Title

The Critical Role of Mass Media in International Norm Diffusion: The Case of UNDP Human Development Reports

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2-2016

Abstract

What role does mass media play in the promotion of global norms? We address this question through an analysis of Human Development Reports (HDRs) produced by the United Nations Development Programme. Although HDRs have promoted human development ideology over the past twenty-five years, little is known about how and to what extent their messages have been disseminated to the public. Addressing this gap in the literature, we examine a critical intervening factor in the process of international norm diffusion: political communication via the mass media. Highlighting the importance of framing and agenda setting, we identify four communicative mechanisms that can facilitate norm diffusion: credibility, persistence, resonance, and decentralization. Through qualitative and quantitative content analysis, we assess how these mechanisms have enabled HDRs to attract favorable global media attention such that they are now cited much more frequently than their rival, the World Bank’s World Development Reports.

Keywords

human development, Human Development Report, ideology, international organizations, mass media, norms, United Nations

Discipline

Political Science

Research Areas

Political Science

Publication

International Studies Perspectives

ISSN

1528-3577

Identifier

10.1093/isp/ekv018

Additional URL

http://isp.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/02/03/isp.ekv018

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