Aharoni, Sarai (2014). Internal Variation in Norm Localization: Implementing Security Council Resolution 1325 in Israel.

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The article explores the localization process of Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 (Women, Peace and Security) in Israel after the Second Intifada. An analysis of four forms of interpretation developed in 2000–2010 by local and international
  Internal Variation in Norm Localization:Implementing Security CouncilResolution 1325 in Israel Sarai B. Aharoni 1,* The article explores the localization process of Security Council Resolution (SCR)1325 (Women, Peace and Security) in Israel after the  Second Intifada.  An analysis offour forms of interpretation developed in 2000–2010 by local and internationalactors: protest, political dialog, legal reforms, and transformative actions, reveals aselective localization pattern that goes far beyond conflict-related women’s rights.This variation was linked to the nature of interactions between civil society organi-zations and governmental agencies and could be explained by two national-levelfactors: (i) despite the escalation of political violence the State of Israel continued todevelop national machineries promoting gender equality for women citizens, aprocess that minimized state dependency on international mechanisms; (ii) by usingthe universal language of SCR 1325 to construct, redefine, and reinforce  domestic  identities and interests, governmental agencies and women’s groups were in factseeking new forms of political legitimacy. I argue that the normative language ofSCR 1325 proved to be especially beneficial on the civil society level, enablingwomen’s organizations to survive the generally unfavorable domestic opportunitystructure during the  Second Intifada . However, traditional state-centered policiesand perceptions of women’s political participation remain a determining factor inexplaining their effectiveness and success. Introduction Despite the somewhat static image of a global consensus around par-ticular norms regarding women’s rights, gender equality norms comprise aunique example of the dynamic picture of norm diffusion. The history of inter-national feminism reveals how normative assumptions concerning suffrage,welfare, peace, and development were constantly negotiated by a complicatedweb of parallel and independent institutions operating on the global and locallevel. Of these institutions the role of nation-states has been the most obvious 1 Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations, Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel.*sarai.aharoni@mail.huji.ac.il  socpol: Social Politics,  Spring 2014 pp. 1–25doi: 10.1093 / sp /  jxu003 # The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com Social Politics 2014 Volume Number0 0   b  y g u e  s  t   onF  e  b r  u a r  y1  8  ,2  0 1 4 h  t   t   p :  /   /   s  p . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om   and the most controversial. States bear responsibility and have the institutionalcapacity to advance universal standards of gender equality. On the other hand,in many cases it is the centrality of governmental structures and nationalismthat produce discriminatory discourses, practices, and laws that perpetuatewomen’s marginalization. In the post-Cold War era, united under the 1995Beijing World conference slogan “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” trans-national feminist advocacy networks managed to effectively cooperate onissues that have been previously linked to state-sovereignty, including security-related issues. The adoption of five Security Council Resolutions(SCR) concerning women in armed conflict known as Resolution 1325 (2000),1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), and 1960 (2010) celebrated “Genderand Peace and Security” as one of the peaks of the emerging consensus ongender and global governance, creating new institutional structures to stand-ardize, monitor, and regulate state behavior.The five resolutions are classified as thematic resolutions, adopted underChapter VI and are considered as “soft law” of noncoercive nature (Tryggestad2009). Although Resolution 1325 (and 1889) take a somewhat differentapproach toward the issue of gender and armed conflict than Resolution 1820(and 1880), particularly with regards to rape as a “war tactic,” their normativeframework remains consistent. Interlinking three elements, women’s partici-pation, the gendered nature of conflict, and women’s post-conflict priorities,this normative framework sees the exclusion of women from official decision-making processes as part of a vicious circle that renders their voices,conflict-related experiences and concrete needs invisible.Assuming that security-related norms are more difficult to localize thanother gender-equality norms, the primary goal of this study is to provide anempirically based analysis of state and nonstate actors’ interpretations of SCR 1325 in the Israeli context during 2000–2010. Based upon a survey of variousdocuments including Parliament protocols, governmental reports, UN officialdocuments, media coverage, and independent publications by national andinternational NGOs in Hebrew and English, I present an analysis of competing actions and interpretations to the Resolution. By positioning the nation-state atthe center of norm diffusion efforts, I examine how various collective claims tosolve women’s human rights issues and gender