MIRC Apr 23 The hidden impact of treaties on state behavior (or why would the Belgians care what the Bolivians are smoking?)

Minnesota International Relations Colloquium is excited to host Prof. Judith Kelley of Duke University on April 23, at 3.30pm. She will be presenting a paper entitled The process is the product: The hidden impact of treaties on state behavior (or why would the Belgians care what the Bolivians are smoking?).   Bridget Marchesi will serve as discussant.

Please find below the abstract, and email MIRC for a copy of the paper mid-next week. As always, the colloquium will take place in Lippincott Room in Social Sciences, and coffee will be served. mirc(at)umn.edu

We hope to see many of you there,
MIRC Organizers

The process is the product: The hidden impact of treaties on state behavior (or why would the Belgians care what the Bolivians are smoking?).

The debate about the effectiveness of treaties has long centered on whether they screen or constrain. That is: do states merely self-select into treaties with which they already agree, or do the treaties actually impose limits on their behavior? This debate is interesting but focusing solely on the treaty outcome and the post-treaty adjustments in compliance misses part of the impact: The process of creating formal legal instruments can be as important as the product. While underlying trends push towards a treaty, aspects of the interaction surrounding its creation magnify the existing momentum in important way, bolster the diffusion of ideas and knowledge, and foster new collaboration. Importantly, such a ‘process effect’ need not be incidental; the treaty creation process can be seen as an intentional strategy for policy diffusion. Underappreciating this underestimates of the effects of treaties on pro-treaty behaviors. This paper develops this argument inductively through a case study of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the first and only treaty ever created by the WHO. Relying on a multi-methods approach, we show that significant changes occurred as a result of the process, and that the idea that the process itself would serve as instrument for education, networking and policy diffusion was promoted as an objective from the start. Furthermore, these developments were not merely the result of scientific progress, inter-state activities or the formation of epistemic communities, all of which preceded the treaty process, but failed to generate the results of the process.
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