Civil Society and Norm Entrepreneurship in the National and Regional Context

Susan Kneebone

1University Of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

This paper tests the hypothesis posed by Alice Nah (2016), namely that by working through the transnational Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN), local civil society can pressure states ‘from below’; that they have a ‘unique location vis a vis states’; that APPRN has assisted local civil society to develop a ‘community of practice’. In this paper I will present a case study and contrast of two Indonesian members of APPRN, namely Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) and SUAKA – the Indonesian Civil Society Network for Refugee Rights Protection.  HRWG is a regional ‘networker’ as well as a national actor, as it works closely with ASEAN; whereas SUAKA is a national network organization.  This paper will compare these two organizations which offer contrasting models of national and regional networking to determine how these local civil society actors engage in norm entrepreneurship and engage with the state and non-state actors through regional and international fora.



The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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