Essay on Precis: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Norm Entrepreneurs

Submitted By llemon5
Words: 362
Pages: 2

Lauren Lemon
PSCI
Precis
3/4/15

Martha Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink set out to define and analyze the definition, influence, and evolution of norms. The authors set the definition of norm as "a standard of appropriate behavior for actors with a given identity." (Finnemore and Sikkink. 1998.) There are no bad norms because at some point what we presently deem bad was once accepted. They give the example of slavery. People during this period of time considered having slaves as an appropriate behavior. Finnemore and Sikkink argue that the only way to understand the agreement and evolution of norms is to observe the 'life cycles' of norms. The norm life cycle is made up of three different stages. The first stage is called norm emergence. The authors state that norms emerge from what they call norm entrepreneurs. "Norms do not appear out of thin air; they are actively built by agents having strong notions about appropriate or desirable behavior in their community." (Finnemore and Sikkink. 1998.) They give us the example of women's suffrage and the norm entrepreneurs as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These women acted as persuaders. The second stage of the life cycle is titled norm cascade. As more states and countries begin to adopt the norm, the agents or "norm entrepreneurs" have to put their beliefs through socialization. This action is norm persuasion on an international level to gain followers. The goal here is to have the norm influence the politics…