International policy diffusion
Socialisation and the domestic reception of international norms
in The same-sex unions revolution in western democracies
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International relations (IR) scholars have developed a vibrant set of literatures on international policy diffusion that describe and explain how international norms, ideas and policy models influence domestic outcomes. This chapter focuses on this literature to develop a theoretical framework to explain how processes of international learning and norm diffusion have catalysed same-sex unions (SSU) policy adoption in many western democracies. It is surprising how little the IR scholarship on international policy diffusion and socialisation has turned to comparative politics to address domestic reception questions. The chapter turns to constructivist theories of international socialisation, which draw on and integrate these sociological mechanisms of policy diffusion to create a more coherent theoretical framework. It highlights the usefulness of international socialisation frameworks for explaining human rights policy change in established democracies. The chapter introduces two concepts from comparative politics and social movement literatures, domestic policy discourse and discursive opportunities.

The same-sex unions revolution in western democracies

International norms and domestic policy change

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