Human rights INGOs, LGBT INGOs, and LGBT policy diffusion, 1991-2015
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Since the late 1990s, there has been a growing body of literature researching the cross-national diffusion of policies that specifically affect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities. Studies using a world society perspective consider how state ties to newly emergent global norms regarding the treatment of LGBT communities are a driver of this process. A shortcoming of these studies, however, is that they do not adequately consider which type of ties to global norms are meaningful to policy adoption. Considering the ever-increasing notion that LGBT rights are human rights, this study contrasts the role of human rights INGOs and LGBT INGOs on LGBT policy diffusion between 1991 and 2015. Furthermore, while previous studies assume a global norm exists, focus on a narrow band of policies, or restrict analyses to key geographic areas, this study develops a new measure of global LGBT norms and offers a comprehensive LGBT Policy Index for a global sample of 154 states. Through pooled cross-sectional time-series with fixed effects, the results demonstrate that human rights INGOs are not adequate vehicles for pressuring state adoption of LGBT policies. Instead, targeted advocacy efforts, embodied through LGBT INGOs, are required in order for policy adoption to transpire.