ARENA Working Papers
WP 99/5



International Institutions and Socialization*

Jeffrey T. Checkel**
ARENA, University of Oslo


Recent constructivist work on socialization by international institutions and norms marks a considerable advance. This research has moved well beyond both neorealism’s Darwinian and empirically inaccurate view of it and neoliberalism’s contractual and methodologically individualist understanding, where socialization, at most, affects agent strategies. Instead, constructivism argues and empirically documents that the effects of socialization reach deeper, to underlying identities and interests. Yet, this constructivist socialization dynamic requires further specification. In particular, it appears premised on a view of politics as social protest, where national elites are portrayed purely as reactive, calculating agents. This view is not so much wrong as incomplete: Politics is also a process of social learning, where puzzling, uncertain agents learn new interests. Untangling these two socialization mechanisms is a central challenge for constructivists; however, the pay off for doing so will be high. It will promote an empirically grounded dialogue between social constructivists, on the one hand, and rational choice theorists and students of cognitive/social psychology, on the other.


There is a specter, or, better said, buzzword haunting constructivism: socialization. This word or its close synonyms -- habitualization, teaching, internalization, depersonalization, taken for grantedness -- are invoked throughout the literature; the argument is that socialization is a (the?) key mechanism that connects international institutions and norms to states, or to groups and agents within them. My central objective here is to unpack this socialization dynamic. I argue that its usage in current research is often not clear and, furthermore, that it has led constructivists to bracket important issues of agency.

The essay proceeds in four steps. First, I consider the status of agency in recent studies of norm-driven socialization, advancing three reasons why an exploration of its possible multiple roles has been neglected. Second, constructivist, international law and sociological work on socialization by international norms is reviewed; from it, I identify two different socialization mechanisms at the national level -- social mobilization and social learning. The latter has largely been neglected in recent studies. Third, drawing upon my own work-in-progress, a study of normative socialization in contemporary East and West Europe, I empirically document the importance of both these mechanisms; the cases also highlight several evidentiary and methodological challenges that face constructivists interested in socialization dynamics. In the conclusion, I suggest three topics that deserve more attention from constructivists as they seek to delimit and specify more clearly their claims about socialization: distinguishing socialization in or by international institutions; developing so-called Ascope or boundary conditions; and elaborating a distinctively constructivist theory of action.

Agency and Socialization

In studying the relation of international institutions and norms to domestic socialization, too many constructivists continue to underspecify the role of agency, which is unfortunate. Let me be clear: The claim is not that agents are absent from analyses of norm-driven socialization -- far from it. Rather, at issue is their ontological status and a neglect of the possible multiple roles they may play in this process. Three factors explain this state of affairs. First, the structural ontology embraced by some empirical constructivists is seen as a proper corrective to the extreme agent orientation of much contemporary American political science. From this sociology of knowledge perspective, constructivism, by focusing more on the structure side of the agent-structure debate, can push IR beyond the narrow ontological confines of neorealism-neoliberalism. [1]

Second, for their thinking about the social world, many constructivists rely upon the insights of sociological institutionalism (SI). However, the latter is based upon a version of organization theory that systematically excludes questions of agency, interest and power. One critic refers to this bracketing as “the metaphysical pathos of institutional theory,” while another argues that SI is “alone among social science theories in having no explicit or formal theory of the role that individual interests and accompanying power differentials play.” [2]

To some extent, it is understandable why sociological institutionalists took this route. They were battling and seeking to rectify the excessive dominance of rationalist and materialist approaches to the study of organizations (resource dependency theory, for example). However, constructivists have failed to appreciate several of SI's more problematic aspects. Most important, it is theory of outcomes, not process. It purports to show how the broader institutional/cultural environment of organizations provides them with certain purposes/interests. [3]

Moreover, SI lacks a theory to explain how its preferred macrostructures translate into outcomes at the level of agents (organizations or individuals). As a result, it cannot distinguish whether broader institutional/cultural environments connect to actors, at the micro-level, via “logics of appropriateness” (rule-governed behavior -- SI) or “logics of consequences” (means-ends calculations -- rational choice). From SI's perspective, this particular problem is damning, especially as it has set itself up as an alternative to rational choice. Missing from sociological institutionalism -- or, better said, implicit and underspecified within it -- are cognitive microfoundations. Confusion over how to explain the micro-level effects of broader macrostructures is evident throughout the SI literature. [4]

Given their reliance on SI's theoretical insights and ontological assumptions, it comes as no surprise that one finds similar weaknesses in the work of many constructivists. Too often, these scholars have employed a theory of outcomes (SI) to explore the socialization process through which norms constitute state identity and interests. The result is a great lack of clarity on how global norms actually diffuse to the domestic arena and socialize agents.

Third and perhaps most important, these ontological/theoretical reasons for underspecifying agency’s role have been compounded by an empirical bias in constructivist work. Too often, scholars studying socialization consider only the role of international or transnational Anorm-makers; on the one hand, this is understandable and important. By helping to create norms, entrepreneurial activists, international organizations, policy networks and international NGOs are changing world politics before our eyes -- witness the amazing story of individual agency in the emerging global norm to prohibit landmines. [5]

Yet, this emphasis comes at a cost. By bracketing theoretically how norms connect with domestic Anorm-takers, constructivists have been unclear about the process through which normative socialization occurs. Put more bluntly, these researchers employing their own variant of “as if” reasoning (agents operating as if socialized by norms), to the detriment of developing process-oriented theories that capture and explain how socialization, at the agent level, really works. Equally important, this focus on norm-makers has led scholars to embrace a biased and unbalanced view of domestic politics, where normative socialization is largely driven by mobilization and protest; as argued below, this view is not so much wrong as incomplete. [6]

International Norms and Domestic Socialization: Social Mobilization and Social Learning

Here, I consider various mechanisms of socialization in work on the domestic empowerment and causal impact of norms. However, to begin, a definition and a clarification are needed. I define socialization as a Aprocess of learning in which norms and ideals are transmitted from one party to another”; the endpoint of this process, most students of political socialization would agree, is the internalization of norms. [7]

The clarification regards time scale. My concern is to explore socialization driven by exposure to international institutions and norms in the near-term -- that is, periods of days, months or perhaps a few years. Both empirical and theoretical rationales motivate such a focus. Empirically, my interest, in a larger work-in-progress, is possible normative change in contemporary, post-Cold War Europe; the particular regional norms considered are quite recent in origin. They thus present an ideal opportunity to explore how norms play into and affect what the public-policy literature would call the politics of agenda setting -- how, in other words, they first connect with domestic agents and, possibly, begin a process of socialization.

Theoretically, my short-term focus is an effort to complement other constructivist work on socialization, which typically adopts a much longer time-scale -- decades say. While this latter perspective is important for understanding how norms may enable and empower whole new categories of domestic agents or repertoires of action, the not insignificant analytic drawback is to obscure key questions of domestic agency. [8]

A review of the broader political science, sociology, transnational advocacy movements and international law literatures reveals two different mechanisms that lead to norm-driven socialization at the domestic level: social protest and social learning. The former comes in two variants. A first argues that domestic social actors such as NGOs, trade unions or the like exploit international norms to generate pressure on state decisionmakers or to reframe the terms of debate, and do so in relative isolation from broader transnational ties. Here, empirical examples are typically drawn from the industrialized West, with the argument apparently being that these well established and, in some cases, militarily powerful states are less susceptible to transnational pressures. [9]

Recently, a more sophisticated variant of the protest dynamic has been elaborated. In this case, non-state actors and policy networks, at both the national and transnational level, are united in their support for norms; they then mobilize and coerce decisionmakers to change state policy. Norms are typically not internalized by the elites. The activities of Greenpeace exemplify this political pressure mechanism. [10]

In terms of agent socialization, what is occurring in this protest dynamic? For elites, the answer seems clear: Norms are simply a behavioral constraint and not internalized. Their socialization effects are thus best captured by standard rationalist models (regime theory or neoliberal institutionalism in IR), which view social structures in this behavioral, constraining sense. At the grass-roots, activist, NGO-level, systematic effects of normative socialization are much less clear. In some cases, norms seem genuinely to constitute these agents in the sense meant by constructivists, with the former providing actors with new understandings of interest/identity. However, in many other instances, norms “socialize” in ways better captured by rationalist arguments -- for example, by creating focal points in the domestic arena, or simply being used instrumentally by agents (NGOs, say) to advance given interests. [11]

Work on this social mobilization dynamic also contains an implicit three-fold bias against the state and state decisionmakers. Normatively, elite policymakers are portrayed as bad; empirically, they are viewed as passive and reactive; ontologically, they are viewed solely as calculating agents. Consider the forthcoming Risse, Ropp and Sikkink volume that explores the connection between international human rights norms and domestic socialization. Their starting point is the “boomerang” model elaborated by Keck and Sikkink, whereby recalcitrant state elites are caught in a vise of transnational and domestic social mobilization. Here, the preferences of elites do not change at early stages; rather, the focus is their changing behaviors and strategies. Temporally expanding the model, Risse, et al, argue that at later points in the process (perhaps five years to a decade), elites become less reactive and, indeed, may internalize new preferences. While, analytically, this is an important step forward, it is unclear why state decisionmakers get to play this (more intelligent) role only after an initial “softening up” by networks and activists. [12]

These two variants of the mobilization/protest mechanism have received more attention in studies of norm-driven socialization. In part, this is understandable. The shaming activities of Greenpeace or Amnesty International, say, are very much in the public and scholarly eye, and undoubtedly play a major role socializing domestic agents. Yet, the danger in overemphasizing this particular mechanism is not only empirical (missing other possible normative effects at the national level), but ontological. It overlooks the obvious fact that political/state agents do not simply or always calculate how to advance given interests; in many cases, they seek to discover those interests in the first place, and do so prior to significant social mobilization.

