Evaluating the effectiveness of the international population regime: the politics of post-Cairo policy change in South Asia

Keesbury, Jill E.
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
This dissertation evaluates the effectiveness of the international population regime in South Asia. It does this by looking at if, how, and why national population policies changed in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh during the late 1990s to reflect the new reproductive health approach that dominated the regime's agenda following the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. This study finds that while the regime was effective in each country, meaning that the policies of each country substantively coincided with the regime's new agenda, such effectiveness was not necessarily the product of regime intervention. Instead, it is argued that this effectiveness came about as policymakers internalized the prescriptions of the international agenda, and then changed national policy to accord with such new attitudes and perceptions. The South Asian case studies demonstrate that this attitudinal change was the product of a complex series of interactions between a set of mutually constitutive influences working on both the international and national levels, only one of which was the regime itself. Based on this evaluation of regime effectiveness, as well as an historical overview of the formation and evolution of the international population regime, this dissertation also makes the larger argument that, in regimes of this type, ideas and perceptions are the dominant driving force behind regime behavior and effectiveness. By arguing both that ideas matter in understanding regime behavior and that regime effectiveness is not necessarily the product of regime intervention, this study challenges many of the dominant assumptions of the international relations literature upon which it is based. But it also offers a new model for understanding how regimes work, one that sees regimes as institutions that are formed, sustained, and given force by the power of ideas.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 449-459).
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viii, 459 leaves, bound 29 cm
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