Treaties, Networks, and the Institutionalization of Reproductive Policies in the World, 1920-2014
CitationLee, Dong-Ju. 2018. Treaties, Networks, and the Institutionalization of Reproductive Policies in the World, 1920-2014. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation examines the institutionalization of two reproductive policies – maternity protection and liberal abortion – in the world during the twentieth century (1920-2014). Focusing on international cooperation and contention among various actors – states, organizations, movements, and domestic groups, it investigates how two policies have emerged, developed, and diffused. Empirical analyses find following results.
First, the International Labor Organization adopted maternity leave policy, along with the prevention of women’s night work, as a protective measure for female workers after the end of WWI. However, the new human rights framework challenged protective measures, which led the deinstitutionalization of night-work treaty, while maternity treaty was transformed into a gender equality policy. Analyses of the ratification and denunciation of these two ILO treaties show the importance of state motivations: states committed to the norms of labor rights are more likely to participate in all types of behaviors, while high-status states symbolically sign these treaties, but are not concerned with changing the disfavored norm.
Second, the maternity treaty, not being widely ratified even by those with favorable policies, nonetheless has a significant and enduring effect on domestic policy by increasing generosity of maternity leave. The effectiveness of treaty is enhanced where citizens have domestic institutions such as democratic elections and an independent judiciary or when they have strong representation of female legislators. These domestic institutions extend the duration of influence the treaty has on domestic policy.
Lastly, liberal abortion policy was widely diffused during the last century, but is still highly contested. Focusing on two international advocacy movements, this study shows that women’s right movement has a strong and radical influence on liberalization. The ambivalent birth controllers do not exert independent influence except when they are met with domestic interest groups. And a country’s susceptibility to liberalization is dependent on network position (both of ego and alter). Yet, this position-based adoption results in limited diffusion in which liberalizers do not influence restrictive countries.
This dissertation sheds light on political processes in institutionalization by highlighting the motivations and interests of political actors, the role of domestic political institutions, and the hierarchal positions of states in international networks.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41127672
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