S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) Theses (Master's Degree_국제학과)
A Theory of Institutional Maturation: The Rise of Marriage Equality in the OECD and Why Local Norms don't Always Matter
제도적 성숙화와 왜 지역적 규범이 항상 중요하지 않는가에 관한 연구: OECD에서의 동성간 결혼을 통한 문화 해체를 중심으로
- THOMSEN, Patrick Saulmatino
- LEE, Geun
- 국제대학원 국제학과
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 대학원
- Institutional Maturation; Same-sex Marriage; LGBT Rights; Social Constructivism; OECD; Gay Marriage; Gender; Democracy; Civil Society; International Norms; Modernization Theory
- 학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 국제대학원 : 국제학과, 2014. 8. 이근.
- Despite the rapidly developing international norm toward marriage equality, why is Same-sex Marriage not on the policy radar in some OECD countries, yet fully codified in others? Is the overwhelming power of local conservative religious and cultural values blocking the realization of the rights to institutionalized recognition for same-sex couples in certain locations? This research looks to statistical data that attempts to measure social changes from around the OECD, to help explain the diversity of legislative frameworks among this group of industrialized nations. It employs a rudimentary quantitative analysis, combined with a comparative perspective to measure the relationship between a newly coined term ‘Institutional Maturation’ and the propensity for a nation to pass legislative frameworks that recognize the status of Same-sex relationships under the law.
This work draws on the extensive research completed by scholars in the field of International Relations (IR) in developing its theory of Institutional Maturation. It has its base in social constructivist notions of the mutual construction of state interests. However, rather than focusing on the shape, identity and agency of states, it posits an analysis of the space that sits in between, asking us to consider the importance of the facilitating mechanism for international norms to travel between nation states. It analyzes the contingency of key social processes and how they interact to create Institutional Maturation. Additionally, this work also combines the tenets of modernization theory, democratic consolidation, gender norms, ethnic diversity and seeks to explain the significant impact they have on local law-making institutions in pushing them toward a position of Institutional Maturation.
Institutional Maturation, it is argued, represents a point at which a state’s local law-making institutions such as legislative and judicial bodies come to embody an amoral character. Therefore Institutional Maturation, or lack thereof is offered as the contingent independent variable by this study as the major predicator for the propensity of a country to legislate and codify progressive types of legislation such as Marriage Equality.
The quantitative analysis employed in this thesis calculates the relative co-efficient of Institutional Maturation to a country’s propensity to pass marriage equality through the construction of two indices. The Institutional Maturation (IM) index was constructed by using key social indicators, which are widely held as authoritative measures in their respective areas. The Propensity to Pass Marriage Equality (PPME) index has been constructed using data collected on the institutional frameworks in place for the legal recognition of same-sex couples in OECD nations. Although further analysis in the area needs to be done, initial results show a strong correlation between the two.
Important implications are discussed at the end of this thesis, and as a new concept, Institutional Maturation represents a different level of analysis not yet employed in the search for Marriage Equality internationally and a useful tool in explaining why international norms can still penetrate a locality that seems shackled to conservative practices. Further significant implications of this study point to the important role of Institutional Maturation in predicting the likelihood of future progressive legislations, supported by international norms becoming locally institutionalized, despite being in conflict with the local norm. In this way at least, it seems that local norms don’t always have to matter.