inequality contest state author-ity, bargain with it and transform it.Three key assumptions form the basis for my analysis. First, that nationalcontexts shape the way local women’s movements influence and are influencedby global women’s movements, the possibility for change in women’s rights, aswell as the choice of strategies, timing, and priorities in adopting internationalnorms (Tripp 2006). Second, that due to its declarative nature, SCR 1325 isonly partially a  regulative norm  (i.e., a norm that establishes recognized stand-ards and constrains behavior), but rather a  constitutive norm  that defines theidentity of actors, especially states and women’s groups on the civil society andtransnational level. Third, that the escalation of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict 2  S.B. Aharoni   b  y g u e  s  t   onF  e  b r  u a r  y1  8  ,2  0 1 4 h  t   t   p :  /   /   s  p . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om   in October 2000, which corresponded with the adoption of SCR 1325, makesIsrael a good case study for a simultaneous analysis that focuses on the local(inward-looking) and on the global dynamics of norm diffusion as reciprocaland interconnected processes.After a brief review of scholarship about the role of states and nonstateactors in the diffusion and localization of SCR 1325, I move to explain theparadox of women’s insecurity after the outbreak of the  Second Intifada . Thefollowing sections supply an overview of four types of activities initiated by multi-level actors within Israel which represent a gradual and incrementaladaptation process of international norms. I conclude with asserting thatdespite the holistic approach of the Resolution which interconnected notionsof “participation,” “protection,” and “mainstreaming” (Gumru and Fritz 2009;Tryggestad 2009; Bell and O’Rourke 2010), Israeli discourses about Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) have adopted a much wider and instrumental inter-pretation that goes far beyond conflict-related women’s rights to includegender equality, diversity, and anti-sexual harassment campaigns.Similar to other case studies on the implementation of SCR 1325, my inter-pretation of the tactical and ideological choices that women’s groups havemade while adapting the resolutions’ framework to the Israeli context revealsthe possible benefits of ambiguous language in promoting local ownership of gender norms (McLeod 2011; Joachim and Schneiker 2012). However, this study goes beyond identifying the already recognized complications of translat-ing global norms into local settings. Its standpoint diverges from the morecommon top-down approach that identifies SCR 1325 as a manifestation of  shared   global feminist interests or as a “prescription” for actual policies andinstitutional reforms. Rather, it seeks to understand the role of   difference   inlocalization patterns and ask about the way new sets of feminist dilemmas andantagonisms are triggered through this process. Taking this claim one stepforward, I argue that since women’s rights are still “bound to the state” and assuch they intersect with national, ethnic, or religious identities, the currentstage in this norm’s life-cycle poses a complex dilemma for local women’srights advocates who are forced to navigate between global expectations andlocal practices concerning WPS. Localizing SCR 1325: The Role of State and Non-stateActors The process by which norms are framed as shared global standards, carriedby different actors and become institutionalized through domestic laws andenforcement mechanisms, has been at the center of International Relationsscholarship. The complex picture of global norm diffusion produced variousexplanations to the ways norms migrate across borders and diffused withinnational governing institutions. From “norm life-cycle” theories, that stress Internal Variation in Norm Localization  3   b  y g u e  s  t   onF  e  b r  u a r  y1  8  ,2  0 1 4 h  t   t   p :  /   /   s  p . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om   three main stages: Emergence, institutionalization, and internalization(Finnemore and Sikkink 1998); through spiral models about domestic changeand resistance (Risse, Ropp, and Sikkink 1999); to discursive approaches thatview norms as performative and repetitive actions, anchored in language thatlead to similar forms of institutionalization (Krook and True 2012). Withinthis literature, the aspect of “norm localization,” which is the most advancedphase of norm translation, is probably the hardest to explain. According toAcharya (2004) “localization is the active construction (through discourse,framing, grafting, and cultural selection) of foreign ideas by local actors, whichresults in the latter developing significant congruence with local beliefs andpractices” (245). Since diffusion involves local ownership, i.e., the making of foreign ideas consistent with local value systems, it may involve considerablereframing of global normative frameworks.Three important patterns of diffusion should be noted. First, Finnemoreand Sikkink (1998) observed that domestic “norm entrepreneurs” who advo-cate a minority position can use international norms to strengthen their stancein domestic debates. This “two-level norm game” in which domestic and inter-national norm systems are increasingly linked, they argue, is apparent espe-cially at the early stage of a norm’s life cycle. Second, two national-level factorsprovide explanations