Catherine Lourdes Dy

LUISS Guido Carli in Rome, Political Theory and Political Science and L'Université Libre de Bruxelles

Catherine Lourdes Dy

Re-Writing Norm Domestication Theory: Postcolonialism and Local Agency in the Adaptation of Second Generation Human Rights

This study is primarily concerned with the relationship between norm diffusion theory, democracy, and human rights domestication within the context of postcolonial countries Indonesia and the Philippines.

Current literature on norm diffusion offers a one-sided perspective from norm-advocates. This study anchors itself primarily on this issue. It frames the relationship between norm diffusion and domestication theories against factors such as postcolonialism as well as competing transnational norm actors in the wider international political theory debate. It shows the limitations of current norm diffusion models and highlights the dangerous perspective of what may be called a neo-imposition of imperialism. It then proposes an empirical analysis of how two postcolonial countries react differently to international norm imposition using the case study of second generation human rights norms, in particular sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Philippines and Indonesia.

The Philippines and Indonesia are particularly interesting case studies as besides being large, religion-dominated archipelagos in Southeast Asia, they are also postcolonial countries in transition towards democracy and the hubs of what may be termed a ‘transnational normative war’.

The study proposed combines political theory with postcolonial and historical analysis. By providing an analysis that takes into account both theoretical and empirical aspects, this thesis intends to contribute to a deeper understanding of international norms and their influence in domestic society, particularly in the case of second generation human rights.

This study is done under the umbrella of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate program “EMJD-GEM - Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate on ‘Globalization, Europe & Multilateralism’” under a co-supervision arrangement with Prof. Raffaele Marchetti of LUISS Guido Carli and Prof. Firouzeh Nahavandy of L'Université Libre de Bruxelles.