In fact, the broader literature points to just such a dynamic, in what I call a social learning mechanism. Here, it is not political pressure but learning that leads agents to adopt prescriptions embodied in norms, which become internalized in the near-term and constitute a set of shared intersubjective understandings that make behavioral claims. This process appears to be based on notions of complex learning drawn from cognitive and social psychology, where individuals, when exposed to the prescriptions embodied in norms, adopt new interests. I say “appears” because scholars have remained vague on the precise cognitive model underlying this type of socialization. [13]

Four points should be made on this social learning mechanism. First, its socialization dynamic is different from that of the social mobilization/protest studies: It is not civil society or grass-roots activists doing the domestic agenda setting, but often elites and state officials. Such a process only strikes one as odd because constructivists have for the most part ignored it; yet, it is entirely plausible. Empirically, there still exist many polities in which civil society is largely disenfranchised; and, even where enfranchised, there are still many issues in which it takes little interest. Theoretically, Hugh Heclo in the comparative literature, and John Ruggie, Emanuel Adler and Ernie Haas within international relations, remind us that politicians and elites are not always bad, dumb bureaucrats who only “power”; rather, they also “puzzle.” [14]

Second, organizational/decisionmaking research and more recent work on epistemic communities suggest these agents puzzle because they are engaged in cognitive information searches. Typically, it is policy failure or an uncertain policy environment that trigger such searches, and not dynamics of social protest or mobilization. As a result, the strategies and, perhaps, underlying preferences of these agents are in flux. If it is only strategies at stake, then the process of agent socialization can be modeled as so-called simple learning: Agents acquire new information from the norm and alter strategies to pursue given ends. If underlying preferences are being reformulated, then social/complex learning seems the more appropriate model: Agents acquire new understandings of interests/identities when exposed to the norm’s prescriptions. [15]

Third, constructivists invoking this learning mechanism as the means of agent socialization provide inadequate evidence to document such claims. Consider two examples, the first of which comes from Finnemore’s excellent book. Lacking field work at the national level, it is impossible to tell how the norms she studies are socializing national actors (“teach,” in her words). More recently, Dick Price has explored the emerging prohibitionary norm against the use of anti-personnel mines, where his principal analytic goal is to examine how norms socialize states -- in particular, the mechanisms and processes through which this occurs. Throughout this important study, Price refers to teaching, learning and persuasion as fundamental to socialization; yet, these concepts are never operationalized in a way that allows for systematic empirical testing. [16]

Fourth, lurking in the background of this learning dynamic is an element of power/coercion often missed in constructivist accounts, where domestic agents accept norms when they are hegemonically imposed. This particular socialization mechanism is captured nicely by consequentialist theories of action, with calculating agents strategically adapting to prevailing international understandings. Constructivist work on human-rights norms has documented precisely such a near-term socialization dynamic in a number of less powerful countries -- Argentina, for example. [17]

Summary. The foregoing documents two mechanisms of domestic socialization driven by international institutions and norms. On the one hand, norms can heighten levels of social mobilization and contention, as societal actors exploit them to pressure elites and reframe the terms of debate; in the jargon, they empower. On the other, norms may also “teach old dogs new tricks,” as they help agents discover or learn what, precisely, their preferences are in the first place. When these agents are state elites, such learning may re-empower them as well, as their cognitive horizons expand. However, proponents of this latter mechanism have been remiss in theorizing and documenting the actual process undergirding socialization. [18]

Aside from the ontological and theoretical reasons noted earlier, these last-noted lacunae have likely arisen because too much constructivist research has focused on a particular policy area when exploring the relation between international institutions and domestic socialization: human rights. Clearly, this area is important -- all the more so because mainstream IR has for the most part ignored it. Yet, it is unique in three respects, making generalizations suspect. For one, the global human-rights regime -- both at the regional and, increasingly, universal level -- is one of the strongest normative systems in effect today. It is thus precisely a most likely case for the social mobilization/protest mechanism that one sees stressed in much constructivist work. In addition, it truly is a policy area where, for the most part, the good civil society - bad state dichotomy implicit in many accounts does hold. Finally, the gradual evolution and institutionalization of the global human rights system throughout the Cold War years has led many constructivists studying its national-level impact to adopt a similar long-term perspective, which has had the unfortunate effect of bracketing how normative socialization plays out in the near-term. [19]

Regional Norms and the Dynamics of Domestic Socialization in Pan-Europe

This section is a first-cut at rectifying several of the biases discussed above. It seeks to distill from my own work-in-progress insights on how norm-driven socialization at the domestic level works in the near-term. A second concern is to demonstrate that methods and techniques do exist for exploring the micro-level in this socialization process. I begin with a brief review of the regional norms of interest here; next, methodological issues at the agent (norm taker) level are addressed. Third and most important, I provide illustrative evidence of normative socialization in three countries: unified Germany, independent Ukraine and Post-Soviet Russia.

Emerging European Norms of Citizenship/Membership. Questions of membership have become central to the construction of identity in post-Cold War Europe. Laws on citizenship and national minorities create fundamental categories and distinctions. Is the membership principle jus sanguinis (citizenship passed along blood lines) or jus soli (citizenship accorded to anyone born on state territory)? What rights do states grant to migrants? Are they viewed as citizens-in-waiting or aliens? How are national minorities treated? Are they urged to assimilate or is their separateness recognized? All these issues are matters of public debate in a wide range of European countries.

I address these questions by exploring the normative context affecting the construction of identity. Contemporary Europe, with its institutionally thick environment, is a likely setting for the promotion of norms. Moreover, the last decade has seen a significant increase in scholarly and non-governmental organization interest in citizenship and minority rights. These discussions have advanced to the point where specific propositions -- for example, on the desirability of dual citizenship -- have gained wide backing. [20]

Proponents of such arguments have linked them to the norms of the European human rights regime centered on the Council of Europe (CE). Far from being a passive player in this process, the Council has actively influenced it, seeking to create shared understandings of citizenship and the rights of minorities. In December, 1994, it adopted a Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities; in November 1997, the Council approved a European Convention on Nationality that addresses issues of citizenship and immigrant naturalization. The former promotes norms on the legitimacy of minority rights and identities; until now, such a consensus had never existed at the European level. Council officials see the Framework Convention's most important function precisely as a tool for exerting normative pressure. As one put it, the “important thing is that countries accepting it, promise to implement its principles -- and know the spotlight will be turned on them if they fail to do so.” [21]

The European Convention on Nationality revises norms on citizenship that were embodied in a 1963 Council-sponsored treaty. On the question of multiple nationality (often referred to as dual citizenship [DC]), this earlier treaty had taken an explicitly negative view: Dual citizenship was something to be prevented. It thus privileged state interests; from the vantage point of the state, dual citizenship was bad news, leading to split loyalties and complicating military service obligations. Seeking to exploit a growing awareness among scholars, NGOs and European governments that multiple nationality is often necessary and desirable, the new convention takes a neutral view on dual citizenship. In reality, however, this neutrality, by removing the earlier explicit negative sanction, is designed to pressure states to be much more open to multiple nationality. [22]

The mid-1990s have thus witnessed an accelerating period of normative change. The old, anti-DC understanding has eroded, being replaced by a European-level norm that is neutral to slightly positive on questions of multiple nationality. More generally, earlier, restrictive (ethnic) European understandings of national membership are now competing with norms promoting more inclusive conceptions (civic). This contention between old and new will come as no surprise to constructivists: They have identified norm contestation as typical of periods when older norms are being replaced by new ones. [23]

Methods: Talking to People, Reading Things and Institutionalization. Recall that my empirical concern is to document the process through which these emerging regional norms are connecting with domestic agents, that is, how normative socialization begins. The basic method is process-tracing, where one seeks “to investigate and explain the decision process by which various initial conditions are translated into outcomes [socialization, in this case].” I operationalize the method through use of three techniques. [24]

First, I interview participants in contemporary policy debates, seeking to ascertain their awareness of emerging European norms on membership and citizenship, and, more important, how they respond to them. In all instances, I utilized a similar interview protocol, starting with the general: “How, if at all, does German-Ukrainian-Russian national identity relate to the country's citizenship policies?” “Are you aware of European-level work on such issues?” “If so, how did you become aware of these norms -- media coverage, network participation, professional associations, personal contacts, etc?” These were followed by more specific questions, for example: “How do these norms affect your thinking about and work on citizenship/membership?” “Do they prompt you to rethink the issue, and, if so, why?” “Do you see them as tools in political battles, and, if so, in what ways?”

My questions were designed to tap an individual's basic beliefs about citizenship/membership and what might be motivating him/her to change them. On the latter, I gave interviewees several possibilities, including both their own cognitive uncertainty as well as external social pressure. I also suggested answers that addressed materialist incentives (changing citizenship practice might allow more immigrants to access a decreasing social-welfare pie), as well as identity concerns (changing citizenship practice would dilute the Germanness -- say -- of the country).

Second, as a supplement and check on interview data, I carry out a content analysis of major media and specialist publications (international law journals, reports produced by the NGO community, for example). This not only allowed for checking the beliefs and motivations of particular individuals (when that person was both an interviewee and participant in public debates); equally important, it helped me determine the general public discourse about citizenship.

Third, I model a key temporal dimension: the evolution of domestic norms regarding citizenship and minority rights. Why this particular focus? Given my interest in normative socialization of domestic agents, I thought it important also to ask what might create barriers to such processes. My hunch -- inspired by sociological theoretical logic and accumulating constructivist-ideational empirical research -- was that an important barrier would be historically constructed domestic identity norms, which could act as a filter preventing agent socialization by regional/systemic norms. Drawing upon institutionalist insights, I argue that these domestic norms gain particular staying power and political influence when they become institutionalized. Institutionalization is measured through indicators that are both bureaucratic (norms embedded in organizations) and legal (norms incorporated into judicial codes, laws and constitutions). [25]

Together, these three techniques allow for a degree of triangulation when assessing the degree to which, and through what mechanism(s), domestic agents are being socialized by new regional norms, thus increasing confidence in the validity of my results. This use of process-tracing along with a consideration of counterfactual explanations, where appropriate, allow me to minimize reliance on “as if” assumptions at the national level (agents acting, speaking as if influenced, socialized by norms). [26]

The Federal Republic of Germany. In my German field work (as well as that for Ukraine and Russia), I look for evidence of normative socialization at various levels in the polity -- among elite decisionmakers, in the legislature, trade unions, political parties, NGOs, immigrant/minority groups, for example. My logic was straightforward: To examine whether the two dominant international --> domestic socialization pathways invoked in earlier research were at work, and in what combination. An additional concern was to unpack and explore the role of agency in each pathway.

