Varieties of Localization: International Norms and the Commodification of Knowledge in India and Brazil
Thomas Eimer, Susanne Lütz, Verena Schüren – 2016
The legal implementation of internationally agreed norms on a domestic level gives momentum to a substantial reinterpretation. Based on this insight, this article develops an ideal-typology of possible ‘localization’ outcomes. Apart from a literal adoption of an international norm, we show that the domestic implementation may change its emphasis (accentuation), amend it by supplementary purposes (addition), or imply a deviation which nevertheless sticks to the letter of the international wording (subversion). We argue that the specific form of localization depends on the interaction between international pressure politics and its congruence with the prevailing domestic public and private preferences. International power constellations explain why an international norm is implemented, but the specific character of its localization is mainly determined by domestic actor constellations. To substantiate our claims, we analyze the implementation of two interconnected international agreements in India and Brazil. While both the Convention on Biodiversity and the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights introduce the norm of property rights for intellectual knowledge in previously (at least internationally) unregulated fields, the particular characteristics of their respective implementation in both countries display the interaction between international pressure and domestic preferences in our four case studies.