A new genre of purposive, inter-state organizations has been established specifically to promote rights, democracy and the rule of law. Such organizations currently include regionally based organizations like the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); promotional coalitions such as the Community of Democracies and the Human Security Network; and democratic governance networks, including the Network of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI). These organizations spread norms vertically through layers of global governance and horizontally across issue-areas. While there is little evidence that these networks mobilize new resources, they coordinate and multiply existing finance, expertise and occasional diplomacy.

  • Alison Brysk is Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of California, Irvine.