The examples given below are just that -- examples and not fully elaborated case studies. Instead, I am drawing upon -- and, in some cases, reassessing -- my own previously published work to document that norm-driven socialization at the national level is both a politics of contention/mobilization and a process of learning, thus expanding the constructivist tool kit in this area. Methodologically, in terms of outcomes -- that is, did norm-driven socialization lead to changes in conceptions of identity/citizenship -- the following also suggests the crucial importance of employing counterfactual analysis. [27]

Socialization and German Identity - I: History Matters. As discussed earlier, European norms on citizenship and membership are evolving. They are moving in a more inclusive direction, with emphasis on broadened understandings of both citizenship and the rights of national minorities; in particular, these CE norms promote inclusion by facilitating dual citizenship. In Germany, dual citizenship would promote the assimilation of the large foreigner population. In most cases, present German law requires immigrants and foreigners to give up their original citizenship if they wish to seek it in Germany; this is an obstacle to integration since many do not wish to sever all ties to their homeland. The importance of dual citizenship for large parts of the foreigner community is so great that they acquire it through illegal methods that contravene German law. [28]

The lack of fit between these changing regional norms and understandings of identity and citizenship held by many Germans is significant. While there are clear historical reasons why these understandings took hold in Germany, the important point is that they have been reinforced over time and are now rooted in domestic laws and institutions. Legal and bureaucratic indicators as well as textual analysis and interview data all suggest the embedded nature of these domestic norms. [29]

To give one example: The German citizenship statute, as of early 1999, continues to be based on a “Law on Imperial and State Citizenship” that dates from 1913, and an ethnic conception of identity is maintained throughout the German legal system -- notably in Article 116 (1) of the Basic Law, the post-war German constitution. Indeed, the ethnic core of the 1913 citizenship law is reproduced in the Basic Law via a so-called “Nationalstaatsprinzip” (the Nation-State Principle), which makes very clear that there is a material core (that is, blood ties) connecting a citizen and his/her nation. As one analyst has noted, this basic principle, despite minor modifications over the years, “remains effective until [the] present.” [30]

Why bother with this history and background? For a simple -- theoretical -- reason: Work on “role conflict” in cognitive/social psychology and on “cultural matches” in sociology strongly suggests that, when one studies the spread of norms, a crucial variable affecting their ability to spark dynamics of contention or learning will be the normative environment into which they diffuse. In particular, for cases like the German one, where there is a degree of mismatch between regional and domestic norms, one should expect heightened levels of normative contestation and a short-circuiting of social learning as agents find themselves in multiple (domestic, regional) institutional settings that evoke conflicting roles. At a cognitive level, greater numbers of these agents should experience framing and dissonance problems. [31]

Socialization and German Identity - I I: Social Mobilization. Recent years have witnessed an explosion of social protest and mobilization on questions of citizenship and the situation of foreigners in Germany, with key roles being played by the liberal media, churches, trade unions, grassroots citizens' initiatives, and the commissioners for foreigners' affairs.

Here, I present two examples of such mobilization, documenting the extent to which CE/European norms promote and facilitate it, and, at a micro-level, exploring how these norms connect to domestic agents. To begin, the churches have been one important social force helping to mobilize pressure and peaceful protest. In recent years, the governing bodies of the Protestant, Evangelical and Catholic denominations have called for Germany to adopt an immigration and integration policy for its resident foreigners, including acceptance of dual citizenship and a move to greater elements of jus soli in German law. In Berlin, the Evangelical church has produced flyers on dual citizenship; these make the case for it by referring, among other factors, to emerging European norms and recent work by the Council of Europe. In the best corporatist tradition, the churches have also sought to make their views known by participating in conferences and policy networks on issues of foreigners' rights. [32]

In a second example, one sees the broader public -- in the form of a grassroots citizens' initiative -- playing a key role. Seizing upon a policy window created by the surge in anti-foreigner violence that accompanied German unification, a group of activists based in Berlin orchestrated, beginning in 1992, an initiative that was specifically focused on the need for dual citizenship in German law; it gathered over 1 million signatures from a broad array of public figures. It was a textbook example of how to mobilize public pressure on a specific policy issue. The campaign coordinated its actions with other social actors (specifically, the Evangelical Church), collected signatures from prominent German academics and public figures, and secured free publicity for the initiative in the centrist-liberal German press (Der Spiegel, Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Berliner Zeitung, among others). [33]

Moreover, the existence of European understandings favoring inclusive conceptions of citizenship played an important role in the campaign. Signature collectors pointed to the presence of such norms, and, more generally, the initiative distributed an information sheet noting that Germany's refusal to recognize multiple nationality made it “an international exception.” [34]

These examples confirm what much of the constructivist literature has already documented: that norms can help spark a politics of contention and social mobilization. Yet, exactly how, at the agent level, did this occur? My interviewing and fieldwork reveal a mixed picture. In the majority of cases (trade unions, press, churches), these social agents are using CE norms to pursue given ends; they are an additional tool which can be instrumentally used to generate pressure on government policymakers. Parts of the socialization dynamic, in other words, were consistent with key elements of a more enlightened rational-choice argument.

On the last point, let me be clear. The claim is not that these agents were pursuing material interests. (Although, this may have been true in some cases.) Rather, I am suggesting that the behavioral logic was consistent with a so-called “thin” rationalist account, where the goals pursued may be non-material (normative values, say), but the underlying theory of action is still consequentialist -- means-ends -- in nature. [35]

Yet, at the same time, several societal actors in Germany have acquired new interests via exposure to Council norms -- through a process of social learning where the underlying behavioral logic is not in any serious way consequentialist. Such agents are typically newer ones who are thus still developing preferences on the citizenship issue. This was clearly the case with several of the immigrant activists interviewed. Of the two Berlin groups studied, the older, well-established one, the Tuerkische Gemeinde zu Berlin, cares little about emerging European norms; its preferences are largely fixed and, moreover, it is committed to working within existing political structures. In contrast, the newer NGO, the Tuerkischer Bund in Berlin/Brandenburg, is run by younger Turks who are activists inclined to work outside the normal Bonn-Berlin politics; moreover, they are genuinely puzzling over specific ways in which Germany’s conceptions/laws on citizenship can be changed. Thus, normative socialization in the social learning sense is much more evident with them. [36]

Socialization and German Identity - III: Social Learning. Beyond the above, there is additional evidence of learning from norms among a number of elites and decisionmakers; in several cases, this occurred prior to the social mobilization dynamics sketched above. Put differently, active puzzling by state elites -- and not reactive calculation, as portrayed in most accounts -- is an additional socialization dynamic at work in the Federal Republic.

Consider one example: The so-called “young, wild ones” in the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). This is a group of younger Christian Democratic Bundestag deputies who advocate, contra the wishes of Party elders, major reforms to German citizenship laws. In particular, they favor granting DC, for a limited period of approximately 18 years, to children born in Germany of foreigner parents. [37]

Why this behavior? As they are politicians, an obvious explanation would be instrumental self-interest: It is a way of advancing their political careers within the party. However, leading CDU figures still vehemently oppose any move toward DC, with former Chancellor Kohl declaring that “if we were to yield on the question of double citizenship, then in a short time we would have not three million, but four, five or six million Turks in our land.” Tellingly, the Chancellor made this angry statement at a meeting of the CDU Youth Union, where the young, wild ones enjoy a measure of support. Career advancement thus does not seem to explain their actions. [38]

A more likely explanation is learning from emerging norms. In their own writings and interviews, the wild ones and their supporters in the Party argue that they are seeking to bring German policy into line with “European standards”; in a similar fashion, they claim to be “fitting German citizenship law to the European context.” Altmaier and Roettgen, two of the group's leaders, refer to extensive discussions with foreigners organizations and churches and how these exchanges have influenced their views on DC. And, as noted earlier, it is precisely immigrant NGOs and churches who have played key roles in diffusing changing European norms on DC to the Federal Republic. [39]

Now, to the extent that these politicians are reacting to earlier social mobilization, my account is partly consistent with the more sophisticated norms/protest argument developed by scholars such as Risse and Sikkink. Yet, their learning seems to have come about less through mobilization and confrontation, where agents respond to external pressures, and more through dialogue and persuasion, where agents “respond” to their own cognitive uncertainty -- points to which I return in the conclusion.

For each instance of learning of this sort at the state level, however, one finds many cases of non-learning as well. That is, other elite players have a radically different conception of German identity, a more exclusive one that appears shaped by dominant domestic norms; in turn, these hinder and slow any learning process. In this regard, it is telling that opponents of change often cast their arguments in terms of “Germanness” and “national identity,” sometimes explicitly referring to the 1913 citizenship statute. Some might claim this is simply political posturing, where notions of identity are invoked as a cover for self interest. In this case, there are problems with such an argument. It is not at all clear whose economic or electoral interests are being served given the growing public consensus on the need to integrate the large foreigner population. These opponents also make use of the broader European context to buttress their arguments, often pointing to the norms of an earlier, 1963 Council of Europe treaty that essentially prohibited dual nationality. [40]

The foregoing leads to an important observation. Norms do not only create new opportunities, generate contention and empower social movements; they can also be a resource for state elites. Above, I suggested how regional norms facilitated social learning among puzzling agents. Here, they serve as a very different kind of resource, with elites exploiting older norms (those in the 1963 treaty) to advance given interests. All this suggests the analytic danger in “reading the state out” of normative socialization, or, more specifically, in portraying state agents only and always as passive actors in this process.

Indeed, the active resistance and non-learning of governmental elites in Germany led to a situation where, despite the social mobilization documented above, there was little evidence of wide-ranging socialization or of rapid policy change during the early and mid-1990s -- particularly on the issue of dual citizenship. With the exception of some minor changes to citizenship statutes enacted in 1993 that affected children of foreigners, the pace of change was slow and contested, with five rounds of Bundestag debate, over a three-year period, ending in deadlock and recrimination. [41]

Socialization and German Identity - IV: Regional Norms Triumphant? At this point, the knowledgeable reader may exclaim “wait a minute”! Surely, this deadlocked state of affairs changed dramatically after the September 1998 federal elections, when the CDU/CSU coalition was replaced by a Social Democratic Party (SPD) - Green one. As of this writing (early February 1999), the new government is within days of legislating the most far-reaching changes to Germany’s nationality laws since the 1913 citizenship statute was enacted. Among other liberalizing proposals, these will allow dual citizenship, albeit most likely for a limited period, after which immigrants must choose German nationality or that of their “home” country. From the standpoint of the arguments advanced in this paper, these changes raise two important issues: (1) do they herald a dramatic shift in the socialization dynamics sketched earlier; and (2) are they evidence of victory for the social movements that have for so long pushed for such reforms -- that is, of socialization promoted by a politics of protest and contention? [42]

On the former, both socialization mechanisms that link European norms to German politics -- social mobilization and social learning -- still appear to be at work. To cite one example: German NGOs, the liberal press and immigrant groups, since late fall 1998 (that is, after the federal election), have intensified their pressure campaign -- again pointing to the laws of other countries and changing European norms to make the case for fundamental reforms of German citizenship/identity conceptions. [43]