for cross-national variations in norm diffusion: (i) thedomestic salience of a norm and (ii) the structural context within which thedomestic policy debate occurs (Risse et al. 1999; Cortell and Davis 2000). Third, that broad and ambiguous normative assertions spread more success-fully than specific demands and prescriptions, or as explained by  Krook andTrue (2012) “norms that spread across the international system  tend to be vague  , enabling their content to be filled in many ways and thereby to beappropriated for a variety of different purposes”. Adding to the notion thatnorms themselves are dynamic, constructivist IR scholars have pointed to thedistinction between regulative and constitutive dimensions of norms, and theirpossible effects on norm localization patterns. While regulative norms establishrecognized standards and constrain behavior (restricting violence, stabilizing possession, maintaining global order), constitutive norms define the  identity   of actors and can also establish new actors, interests, and practices. These aspectsexplain why norms establish expectations about the relevancy of certain actorsin a particular environment and about how these particular actors will behave(Katzenstein 1996). For example, the regulative aspects of SCR 1325 are to befound in concrete practices, standards, and institutional mechanisms recently adopted by international bodies within the UN, the World Bank, NATO, andthe EU, meant to address women’s protection during war, their participationin conflict resolution and ensuring adequate response to their needs in post-conflict reconstruction.Advocating this approach since 2001, UNIFEM (now part of the new Entity for Gender Equality-UN Women) has “led the way in the integration of genderanalysis into conflict programming” by compiling gender-disaggregated data 4  S.B. Aharoni   b  y g u e  s  t   onF  e  b r  u a r  y1  8  ,2  0 1 4 h  t   t   p :  /   /   s  p . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om   in UN early warning systems, promoting measures for women’s participationin peace-making and supporting women in civil-society (Winslow 2009).Almost a decade later, UN Women has completed the task of identifying a listof almost thirty indicators for use at the global level to track implementation of Resolution 1325 accompanied by coherent standards of reporting and effectivesanction mechanisms (UNSCR 1889 / Par. 17).However, the constitutive aspects of SCR 1325 seem to have been evenmore successful. On the international level, the Resolution has changed theSecurity Council’s (SC) rhetoric concerning women and war, including conflict-related sexual violence, and enabled transnational women’s groups tobecome acceptable and valuable participants in UN policy-shaping processes(Cohn 2008). Also, since 2000 there is a significant rise in specific references towomen in written peace agreement, especially in processes which the UN wasinvolved as third-party mediator (Bell and O’Rourke 2010). In this institu-tional context, it has been noted that the actual production of Resolutions,reports, guidelines, indicators, and standards are acts of authority and power(Shepherd 2008) constituting both the SC  and   trans-national women’s net-works as primary actors responsible for the protection of women in war-zones.Nonetheless, a UN Secretary-General’s report from October 2004, whichinvited member states to prepare National Action Plans, indicated a develop-ment in the role that states were expected to play in the implementationprocess of SCR 1325. NAPs are designed as country-specific documents, oftenenacted with the cooperation of civil society, which provide timelines, identi-fied action and financial allocation, serving as guidelines for national govern-ments (Gumru and Fritz 2009). Although NAPs were endorsed rapidly during 2005–2012 by at least forty states, little is known about the national andregional dynamics that have led to their formation or the causes of variety intheir content and scope. A recent comparative study of the implementation of SCR 1325 in Great Britain, Sweden, and Germany has shown that SCR 1325 isbeing implemented in different ways on the national level even within the EUregional context (Joachim and Schneiker 2012). These cases indicate that mul-tiple interpretations are possible because the norm is vague, but the actual var-iation depends on the nature of the political processes leading to the adoptionof NAPs and the type of consultation with civil society organizations thatoccurred in each country. A similar study conducted in Serbia (McLoed 2011)of three WPS-related initiatives that preceded the adoption of a local NAP in2010 also links the emergence of competing interpretations to SCR 1325 withnational politics. In particular, these interpretations were shaped by the way different actors perceived Serbia’s role during the wars, the issue of justice, andthe way they imagined the “post-conflict” period. In addition, this micro-levelstudy reveals how women’s groups’ cooperation with the Serbian Ministry of Defense resulted in a growing antagonism toward the government which pre-ferred numerical representation or “quantitative equality rather than a new definition of security” (McLoed 2011, 605). Internal Variation in Norm Localization  5   b  y g u e  s  t   onF  e  b r  u a r  y1  8  ,2  0 1 4 h  t   t   p :  /   /   s  p . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om 
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