The Emergence of a Transnational Advocacy Network: International Election Monitoring in the Philippines, Chile, Nicaragua, and Mexico

Arturo Santa Cruz


In this paper I question the existence of a global civil
society, suggesting that what we have witnessed in recent
years is the emergence of myriad transnational advocacy
networks (TANs). I illustrate this claim by looking at a
recently novel area in world politics: the international
monitoring of elections (IEM), a practice which I claim has
partially redefined state sovereignty. This paper takes form
as follows. In the first section I present a conceptual
discussion on world civil society and TANS , and suggest an
unexplored way in which emergent norms might be adopted
internationally. In the next four sections I follow the
evolution of the IEM TAN. Thus, the second section deals
with the foundational 1986 Philippine case; the third
section with the 1988 Chilean plebiscite; the fourth with
the 1990 Nicaraguan elections, and the fifth with the 1994
Mexican electoral process. I conclude in the sixth section
by evaluating the usefulness of the path of norm-diffusion,
and by discussing how the practice of non-state actors has
contributed to the redefinition of both state sovereignty
and the international system.


transnational advocacy networks; TANs; elections; monitoring

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