There is also additional evidence of social learning. SPD leader and Finance Minister Oskar Lafontaine, for example, has recently argued that a central goal in allowing dual citizenship in the Federal Republic is “to europeanize German nationality law.” However, as before, other agents continue to exploit, in a proactive way, different European norms and practices to advance their own -- unchanging -- views on citizenship; this is especially true for members of the CDU/CSU opposition. Most important, they have announced plans to challenge, in the German Constitutional Court and European Court of Justice, the constitutionality of any move toward dual citizenship, arguing that it would contravene norms embedded in both German tradition and the Maastricht Treaty’s European citizenship provisions. [44]

Theoretically, recent events confirm the relevance of my earlier discussion of role conflict and cultural matches, with historically constructed and ethnic conceptions of German identity clashing with new, emergent and more civic understandings. Indeed, the SPD/Green citizenship reform proposals have both intensified this clash and revealed its deeper, underlying normative dimension. The result has been a wide-ranging public debate in Germany unlike any -- with the exception of those over the Holocaust -- seen in many years. It is a heated and impassioned disagreement over the normative constitution of what it means to be German. For sure, some of the rhetoric is just that: Rhetoric employed strategically in an ongoing political contest. However, in many other cases, it goes beyond this, to what Free Democratic Party (FDP) general secretary Westerwelle has called “immigration policies from the gut” -- that is, behavior driven not by politics and strategizing, but by more fundamental identity conceptions. [45]

This said, one still needs to address the second issue raised above: Are the recent changes evidence of the power of norm-driven socialization, especially through a politics of protest and mobilization? After all, there is a striking correlation between the content of the SPD/Green proposals, on the one hand, and the prescriptions embedded in emerging European norms and the reforms earlier advocated by numerous groups/movements in Germany, on the other. Yet, correlation is not causation, and while my research is still very much in progress, I am skeptical of any strong claims along these lines. For one, the shift in policy also correlates with a rather dramatic changeover at the elite level. SPD Chancellor Schroeder is not simply a “third way,” Blairite social democrat; equally important, he signals the arrival in power of a truly post-war generation of German politicians. And generational change of this sort is often a key causal variable behind radical policy shifts, especially at the ideational/normative level highlighted here. [46]

More important, it is crucially important, from a methodological perspective, to ask the counterfactual: Absent the development of new regional norms and absent domestic social mobilization, would liberalizing changes to conceptions of citizenship in any case be occurring in a modern industrial democracy such as Germany? That is, would it look like socialization had occurred when it fact it had not? While it is beyond the limits of the present paper to conduct a thorough analysis of this sort, there are reasons to expect that the answer might be “yes.” For example, it has been persuasively argued that immigration/nationality policy in liberal states has an in-built bias towards becoming more expansionist and inclusive over time: It is dominated by client politics, where small and often well-organized employer, human-rights and ethnic groups work with state officials outside public view to promote more inclusive membership policies. While the sentiment of the general public is typically anti-immigration, this interest is diffuse; in contrast, the interests of immigrant advocacy groups tend to be concentrated. Collective action problems thus explain: (a) the public’s inability to bring about more restrictive change; and (b) why the preferences of the better organized liberal interest groups tend to prevail. [47]

Indeed, the very process of exploring this counterfactual helps me sharpen the argument. In particular, I would reconcile the three causal strands identified above -- social mobilization and social learning spurred by regional norms, generational turnover and client politics -- in the following manner. For one, it is very likely that the SPD election victory and accompanying generational shift simply accelerated a process of change that was already under way, due to the mobilization and learning dynamics sketched earlier. Moreover, the “concentrated interests” of the advocacy groups engaged in client politics were likely more “mobilizeable” due to the existence of new regional norms, and, in some cases, learned in the first place via exposure to them.

My more general point is that detailed process tracing along with careful consideration of counterfactuals are crucial components of any argument about norm-driven socialization. Use of both techniques will allow students of socialization to delimit more carefully the scope of their explanatory claims, thus stimulating dialogue with theoretical opponents. [48]

Socialization and Ukrainian Identity. In Ukraine, one is immediately struck by the small role of protest and mobilization as a mechanism of norm-driven socialization; CE norms have mattered most at the elite/state level, where the demand for new principles and norms has been high. Now, perhaps this result is skewed by the absence of a key independent variable: transnational networks promoting normative change. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Since 1989 and, in many cases, long before, human-rights practices in post-Soviet states -- including Ukraine -- have been targeted by a wide range of actors: international organizations such as the CE, OSCE and, more recently, the European Union; numerous international NGOs; and wealthy industrialized democracies who have crafted assistance programs specifically designed to empower new social actors in these transition polities. Thus, in principle, the network was in place to spur socialization through a process of contention and mobilization. [49]

However, the latter has not occurred. Instead, due primarily to the efforts of a small number of individuals and units within the state, Ukrainian discourse and law on citizenship and rights issues have changed in ways consistent with emerging CE norms on national membership. In contrast to many other post-Soviet states (the Baltics, say), Ukraine has moved to create a civic definition of citizenship. This inclusive conception of national identity has helped policymakers craft one of the more liberal minority-rights regimes in the former Soviet area. A decree and a law on national minorities that permit a high degree of cultural autonomy have been promulgated. In addition, civic conceptions of citizenship and minority rights are explicitly embraced in the new constitution adopted in June 1996. [50]

Three factors -- two institutional and one idiosyncratic -- were key in promoting this process of socialization “from above.” First, there was the establishment in June, 1993, of an Interdepartmental Commission for Questions of Ukraine's Admission to the Council of Europe. It was based at the Foreign Ministry and headed by then First Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Tarasyuk. The Commission came to play a major role on citizenship and rights issues; within it, Tarasyuk was a progressive force. Those who dealt with Tarasyuk described a creative thinker who encouraged subordinates to seek out new ideas and approaches. His own unclear preferences led him to use the Commission as a vehicle for soliciting a wide range of advice on rights issues within Ukraine as well as from the international community. [51]

Second, the head of the Citizenship Division within the Presidential Administration, turned out, largely by chance, to be a liberal-minded former academic: Petro Chaliy. Chaliy and those he gathered around him were very open to regional norms and the prescriptions they embodied. Their learning mattered because in the top-heavy Ukrainian state, the presidential administration -- even more so than post-Soviet Russia -- plays a dominant role in policymaking. [52]

According to Ukrainian participants in the work of both Tarasyuk’s Commission and Chaliy’s Division, Council of Europe expertise and the norms it promotes were central to shaping nationality laws and policies. Several components of the minorities law, for example, are modelled on the Council's European Convention on Human Rights. Process tracing of this sort allows me to move beyond correlations and establish a causal role for Council norms. More important, it reveals the mechanism empowering norms in the Ukrainian domestic arena: learning. Tarasyuk and Chaliy are examples of moral entrepreneurs -- individuals open to learning from new norms and willing to promote them. Moreover, the promoters of these norms were not activists external to the state utilizing a politics of contention/mobilization, but regional experts (mainly from the CE) engaged in a calm dialogue within state structures. [53]

Third, pre-existing institutional structure played a central, causal role in promoting the success of this norm-driven social learning, and did so in two ways. For one, the autonomous nature of Ukrainian state institutions, which lessoned the amount of political friction to which administrative elites were exposed, gave agents like Tarasyuk and Chaliy the possibility of learning new preferences on citizenship and minority rights. However, a crucial question -- from both an empirical and theoretical perspective -- is why this possibility turned into a reality. What motivated these agents to learn? One factor, readily admitted in interviews was a simple combination of Western coercion and Ukrainian strategic interest. Given its large and unpredictable neighbour to the east (Russia), Ukraine had a clear interest in joining “Euro-Atlantic structures,” as Ukrainian policymakers never tire of declaring. To join required membership in Western Europe’s key institutions -- most notably, for my purposes, the Council of Europe. Yet, this membership was withheld for several years (1991-93), in a direct attempt to coerce Ukraine into adopting and implementing CE principles. [54]

At the same time, this strategic adaptation argument fails to capture important parts of the story. Much of the elite learning occurred in 1993 and early 1994; it thus predates Kuchma's election as president in July, 1994, when Ukraine made a strategic decision to seek closer ties with various Western institutions. Relatedly, the years 1993-94 saw an extensive debate in Ukraine over the “neutrality option” -- seeking a position independent of both West Europe and Russia. At that point, there was thus no consensus on a balancing strategy against Russia, which clearly would have made it in Ukraine's self interest to instrumentally adopt Council norms. Thus, it is empirically incorrect to assert that instrumental/rationalist arguments alone are adequate for explaining the outcome. [55]

Instead, an additional factor driving the learning process was cognitive uncertainty, with underlying preferences in flux. Consider Dr. Chaliy in the Presidential Administration. Before taking this position, he was a researcher at the Institute of State and Law of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences; his scholarly work focused on constitutional law and local self-governance. Thus, like many other new elites in post-communist states, Chaliy found himself in an unfamiliar position, dealing with issues of first principle: the fundamental normative guidelines for Ukraine’s conception of citizenship and membership. In fact, testimony from those who observed him in various meetings/workshops makes clear that persuasion and argumentation, based on prescriptions embodied in regional norms, promoted learning. [56]

A comparison with post-Soviet Russia is instructive. For the latter, many “new” elites are holdovers from the Soviet era, a fact explained by the massive size of the Soviet/Russian apparatus. In contrast, the USSR bequeathed Ukraine a vastly smaller personnel inheritance, as most key decisions during the Soviet period were taken in Moscow. Thus, in relative terms, Ukraine was forced to recruit more outsiders for positions such as Chaliy’s, which, in turn, has increased the probability of agent learning -- due to the “noviceness” of these individuals. As will be seen below, it is precisely this difference that helps explain a key blockage in Russia to socialization spurred by CE norms.

Moving beyond the elite level, an important issue, from an analytic perspective, is the absence in Ukraine of socialization spurred by protest and contention. As already noted, in Europe one has a robust and large human-rights network; thus, the necessary conditions for the mobilization of transnational/domestic pressure -- the “boomerang” -- would seem to be in place. However, for three reasons such mobilization has failed.

