Series
Stockholm studies in politics, ISSN 0346-6620 ; 183
Keywords [en]
international organizations, children’s rights, European Union, United Nations, norm adoption, pressure tactics, state compliance, development aid, foreign policy, non-governmental organizations
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-177218ISBN: 978-91-7797-962-3 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7797-963-0 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-177218DiVA, id: diva2:1380274
Public defence
2020-02-19, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2013-6264
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2020-01-27 Created: 2019-12-18 Last updated: 2020-01-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Explaining child rights mainstreaming in EU external policy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Explaining child rights mainstreaming in EU external policy
2017 (English)In: Comparative European Politics, ISSN 1472-4790, E-ISSN 1740-388X, Vol. 15, no 4, p. 499-517Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines and explains child rights mainstreaming in European Union (EU) external affairs. It provides a within-case comparison of how children's rights have been mainstreamed in development aid, common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and external trade policy. While most mainstreaming research have studied mainstreaming as a process of norm socialization, this article draws on hypotheses concerning bureaucratic self-interest that have thus far not been tested in the EU mainstreaming literature. The article finds support for rational functionalist assumptions that actor preferences, external policy competences and resource exchanges between EU institutions and child rights organizations together help explain variations in child rights mainstreaming across sectors and over time. Rationalist functionalism is found useful in explaining under which conditions at sector level mainstreaming is likely to succeed or fail.

Keywords
children's rights, external policy, the European Union, rational functionalism, interest groups
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-147190 (URN)10.1057/s41295-016-0001-x (DOI)000408113300001 ()
Available from: 2017-09-20 Created: 2017-09-20 Last updated: 2020-01-07Bibliographically approved
2. European Union's external strategies for the rights of the child
Open this publication in new window or tab >>European Union's external strategies for the rights of the child
2019 (English)In: Childhood, ISSN 0907-5682, E-ISSN 1461-7013, Vol. 26, no 3, p. 386-406Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article offers the first quantitative analysis of European Union external strategies for children's rights. Drawing on original data, it finds that European Union diplomatic pressure and economic aid have increased over time but that the European Union still lacks independent policy positions on children's rights. European Union strategies target states to different degrees and international non-governmental organizations are favoured over domestic organizations. Findings suggest that the European Union is becoming a more significant actor of child rights governance, underscoring the value of a comparative approach.

Keywords
Child rights governance, development assistance, diplomacy, European Union's external action, non-governmental organizations
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-171693 (URN)10.1177/0907568219853869 (DOI)000477031700008 ()
Available from: 2019-08-19 Created: 2019-08-19 Last updated: 2020-01-07Bibliographically approved
3. Explaining variations in pressure for children’s rights: A comparative case study of UNICEF and the European Union in Vietnam
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Explaining variations in pressure for children’s rights: A comparative case study of UNICEF and the European Union in Vietnam
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-177233 (URN)
Available from: 2019-12-18 Created: 2019-12-18 Last updated: 2019-12-19Bibliographically approved
4. Protection of the child’s right to physical integrity: Explaining variations in laws on corporal punishment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Protection of the child’s right to physical integrity: Explaining variations in laws on corporal punishment
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-177236 (URN)
Available from: 2019-12-18 Created: 2019-12-18 Last updated: 2019-12-19Bibliographically approved

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