Transnational Networks and Policy Diffusion: The Case of Gender Mainstreaming

TitleTransnational Networks and Policy Diffusion: The Case of Gender Mainstreaming
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsTrue, Jacqui, and Michael Mintrom
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Date Published03/2001

How can we account for the global diffusion of remarkably similar policy innovations across widely differing nation-states?  In this article, the authors examine the proliferation of state bureaucracies for gender mainstreaming. These organizations seek to integrate a gender-equality perspective across all areas of government policy. The authors argue that transnational networks composed largely of nonstate actors (notably women's international nongovernmental organizations and the United Nations) have been the primary forces driving the diffusion of gender mainstreaming. In an event history analysis of 157 nation-states from 1975 to 1998, the authors assess how various national and transnational factors have affected the timing and the type of the institutional changes these states have made. This article's findings support the claim that the diffusion of gender-mainstreaming mechanisms has been facilitated by the role played by transnational networks, in particular by the transnational feminist movement. Further, they suggest a major shift in the nature and the locus of global politics and national policymaking.

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