First, the Ukrainian NGO community, when compared to its Western, Asian or even Russian counterparts, is extraordinarily young, with most NGOs only 4-5 years old. One often encounters NGOs that are basically one individual; moreover, even for genuine NGOs, lack of experience and poor networking with like-minded organizations have resulted in many false starts and weakened their ability to mobilize public pressure. Compounding these internal problems is the poorly developed state of the Ukrainian press: Even when NGOs do orchestrate pressure campaigns, the media, due to inexperience, often fails to cover them. Thus, even though there is evidence of significant norm-driven learning among many Ukrainian NGOs, which is explained by their young age and still fluctuating preferences on many key issues, this has mattered little. [57]

Second, NGOs in Ukraine are operating in a fiscal and political environment that, to say the least, is inhospitable. On the former, the taxation and incorporation laws currently in effect make it virtually impossible for NGOs to survive -- unless, that is, they engage in commercial activities that consume valuable time and energy. The political setting as well has worsened in recent years, with many NGOs and activists complaining of a growing gap that separates governmental structures from civil society. The legislature (Rada), in particular, reacts very negatively to any overt NGO pressure campaigns. [58]

Third and related to my earlier point on the recent recruitment of so many state/elite decisionmakers, Ukrainian NGOs have a strategic disincentive to engage in mobilization, pressure-type campaigning. Why? With good ties to individuals newly installed in state institutions, it simply makes good strategic sense to exploit these personal contacts, seeking to exert behind-the-scenes influence. Unfortunately, this is an unreliable mechanism through which to pursue norm-driven socialization, given the rapid personnel turnover in so many government departments. Indeed, NGOs were ecstatic when Serhiy Holovaty, who is considered one of the founding fathers of the Ukrainian civil-society/NGO movement, was appointed Minister of Justice in September 1995; yet, he was removed from this post less than two years later in a government reshuffle. [59]

A final point on normative socialization in Ukraine is the lack of significant cognitive obstacles to it. Put differently, the learning effects documented above were facilitated by the absence of domestic norms acting as cognitive filters. Indeed, a central legacy of the Soviet period is the country's lack of a developed sense of national identity. More accurately, one should speak of a combined Soviet and Tsarist Russian legacy: It has been over 300 years since Ukraine had anything approaching an independent existence. The picture that emerges from interviews in Kyiv and Strasbourg is of elites who are extraordinarily open to learning from CE norms on citizenship and membership. [60]

The result has been a greater willingness by elites and other actors (the Rukh independence movement, for example) to recognize the complexity and multi-ethnic roots of Ukrainian identity, derived from both the Tsarist and Soviet experiences. My point here is that the lack of an institutionalized -- and hence politically influential -- Soviet conception of identity has removed a potent barrier to norm-driven learning, while allowing more inclusive understandings of identity to re-emerge in contemporary Ukrainian discourse. [61]

In sum, one has a clear correlation between CE norms and a process of social learning that has led to important changes in Ukrainian citizenship and minority rights policy. Furthermore, process tracing confirms a significant causal role for these regional norms. Nonetheless, to delimit more clearly my explanatory claims it is essential to explore the counterfactual. Specifically, would Ukrainian policy on citizenship and membership be any different in the absence of socialization promoted by CE norms? Given that over 25% of its population consists of national minorities, could not self interest alone explain the adoption of liberal policies? The weak answer is that, yes, self interest explains why new policies were considered in the first place, but that Council-sponsored norms tell much about their content.

The strong answer begins by observing that a country's objective interest in dealing with minority populations is not always clear -- witness the differing ways in which Croatia, Hungary and Latvia have dealt with minorities within their borders. Compared to other similarly situated countries with similar problems, Ukraine has reacted with a much more liberal and inclusive conception of minorities' place within the state. This indicates a stronger role for norms in shaping the very definition of interests.

None of this is to deny the role that strategic calculation has played in the socialization dynamics discussed above. At the same time, my results point to the clear limitation of rationalist analyses of the CE/European-rights regime, which argue that its norms affect domestic politics only by constraining the behavior of actors with fixed preferences. Something else is occurring at the agent level -- social learning that attests to the constitutive power of norms. More generally, the Ukrainian case suggests that recent constructivist studies of socialization may have over-emphasized, in causal terms, the role played by a politics of protest and contention at the expense of a process of learning. [62]

Socialization and Russian Identity. Similar to the Ukrainian case, the dominant socialization mechanism linking CE norms to the Russian domestic arena has been at the level of state decisionmakers. Policy on citizenship and rights issues and, more generally, contacts with the CE have been centralized and controlled by units in the Presidential apparatus and Foreign Ministry. In such a policymaking environment, NGOs have played little role in mobilizing pressure in support of Council norms. If they get access at all to government meetings with CE officials, it is only because the Foreign Ministry so decides. [63]

The Moscow School of Political Studies, the one NGO with which the Council has extensive contacts, is widely praised for its innovative curriculum and networking activity. Yet interviews make clear the School's limited ability to foster normative socialization via mobilization and contention. Indeed, despite a conscious effort on the part of the Council to promote, via a series of intensive seminars, precisely this type of norm-driven change, such undertakings have mattered little. The workshops themselves have worked well, but the problem is what happens afterwards -- nothing. The civil society and NGO activists in attendance are excluded from the process. Given these blockages, it is no surprise that the most consistent efforts to apply normative pressure on rights/citizenship issues in Russia come from outside -- international NGOs, the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly and CE Secretary General Tarschys. In the spring of 1997, it was just such a combination of external actors that was successful in pressuring Russia to suspend use of the death penalty, whose prohibition is a fundamental Council norm. [64]

With this protest/mobilization mechanism partly blocked, social learning might perhaps be a more causally important socialization dynamic in post-Soviet Russia. However, similar to the German case, the effects of this mechanism seem limited by deeply held and countering domestic identity norms. These embedded norms have created a conception of national membership in Russia that is more exclusive than that found in Ukraine. In particular, they prescribe a dominant role for ethnic Russians -- despite the presence of over 100 other nationalities within Russia's borders. These shared beliefs are evident across the political spectrum, which suggests they cannot be explained simply by reference to interest-based or political survival theories. With the cognitive frames of key elites powerfully shaped by such understandings, the uncertainty that might spur learning has been low; as a result, socialization triggered by more inclusive CE-sponsored norms has been greatly hindered. My strong hunch is that such cognitive dissonance -- and its notable lack in Ukraine -- is partly explained by elite turnover/replacement (Ukraine) or its absence (Russia and, to some extent , Germany as well). [65]

Observers of Russian policy might question these assertions, noting, in particular, a shift since 1992 toward a policy favoring dual citizenship. In the fall of 1993, an earlier citizenship law was amended to allow multiple nationality. This correlation suggests a positive effect of CE-sponsored socialization on Russian policy. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. [66]

For one, Russia is undertaking efforts specifically designed to minimize the Council's ability to promote normative socialization within the country. Thus, it is sponsoring international initiatives central to the CE's work on minority rights and citizenship, but doing so in an organization it dominates: the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In October 1994, a CIS treaty on rights of national minorities was initialled; a CIS human rights agreement was signed in Minsk in May 1995. Both treaties deeply concern Council officials since they duplicate important parts of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as well as the more recent Framework Convention on National Minorities. [67]

More important, there is clear evidence that Russia is instrumentally exploiting Council norms to solidify its hegemony in the former Soviet space. This is a case where elites in weaker states are being forced to buy into norms articulated by a hegemon. In particular, Russia is using the norm of dual citizenship to undermine the sovereignty of states where ethnic Russian populations are located. [68]

Russian behavior of this sort has had feedback effects at the Council. In particular, the nationality treaty was revised to prevent Russia from exploiting its normative understandings in this manner. One thus sees norms being reshaped through interaction with pro-active, calculating agents; indeed, constructivist arguments stressing the passivity of elite decisionmakers caught in a vice of transnational/domestic mobilization appear largely irrelevant for explaining any ongoing process of “socialization” in the Russian Federation. [69]


In a recent article, it was argued that the study of international institutions faces two key challenges -- specifying in a systematic manner the mechanisms through which they have effects on states, and unpacking the implicit and often underspecified models of domestic politics employed in earlier research on them. Oddly, or better said, encouragingly, that article was written by two rational-choice institutionalists. Indeed, strikingly similar challenges confront the constructivist study of international norms and institutions; to meet them, constructivists will need to delimit and specify more clearly their claims about socialization. In turn, this suggests three directions for future work: (1) distinguishing socialization in or by international institutions; (2) explaining variance in the mechanisms through which socialization occurs; and (3) developing theories of action that can supplement those embedded in rationalist analyses. Addressing such issues will allow constructivists to build bridges to important subject areas (studies of the European Union), to other approaches (rational choice) and to the broader disciplines (cognitive psychology). [70]

Socialization In or By International Institutions. As constructivists have developed arguments linking international institutions and norms to processes of agent socialization, it is surprising that little notice has been taken of a long tradition of similar studies on the European Union (EU) -- arguably the most powerful international institution/organization in existence today. Starting with the work of Ernie Haas and other neofunctionalists, students of the EU have always been centrally concerned with modeling and empirically mapping its putative socialization effects. Admittedly, early work along these lines was marred by serious theoretical and methodological flaws, which largely discredited it. [71]

A newer generation of scholarship, however, marks a considerable advance, utilizing more sophisticated data collection methods (in-depth interviews, in combination with carefully designed questionnaires and archival research, say) and a broader set of analytic tools (theories of persuasion and small group dynamics). A consideration of these more recent studies alerts one to a crucial distinction that should be made when exploring socialization dynamics: socialization in or by international institutions. Constructivists in IR have been concerned mainly with the latter, examining socialization by international institutions writ large: the efforts of NGOs, advocacy networks, powerful states, committed activists, international organizations, etc, to diffuse new norms to states or agents within them. As argued, this has led scholars to overemphasize a view of socialization as a politics of protest and mobilization. [72]

In contrast, students of the EU have often been concerned with studying socialization within international institutions writ small: dynamics of deliberation in the EU Commission, working groups of its Council of Ministers, or within the dense bureaucratic networks that connect Brussels with national capitals. Given this focus, it comes as no surprise that they conceptualize socialization in different terms from most constructivists, emphasizing argumentation and persuasion within relatively insulated settings and over shorter time periods. Put differently, their implicit view is one of socialization driven by social learning. [73]

A consideration of this work could have two benefits for constructivists. First, it will broaden the empirical data set on norm-driven socialization, with the added benefit of simultaneously expanding our understanding of socialization -- that is, as both a politics of protest/mobilization and a process of social learning. Second, because the EU literature on socialization stresses the institutional pre-conditions under which it is more likely, this will help constructivists think more systematically about the role institutions may play in their own studies. Consider my Ukrainian case. High levels of social learning were promoted not just by the noviceness of the agents involved; institutional context was crucial as well. The centralized, autonomous nature of Ukrainian political institutions created high levels of insulation -- that is, a situation were socialization by an international institution/organization (the CE) effectively resembled socialization within such an institution. The result was that predicted by EU scholars: enhanced roles for persuasion and social learning as drivers of socialization.

