Setting the International Agenda: The Case of Prenatal Sex Selection

By Johanna Kostenzer.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Increasing rates of sex selective abortions due to the preference for male offspring have been observed in numerous countries across the globe. Despite its private nature the issue ended up on the international community’s, and in particular on the United Nations agenda, but the reasons behind remained unclear. The article, therefore, aims at analyzing issue emergence and international agenda setting. The research uses a method mix. A literature review sheds light on issue emergence, and the processes of agenda setting drawing on agenda setting literature and the garbage can model of decision making. Semi-structured expert interviews help to explore reasons for issue emergence and to identify formal and informal agenda setting mechanisms. The observation at international conferences provides further insights. A variety of factors influenced the issue emergence and agenda setting process. The severity of the consequences of distorted sex ratios at birth regarding human rights violations, criminality and gender inequality increased interest in the topic and led to the uptake by actors on the national and international level. The demographic imbalance raised concern and scientific curiosity and particularly researchers had a powerful role regarding issue emergence.

Keywords: Agenda Setting, Issue Emergence, Prenatal Sex Selection, International Community, United Nations

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies, Volume 12, Issue 2, June 2017, pp.1-15. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.358MB).

Johanna Kostenzer

Lecturer and Research Assistant, Department of International Health and Social Management, Management Center Innsbruck (MCI), Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria