The authors integrate social movement outcomes research and the world society approach to build a theoretical model to examine the impact of global and local factors on movement outcomes. Challenging the current research on policy change, which rarely examines the effects of global norms and local activism in one analysis, they argue (1) that global regimes empower and embolden local social movements and increase pressure on target governments from below, and (2) that local activists appeal to international forums with help from international activists to pressure the governments from above. When the pressures from the top and the bottom converge, social movements are more likely to succeed. Furthermore, these pressures are stronger in countries integrated into global society and on issues with strong global norms. The empirical analysis of social movements by resident Koreans in Japan advocating for four types of human rights—civil, political, social/economic, and cultural—demonstrates that the movements produced more successes as Japan's involvement in the international human rights regime expanded since the late 1970s, and that activism on issues with strong global norms achieved greater successes. The analysis also shows that lack of cohesive domestic activism can undercut the chances of social movements' success even with strong global norms on the issue.
Kiyoteru Tsutsui, Hwa Ji Shin. Global Norms, Local Activism, and Social Movement Outcomes: Global Human Rights and Resident Koreans in Japan. Social Problems, Vol. 55, No. 3 (August 2008), pp. 391-418