Boundary and Scope Conditions. It is all well and good to demonstrate empirically that norms spark multiple -- mobilization, learning -- dynamics; however, the analytic challenge is to develop scope conditions that specify when and under what conditions one is more likely than the other. Moreover, given that the mobilization mechanism appears largely premised on a consequentialist behavioral logic, while the learning dynamic seems based on an alternative one (see below), the elaboration of such conditions may have the added benefit of promoting dialogue between rational choice and constructivism. [74]

The growing body of empirical work suggests three possibilities. First, an important scope condition may be the structure of domestic political institutions. The starting point here is the well established fact that historically constructed domestic institutions shape the pattern of interaction between state and society in a systematic way across countries. Of course, this is an insight drawn from the rich historical institutionalist literature in comparative politics and its close theoretical relation in IR: work on domestic structures. [75]

Elsewhere, I have argued that it is precisely the structure of state-society relations that predicts variance in the two dominant socialization mechanisms uncovered by constructivists. In a liberal polity such as the US, with strong social inputs to policymaking, the protest/mobilization mechanism is more probable; in countries with a more complex relation between state and society (Germany above), I predict a combination of the protest and learning dynamics. Essentially, an argument of this type introduces domestic institutions as an intervening variable, one that structures and channels the socialization process. [76]

Second, consider issue area, with the argument being that certain policy domains are more likely to witness the social protest/mobilization favored in recent research. When it comes to human rights, say, it would be surprising not to find such mobilization at work. In contrast, normative socialization on more technocratic and obscure topics -- for example, security or the intricacies of regulatory reform -- might be more a process of social learning among elites.

Much of the constructivist literature supports such a hypothesis. In studies of global human rights, general environmental and racial-equality norms, these scholars uncover more evidence of socialization driven by mobilization. However, research on the spread of international security, welfare or specific (and hence technocratic) environmental norms suggests a much greater role for social learning as a key mechanism linking the international and national levels. Further support for this issue-area hypothesis comes from recent work on norm-driven socialization within the EU. Many of the norms and standards promoted by it are highly technocratic; not surprisingly, analysts have thus uncovered considerable evidence of social learning as the primary motor of socialization. [77]

Third, a key scope factor may be the degree to which a regional/international norm contains prescriptive guidance -- robustness. A norm is robust if it embodies clear prescriptions, which provide guidance to agents as they develop preferences and interests on a issue; in turn, clear prescriptions imply a degree of shared consensus at the regional/systemic level. Thus, high levels of both specificity and intersubjective agreement are indicators of a robust norm. A priori, one might hypothesize that robust norms, precisely because they are held by a meaningful number of the relevant international/regional actors and would thus be carried by broader transnational networks, are more likely to generate societal mobilization at the national level. [78]

Towards a Constructivist Theory of Action. There is an emerging debate on the relation of constructivism to rationalism, with a number of different claims being advanced. For example, some argue that constructivism, by endogenizing interest formation, supplements rational choice, while others claim that it “seizes the middle ground” between rational choice and postmodernism. [79]

This essay argues that constructivism is not just the inductive study of interest/identity formation, where it provides the raw material for the standard rationalist “two-step.” Rather, it represents an alternative approach to social action, one based on a behavioral logic different from that embedded in most rational-choice accounts. Such a stand is motivated by nothing more than a simple empirical fact: In the real, here and now social world, there is often something going on that cannot meaningfully be reduced to strategic exchange among calculating, self-interested actors. [80]

Many constructivists would appear to agree. Consider the work of Finnemore, Sikkink and Keck, who talk of the “the strategic activity of actors in an intersubjectively structured political universe,” and of a process of “strategic social construction.” In terms of the behavioral logic, agents, here, are making “detailed means-ends calculations to maximize their utilities,” but these utilities are shaped by normative commitments. Moreover, the causal arrows run both ways, with strategic exchange sometimes leading to the construction of norms, and, at other times, the social construction of norms making possible later strategic interaction. This insight is important. It captures an important slice of the empirical reality seen in a growing number of constructivist studies, and also goes well beyond “the division of labor thesis,” where constructivism and rational choice are used sequentially and with a very specific temporal ordering: first constructivism (endogenization of interests), then rational choice (strategic exchange on the basis of those interests). Yet, at the same time, these scholars fail to challenge rationalism’s underlying -- consequentialist -- theory of action. [81]

On the last point, it is indeed true that many constructivists invoke a logic of appropriatness, but this is not a theory of action. Such a behavioral logic describes the endpoint of a social dynamic, where norms have been internalized. Actors are not choosing or consciously acting in any meaningful sense; they are following scripts and rules. It is thus not very helpful if one is interested in the process through which norm-driven socialization occurs. [82]

This unsatisfactory state of affairs has recently intersected with an interesting theoretical debate among German IR scholars, who have argued that Habermas’ theory of communicative action can provide a possible alternative theory of action through which agents discover their preferences. Many in the German debate sensibly argue that communication and persuasion play central roles in the socialization process through which norms become internalized, but that we lack adequate tools to theorize them. As a point of departure, this is excellent; however, more worrisome is the suggestion that Habermas’ work is helpful for scholars concerned with real world, empirical phenomena. [83]

The problem is that Habermas’ approach is normative. It provides little sense of “the various social mechanisms that might help us better to understand how social systems and individuals’ actions mesh” -- that is, the processes through which norms may socialize agents. Indeed, much of the German debate has been at an abstract and meta-theoretical level, which means that tough issues of empirical operationalization have been avoided. Even in those instances where Habermas is employed empirically, the case studies are at best illustrative, suggesting the heuristic, but not the operational and empirical, value of his approach. [84]

Of course, it is always easy to be a critic. Can anything more positive be said? In fact, throughout this essay, I have argued that a process of social learning may be helpful in modelling the non-consequentialist agent actions that lead to norm internalization. At this point, some constructivists may cry foul: To talk of learning at the level of particular agents is to start down the slippery slope toward methodological individualism. However, social learning, where actors change their preferences during the process of interaction, is not methodologically individualist in any meaningful sense. Moreover, as Kahler has usefully reminded IR theorists, individualist approaches need not imply rationality, by which he means a particular theory of action. [85]

For my learning argument, however, the devil is in the theoretical details. An empirically grounded theory of social learning must model the process by which norms connect to agents, advancing hypotheses for the conditions under which learning from norms will lead to preference change, as opposed to consequentialist strategic adaptation. A start at such a theory would specify structural pre-conditions, that is the likelihood that agents in a particular national setting will be receptive to socialization by prescriptions embodied in a norm. As I argued earlier, both theoretical logic as well as accumulating empirical evidence suggest that the fit between international and domestic normative structures will play a key role here.

Specifically, where there is a mismatch or lack of cultural match between systemic and institutionalized domestic norms in a given policy area, I would predict a drastic slowing in learning because of cognitive dissonance or framing problems -- a dynamic seemingly at work in both my German and Russian cases. Put more formally, in this situation of conflicting norms, social learning is less likely than the simple sort. Since simple learning is premised on a consequentialist theory of action, there is nothing particularly new or unique in the behavioral logic driving normative socialization under such conditions. On the other hand, where regional/systemic norms face lower domestic normative barriers, the likelihood of social learning is increased. In this latter case, agents are not really making careful means-ends calculations, but, instead, puzzling. [86]

The foregoing is only a start at developing a distinctively constructivist theory of action and social learning; much work remains. For one, the analysis is still too structural, arguing, in essence, for a fit between international and dominant domestic norms. Yet, even in those instances where the mismatch is great (my German study), one still finds evidence of agent-level learning and socialization. This suggests my structural first cut is best viewed as a base line, which is then supplemented with the more contingent and context-dependent factors highlighted above: the degree of agent noviceness (German NGOs established 25 years ago versus Russian NGOs set up 10 years ago versus Ukrainian NGOs only 2-3 years old); elite/generational turnover (Russian-Ukrainian contrast); nature of institutional setting (insulated or not); etc.

In addition, while criticizing constructivists for underspecifying their terms, I have done the same: My arguments about social learning are themselves incomplete. For example, a very active process of communication and persuasion may be the dynamic promoting learning. If so, then there are rich literatures in communications research and social psychology waiting to be exploited by constructivists. To take just one example: This work argues that persuasion (and, thus, social learning) is more probable with agents who are novices. In aggregate terms, this hypothesis likely explains my differential Ukrainian-German results: Learning was more prevalent in a new country with many agents in genuinely novel situations (Ukraine) and was less evident in a well established country where agents operated in a dense and highly institutionalized set of material and normative structures (Germany). [87]

Whatever the case, my many references throughout this essay to learning, role conflict, persuasion and framing suggest that as constructivists begin to model the micro-foundations and behavioral logics of norm-driven socialization, the benefits of an exchange with cognitive/social psychology would be great. Absent such a move, these scholars will have no real understanding of how agents in the near-term here and now are socialized by systemic norms. Moreover, constructivist models of socialization will continue to be based on an incomplete and empirically inaccurate set of theoretical (politics as only protest/contention) and ontological assumptions (domestic agents as only reactive strategizers).


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* Paper prepared for delivery at a seminar sponsored by Cornell University�s Peace Studies Program (Ithaca, NY) and at the International Studies Association Annual Convention (Washington, DC) -- both in February 1999. An earlier version was presented at the workshop on "Ideas, Culture and Political Analysis," Center for International Studies, Princeton University, May 1998. The financial support of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and Norwegian Research Council is gratefully acknowledged. Special thanks to Jim Caporaso and Andy Moravcsik for spurring to me to address the issues raised in this paper, and to Martha Finnemore, Iain Johnston, Johan P. Olsen, Frank Schimmelfennig and Hans Peter Schmitz for comments on previous drafts.

** ARENA/University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1143 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway. E-mail: URL:

[1]. Finnemore 1996a, chapter 1 is quite explicit on this score. On constructivism’s underspecification of agency, also see the excellent critique in Moravcsik 1997, 539-40.

[2]. Paul DiMaggio, “Interest and Agency in Institutional Theory”; and Lynne Zucker, “Where Do Institutional Patterns Come From? Organizations as Actors in Social Systems,” both in Zucker 1988, 9-11, 27. Also see Strang and Chang 1993, 237-38. More specifically, the critique here is directed at US-based constructivists who belong to its so-called “modernist” or “conventional” branch. European constructivists, in contrast, are more indebted to French social theory or continental political theorists (Habermas, say) for their theoretical foundations.

[3]. Lynne Zucker, “The Role of Institutionalization in Cultural Persistence,” in DiMaggio and Powell 1991, 88, 103-107, highlights the outcome/process distinction. Frank Dobbin, “Cultural Models of Organizations: The Social Construction of Rational Organizing Principles,” in Crane 1994, chapter 5, situates SI within the broader organizational theory debates.

[4]. For example, Swidler 1986; DiMaggio and Powell 1991, chapters 2, 7, 8, 10; Meyer and Scott 1992, 1-7, passim; Soysal 1994; and Ron 1997. Also see Steve Derne, “Cultural Conceptions of Human Motivation and their Significance for Culture Theory,” in Crane 1994, chapter 11; and Johnston and Klandermans 1995, chapter 1. Hechter 1983, chapter 1; Coleman 1986; and Hechter and Kanazawa 1997 are useful critiques of how SI and other schools within sociology lost sight of agency. The status of SI as an alternative to rational choice is also a point of confusion. Compare Paul DiMaggio and Walter Powell, “Introduction,” in DiMaggio and Powell 1991, 8-14; Ronald Jepperson, “Institutions, Institutional Effects and Institutionalism,” in DiMaggio and Powell 1991, 157-59; Walter Powell, “Expanding the Scope of Institutional Analysis,” in DiMaggio and Powell 1991, 188-90; and Finnemore and Sikkink 1998, 911.

[5]. Price 1998. Also see Roundtable 1997.

[6]. For a superb critique of “as if” reasoning and how it has impoverished contemporary IR, see Wendt 1996, chapter 2. To be fair, constructivists are not the only ones who, in critiquing rational choice, have fallen back on implicit “as if” assumptions of their own, failing to explicate alternative microtheories of process; similar problems have bedeviled work on prospect theory, learning theory and analogical reasoning. See Levy 1997, 101; and Peterson 1997, 266-67.

[7]. Sigel 1965, 1. Also see Ikenberry and Kupchan 1990, 287-92; and Risse and Sikkink 1999, 7-8.

[8]. The longer-term focus is especially prevalent in constructivist studies of human-rights norms -- Sikkink 1993a, for example. Sociological institutionalists studying the diffusion of global norms and culture are also prone to adopt long time scales -- decades or more. See Meyer 1997a, 1997b.

[9]. See Cortell and Davis 1996 (on the US); and Moravcsik 1995 (on West Europe), for example. On reframing terms of debate, students of social movements make a similar point when they discuss how movements create collective action frames. Tarrow 1998, chapter 7.

[10]. See Nadelmann 1990; Charney 1993, 543-550; Sikkink 1993a; Brysk 1993; Klotz 1995a; Idem 1995b; Wapner 1995; Ron 1997; Hawkins 1997; Keck and Sikkink 1998, passim; and Risse, Ropp and Sikkink 1999. In the international law literature, an important synthesizing effort along these lines is Koh 1997, Part III, passim.

[11]. For evidence of norms constituting domestic societal agents, see Wapner 1995. Compare this socialization dynamic with the implicit rationalist account in Ron 1997.

[12]. Risse and Sikkink 1999; see also Keck and Sikkink 1998, 3, 28-29. The latter makes especially clear what my comments here suggest: There are numerous linkages between constructivist work of this type and an earlier generation of research on social movements. On this point, also see Tarrow 1998, chapter 11.

[13]. Peter Haas 1990; Idem 1992; Soysal 1994; Stein 1994; Risse 1995b; Finnemore 1996a; Robert Herman, “Identity, Norms and National Security: The Soviet Foreign Policy Revolution and the End of the Cold War,” in Katzenstein 1996, chapter 8; Wendt 1996, chapters 7-8; and Checkel 1997a, chapter 5.

[14]. Heclo 1974, 305; Ruggie 1998, 867-69; Adler 1991; Idem 1997, 337-41; and Ernst Haas 1990, chapter 2. Also see Underdal 1998, 20-23.

[15]. On agent/cognitive uncertainty, see Moltz 1993, 301-309 (organizational and decisionmaking literatures); and Haas 1992 (epistemic approach). Levy 1994 is a good introduction to the learning literature.

[16]. Price 1998, 615, 617, 621-22, 627, 639, passim. On Finnemore, see Finnemore 1996a, passim; and, for a critique similar to the one advanced here, Johnston 1998a, 12-13.

[17]. On Argentina and human-rights norms, see Brysk 1993; and Hawkins 1997, both of which undertheorize the role of power highlighted here. On hegemonic imposition and normative socialization more generally, see Ikenberry and Kupchan 1990. Finnemore 1996b offers valuable insights on why constructivists have been prone to overlook considerations of hegemony/power.

[18]. The methodologically inclined reader might accuse me of omitted variable bias here: By organizing the analysis via the socialization pathways identified in earlier research, I may miss other possible socialization mechanisms. However, in this case, the danger of systematic bias is reduced by constructivists’ largely atheoretical work at the national level, with their empirical foci varying considerably, as my review documents. There is thus a reasonable chance they have identified the major socialization pathways.

[19]. The extraordinary reaction to and coverage of the arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in the UK in late 1998 vividly attests to the growing strength of the global human rights regime. See “A Survey of Human-Rights Law,” Economist, December 5, 1998. Put differently, its norms are robust -- see concluding section below.

[20]. See Bauboeck 1994, Preface. On the theoretical logic linking international institutional density to normative diffusion, see Weber 1994; and Risse-Kappen 1995a, chapter 1.

[21]. Council of Europe, Forum (December 1994), p.34. For the treaty, see Council of Europe 1994. On the European rights regime more generally, see Donnelly 1986, 620-24; and Sikkink 1993b.

[22]. Council of Europe 1997, 15-17, passim. For the 1963 treaty, see Council of Europe 1996, Appendix II.

[23]. See Katzenstein 1993; and Florini 1996, 367, passim. For full documentation of the claims advanced here, as well as discussion of the methods used to ascertain the existence of norms independent of their national-level effects, see Checkel 1999a, 94-96.

[24]. George and McKeown 1985.

[25]. On the sociological logic, see below. For constructivist-ideational empirical research that documents the importance of domestic normative barriers, see Adler 1987; Sikkink 1991; and Klotz 1995b, chapter 7. On institutionalization and the political influence of norms and other ideational variables, see Longstreth 1992; Katzenstein 1993; and Goldstein 1993.

[26]. My techniques replicate Zuern's excellent suggestions for “using documents” and “asking experts” when one wants to establish agent interests independent of behavior, a methodological challenge analogous to the one faced here. Zuern 1997, 298-302. On triangulation and norms, also see Raymond 1997, 219-222.

[27]. The German case is fully documented in Checkel 1999a; the Ukrainian study in Checkel 1999b; and the Russian case in Checkel 1997b, c. My German field work was conducted in four rounds: March 1995, June-August 1995, May 1996, August 1996 - January 1998.

[28]. Martina Keller, “Einbuergern, Ausbuergern, Einbuergern,” Die Zeit, March 27, 1997.

[29]. For background, see Kanstroom 1993.

[30]. Kreuzer 1997, 2.

[31]. On role conflict, see Stryker 1980; and the related discussion in Goffman 1974, chapter 10. For an empirical application, see the excellent analysis in Barnett 1993. On cultural matches, see Meyer and Strang 1993.

[32]. See Jochen Buchsteiner, “Konzepte, die erst reifen muessen,” Die Zeit, November 18, 1994; Interview, Thomae-Venske, Commissioner for Foreigners' Affairs, Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg, May 1996; and GermNews, January 7, 1999. For the flyer, see “Handreichung zum Thema: Doppelte Staatsbuergerschaft” (Berlin, 1995).

[33]. See “Unser Ziel: 1 Million Unterschriften fuer die doppelte Staatsbuergerschaft” (Berlin, no date); Interviews, Ismail Kosan, Member of the Berlin Parliament, Buendnis 90/Die Gruenen Fraction, May 1996; Andreas Schulze, Staff Member, Office of F.O. Wolf, German Member of the European Parliament, Berlin, May 1996.

[34]. “Informationen zum deutschen Staatsbuergerrecht: Doppelstaatsbuergerschaften” (Berlin, no date).

[35]. On thin rationalism more generally, see Green and Shapiro 1994, 17-19. Thanks to Frank Schimmelfennig for discussion on these points.

[36]. Interviews, Kennan Kolat, President, and Safter Cinar, Speaker, Tuerkischer Bund in Berlin/Brandenburg, May 1996; Mustafa Cakmakoglu, President, Tuerkische Gemeinde zu Berlin, May 1996.

[37]. See Peter Altmaier and Norbert Roettgen, “Die Uhr laeuft: Das Staatsangehoerigkeitsrecht muss noch bis zur Bundestagswahl 98 reformiert werden,” Die Zeit, August 15, 1997; and Hans-Joerg Heims, “Beruhigungspillen fuer die jungen Wilden: Der Streit um die doppelte Staatsangehoerigkeit spaltet die CDU,” Sueddeutsche Zeitung, April 23, 1997.

[38]. Helmut Loelhoeffel, “Koalition vertagt ihren Streit,” Frankfurter Rundschau, October 31, 1997. New CDU leader Schaeuble has expressed similar sentiments. See “Ich mache mir keine Illusionen” (interview with Schaeuble), Die Zeit, January 7, 1999.

[39]. See Horst Eylmann, “Es gibt keine nationale Blutgruppe,” Die Zeit, April 18, 1997; and “Schnellere Beratungen gefordert: Juengere Abgeordnete zur Novellierung des Staatsangehoerigkeitsrechts,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, April 16, 1996.

[40]. Jochen Buchsteiner, “Am liebsten abschirmen,” Die Zeit, February 2, 1996; Interviews, Cem Oezdemir, Bundestag Deputy, Green Party, March 1995; Dr. Camelia Sonntag-Volgast; German Ministry of Interior, March, August 1995; Dr. Jens Meyer-Ladewig and Detlef Wasser, German Ministry of Justice, August 1995; Thomae-Venske; Safter Cinar; Ismail Kosan.

[41]. See Spiros Simitis, “Zwei Paesse - warum nicht?,” Die Zeit, January 27, 1995; “Auslaenderrechts-Tango im Bundestag,” Sueddeutsche Zeitung, November 14, 1996; “Debatte zur Neuregelung des Staatsangehoerigkeitsrechts am 30. Oktober 1997,” Das Parlament Nr.46, November 7, 1997; and “Die Koalition lehnt die erleichterte Einbuergerung von Auslaenderkindern ab,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 28, 1998. On the 1993 changes, see Deutsches Staatsangehoerigkeitsrecht 1993, 63.

[42]. On the proposed changes, see Koalitionsvertrag 1998, Teil IX; and, for overview and background, “Germany: Citizenship, Asylum,” Migration News 5 (December 1998); and “Der Kampf um die Paesse,” Der Spiegel, January 11, 1999.

[43]. Roger de Weck, “Pro: Zwei Paesse,” Die Zeit, January 7, 1999; and Manfred Ertel, “Regalmaessig akzeptiert: In den meisten europaeischen Laendern ist die doppelte Staatsangehoerigkeit kein Problem fuer Politik und Buerger,” Der Spiegel, January 11, 1999. My observations here are preliminary: I have conducted no fieldwork in Germany since the September 1998 election and thus lack the interview data that is especially crucial for documenting social learning.

[44]. See “CSU May Challenge SPD’s Citizenship Plans in Court,” GermNews, January 6, 1999; and, on Lafontaine, “Possibility for Talks Concerning Dual Citizenship,” GermNews, January 12, 1999.

[45]. “Opposition Parties Clash over Citizenship Plans,” Financial Times, January 5, 1999; also see “Kampagne gegen Doppel-Staatsbuergerschaft: FDP laesst die Union allein,” Sueddeutsche Zeitung, January 5/6, 1999.

[46]. Also see the Ukrainian case below. More generally on the linkages between elite turnover and normative change, see Stein 1994, 162-63, passim.

[47]. Freeman 1998, 101-104. Also see Joppke 1998. I thank Andy Moravcsik, Fritz Scharpf and Rey Koslowski for discussion on these points.

[48]. The forthcoming Risse, Ropp and Sikkink volume, which represents the state of the art in this area, is much better than most previous efforts at operationalizing a process-tracing technique; however, it fails to employ counterfactuals in a systematic manner. Risse, Ropp and Sikkink 1999.

[49]. Interviews, Directorate of Human Rights, Council of Europe, April 1997, November 1998. Also see Mendelson 1998. My Ukrainian fieldwork was conducted in two rounds: May 1994; June 1997.

[50]. Markus 1996a, 1996b; and “Ukraine: Founding Father,” The Economist, July 6, 1996.

[51]. Interviews, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Kyiv, May 1994; Political Directorate, Council of Europe, April 1997. In April 1998, Tarasyuk was appointed to the post of Foreign Minister.

[52]. Interviews, Petro Chaliy, Head, Citizenship Department, Presidential Administration, Kyiv, June 1997; Valeriy Hrebenyuk, Chief Advisor for International Law and Organizations, Directorate of Foreign Policy, Presidential Administration, Kyiv, June 1997.

[53]. Interviews, as in two preceding notes; and Halyna Freeland, Counsel to the Chairman, Ukrainian Legal Foundation, Kyiv, June 1997. On moral or norm entrepreneurs, see Finnemore 1996a; Florini 1996, 375; and Finnemore and Sikkink 1998, 896-901.

[54]. On the link between state structure and learning, also see Pierson 1993, 617-18.

[55]. Interview, Nikolay Kulinich, Ukrainian Institute of International Relations, Kyiv, May 1994.

[56]. Interviews, as in notes 51, 52, 53.

[57]. For the analysis here and below, see Interviews, Natalie Belitser, Coordinator, Center for Pluralism, Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy, Kyiv, June 1997; Halyna Freeland and Natalia Kravets, Counsel to the Chairman and Executive Director, respectively, Ukrainian Legal Foundation, Kyiv, June 1997; Olga Kornienko, Program Coordinator, Ukrainian Center for Human Rights, Kyiv, June 1997; Oleksandr Pavlichenko, Director, Center for Information and Documentation of the Council of Europe in Ukraine, Kyiv, June 1997; and Serhiy Holovatiy, Ukrainian Minister of Justice, Kyiv, June 1997.

[58]. Also see “Human Rights Organization Officially Registered,” Kiev UNIAN, August 15, 1994, as reported in FBIS-SOV-94-157, August 15, 1994, which documents the prolonged efforts of one human rights NGO simply to gain recognition from the Ukrainian state.

[59]. Chrystia Freeland, “Ukraine Justice Minister Sacked,” Financial Times, August 22, 1997. My analysis here intersects with that of Cliff Bob, who has also argued for more attention to the strategic incentives of domestic NGOs as an important supplement to the more standard constructivist account, where transnational networks reach down and select certain national NGOs as partners. Bob 1998.

[60]. On the Tsarist/Soviet legacy in Ukraine, see Von Hagen 1995.

[61]. On the historical development of civic, inclusive, conceptions of Ukrainian nationhood, see Laba 1996, 12-13.

[62]. A good rationalist study of the European rights regime is Moravcsik 1995.

[63]. Interviews, CE Political Directorate, May 1994, June-July 1995; Russian Foreign Ministry, Moscow, March 1995. My Russian fieldwork was conducted in three rounds: March 1995, June 1995, and November 1998.

[64]. On the spring 1997 episode, see Checkel 1997b. For the other points, see Interviews, Russian Foreign Ministry, Moscow, March 1995, Strasbourg, July 1995; Dr. Elena Nemirovskaya, Director, and Aleksandr Sogomonov, Deputy Director, Moscow School of Political Studies, Moscow, March 1995; and Office of CE Secretary General, Strasbourg, July 1995, April 1997. Also see Open Media Research Institute, Daily Digest, November 19, 1996; January 31, 1997; and March 7, 1997.

[65]. For elite interview and survey data supporting these points, see Haney 1995. On the dominant role ascribed to Russians within the multinational Russian Federation, see the “Concept on the State Nationalities Policy” adopted in June, 1996, as reported in Chinyaeva 1996. Also see James Billington, “Let Russia be Russian,” New York Times, June 16, 1996.

[66]. See Zakonodatel'nye akty Rossiyskoy Federatsii po voprosam grazhdanstva (Moscow: Komissiya po voprosam grazhdanstva pri prezidente Rossiyskoy Federatsii, 1994).

[67]. For the treaties and CE commentary on them, see Council of Europe 1995a, 1995b.

[68]. Interviews, Dr. Mark Entin, First Deputy Director, Directorate of Pan-European Cooperation, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, June 1995; Yuriy Berestnev, Vice-Consul, Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Strasbourg, July 1995; and Dr. Mark Entin, Acting Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Strasbourg, November 1998. On the coercive use of norms, see Ikenberry and Kupchan 1990.

[69]. Interviews, CE Legal Directorate, May 1994, June-July 1995, May 1996 (by telephone).

[70]. For the challenges facing rational-choice work on international institutions, see Martin and Simmons 1998, passim.

[71]. Haas 1958. For trenchant critiques of this early EU/socialization work, see Martin and Simmons 1998, 735-36; and, especially, Pollack 1998, passim.

[72]. Checkel 1999c critically reviews this more recent EU work on socialization. Within it, exemplars include Beyers 1998; Hooghe 1998; and, especially, Joerges and Neyer 1997a, b.

[73]. An important exception to this critique of constructivists is the work of Iain Johnston, who has examined socialization dynamics within international institutions. See Johnston 1998a, b. Also see Risse-Kappen 1996. Haas’ later work on international organizations, when his empirical focus was not the EU, is also relevant here. E. Haas 1990.

[74]. On the need for scope conditions, also see Finnemore and Sikkink 1998, 913; Kahler 1998, 922, 928, 936-40; Ruggie 1998, 883-85; and Schimmelfennig 1999.

[75]. In the comparative literature, see Katzenstein 1985; Longstreth 1992; and Bleich 1998. On domestic structures, see Risse-Kappen 1991.

[76]. Checkel 1997c, which also demonstrates that domestic structures explain much of the variance in socialization mechanisms in existing constructivist work.

[77]. On human rights, general environmental and racial-equality norms, see Ron 1997; Wapner 1995; and Klotz 1995b. For security, welfare and technocratic environmental norms, see Thomas Risse-Kappen, “Collective Identity in a Democratic Community: The Case of NATO,” in Katzenstein 1996, chapter 10; Strang and Chang 1993; and P. Haas 1990. On the EU, see above.

[78]. Of course, my phrasing begs the question of how one operationalizes “a meaningful number of the relevant international/regional actors.” However, helpful here may be Finnemore and Sikkink’s analysis of “tipping” and “threshold points.” Finnemore and Sikkink 1998, 901. Legro 1997 is an excellent methodological discussion of how to gauge norm robustness independent of national-level effects.

[79]. Compare Adler 1997; Checkel 1998; Katzenstein, Keohane, Krasner 1998; and Risse 1998. The quote comes from Adler. More accurately, this is a debate between modernist/conventional constructivists and rationalists. Critical constructivists, for the most part, deny the possibility of any such debate on deeper epistemological and ontological grounds. See Hopf 1998; and Price and Reus-Smit 1998.

[80]. On the rationalist two-step, see Legro 1996.

[81]. Keck and Sikkink 1998, 4-5; and, especially, Finnemore and Sikkink 1998, 910-11. Recent prominent endorsements of the division of labor argument include Bates, de Figueiredo and Weingast 1998, 635, passim; and Katzenstein, Keohane and Krasner 1998, 679-82.

[82]. See March and Olsen 1989, passim; and Risse 1998, 5-6. Thanks to Johan Olsen for discussions that have clarified my thinking on these points.

[83]. Risse 1998 provides an excellent summary of this debate. For the points here and below, I am indebted to discussions with Michael Zuern.

[84]. Risse 1998, 24-34, provides empirical examples suggesting Habermas’ heuristic value. The normative-theory/empirical-process disconnect highlighted here is particularly evident in Reus-Smit 1997, 564, 569-70, passim. For the quote and other critical commentary, see Axel Van Den Berg, “Is Sociological Theory too Grand for Social Mechanisms?,” in Hedstroem and Swedberg 1998, 206-12, at 212; and Eriksen and Weigaard 1997.

[85]. Kahler 1998, 923.

[86]. On these differeing cognitive/behavioral logics, see Cohen and Levinthal 1990. For one effort at operationalizing cultural matches in a rigorous manner that is then applied empirically, see Checkel 1999a, 87, 92, passim. Also see the discussion of role conflict at Note 31 above.

[87]. On persuasion, see Checkel 1999c; Finnemore and Sikkink 1998, 914-15; and, especially, Johnston 1998a.

[Date of publication in the ARENA Working Paper series: 15.01.1998]